I had a great time seeing music last night, even if the reason for the show was so sad. It’s terrible when such a vibrant force in our community passes away too early, and as fellow humans, all we can do is come together in our mourning and to celebrate the moments that he lived. Many people loved Mike McGonegal and many people came out to hear some music and be together at Club Metronome last night.
The evening began with DJ Disco Phantom, aka Brian Nagle, spinning some of Mike’s favorite songs, and of course, he spun many more during the set breaks. Throughout the evening he played songs like Sympathy For The Devil, My Sweet Lord, Burning Down The House, Fucking Up, Under My Thumb, Give Me Three Steps, Psycho Killer, Little Red Corvette, Like A Virgin, Hungry Like The Wolf, Our Lips Are Sealed, China Girl, Money For Nothing, I’d Like To Teach The World To Sing, Kodachrome, I Wanna Be Sedated, and others.
The first band on was James Kochalka which featured James on vocals, Eric Olsen on bass, Creston Lea on electric guitar, Jason Cooley on electric guitar, and Jeremy Frederick on drums. They opened with Magic Finger and said it was one of Mike’s favorites. They played a cool version of Monkey Vs Robot that went into a Gloria section towards the end and a full out Doors meandering before returning to the crashing ending. Another song about Monkey’s followed. They played songs about having to wash your ass, not breaking plates or hearts and wondered what’s the deal with triangles. Apparently, Mike was into shapes. The 10 song set was as wild and rocking and as tongue in cheek as most of Mike’s Facebook posts.
I chatted with a ton of cool people in the set breaks and watched a bit of the slideshow of pictures of Mike that ran in the other room. I grabbed one of the flower bulbs they had out and will plant it somewhere soon.
Dino Bravo VT were up next and opened with the staggeringly appropriate cover of Ween’s Birthday Boy. Lyrics like “Help me now, I’m going down, And I don’t know if I’ll be ok, I’ll be around, I’ll be in town, If you need a place to stay” were right on the mark. They followed with a tremendous version of A Song About The Ocean with a long jammed out ending. They kept the show rocking with Pop Music and Two Car Garage then told the naughty naughty story of Chuck Berry. Past The Mark rocked hard and was followed by the harmony guitars of Strawberry Blonde. Matthew Stephen Perry‘s story about a drunken night where they played a terrible version of Comfortably Numb for Mike beautifully set up the majestic version of that song which Dino performed last night. Chris Farnsworth ably handled the solos. It was a very reverent tribute to Mike.
SWALE came on next and were joined by Mike’s brother Kevin on electric guitar and vocals for a spiritual song that requested that Jesus help me find my proper place. Kevin left the stage and Swale played a gorgeous version of If You Get Lost. Every Last One Of Us started as a slow chant with Jeremy’s over the top drumming then climbed to a staggering rock and roll height before easing back down to a quiet finish. That is such a wonderful song. In honor of Mike, they played a couple of hard rocking Pants songs then rocked hard with their new song Drug Laws. Jason Cooley returned to the stage to sing a brilliant cover of Where Is My Mind? to end their set.
Led LOCO took the stage to close the night with covers of Zeppelin and Ac/DC songs. They opened with the overly appropriate Good Times Bad Times then played a song about music called Rock And Roll. Cooley mentioned something about Olsen’s Union Jack codpiece and Eric said he wore it so he would not get Trumped. Dirty Deeds (Done Dirt Cheap) had the still full room dancing hard. They used a Mike Mike Mike Mike chant to start TNT. If You Want Blood, You Got It followed. The Ocean rocked hard and so did What Is And What Should Never Be. They kept the club rocking with Black Dog and Whole Lotta Rosie then capped the night regaling us with stories of their Big Balls. .
It was about 1am when they wrapped up, so I headed out quickly and took the quiet reverent walk home.
Radio Show 179 Thursday October 13, 2016 9-11pm Eastern US Time 107.1 FM and WBKM.ORG
Tonight’s local music radio show on 107.1FM WBKM will go as follows.
Song before: Where Is My Mind? – The Pixies
From our small city to the great big world, these are the Sounds Of Burlington. Thanks Higher Ground for sponsoring our station. They have a lot of music happening this week, and so does the rest of our town. Let’s begin with a guy who played around in the 1990’s and is getting the band back together.
1.) Sunflower Street – Dave Jarvis Band
2.) What’s The Deal With The Triangle? – James Kochalka Superstar
3.) Chuck Berry – Dino Bravo VT
4.) The Next Instead – SWALE
On Monday Kochalka, Dino, Swale and Led Loco played a show in honor of Mike McGonegal. It was a great send off and most of those songs were played. He will be missed. OK, here is the next song on the album I’m playing all the way through week after week. The album is called Song For My Double.
5.) Aspiration – Invisible Homes
6.) The Storm Has Been Weathered – 1881
7.) Children Of The Stars – Madaila
8.) Johnny – Arc Iris
Iris will be at Signal Kitchen on Friday and always put on a great show. That’s another new song from Madaila from their Traces album. 1881 are playing Sidebar on Monday and are really good. This next band are playing with Iris on Saturday.
9.) See Me On My Way – Superhuman Happiness
10.) Better Off – Haley Jane and the Primates
11.) Clocks On The Wall – Jeremy Gilchrist – Singer-Songwriter
12.) It’ll Be OK – Let’s Whisper
Great new song from Whisper. Who needs contests when you can just walk out to a local club and see people like Jeremy. Haley and the band will be at Nectar’s tomorrow and always put on an enthralling show. This next singer will be at Manhattan Pizza on Saturday.
13.) Dreams Elope – Joe Adler
14.) East Jabip – REDadmiral
15.) Muskrat Love – Cave Bees
16.) Two Weeks (’til The End Of The World) – Grand
I still remember the show Grand played at Nectar’s a few months ago and can’t wait to see them again. Bees are playing next Wednesday at ArtsRiot. Admiral are at the Monkey House on Saturday and always rock. OK, let’s play some classic Burlington songs.
17.) Gas And Oil – Gas And Oil
18.) Weapons Factory – The Wards
19.) Las Vegas – Ninja Custodian
20.) The Spy Song – Pinhead.
All four of those are classic Burlington songs. This next one is too and is unfortunately still all too appropriate.
21.) Boys Club – Peg Tassey MUSIC
22.) Kill Your Idols – Slush
23.) Blood Boy – Barbacoa
24.) Sunday – Envy
Those are all classics too. Barbacoa will play with Swale tomorrow at ArtsRiot for a live recording, so that is one of the many can’t miss shows tomorrow, and Saturday is just as packed. OK, let’s keep rocking.
25.) Knight Ov Swords – The Contrarian
26.) Nowhere Feels Like Home – Fire The Cannons
27.) Lead Me To Your Love – The New Siberians
Great new Siberians song. FTC rocked the early 2000’s and Casey used to sing in a few local bands. I hope you enjoyed checking out the music of our town. Let’s do it again next week, shall we?
Songs after: Medley/The Company – Fish
Rock Soldiers – Ace Frehley
I Wait – Children in Paradise
New Love – Andriana Chobot
All The Love – Kate Bush
Note: Andriana is playing Friday at Oak45 (tomorrow) 7 to 9 if you are around Winooski
Ace Frehley, Simo, and Within The Fire at the Upstate Concert Hall in Clifton Park, NY October 8, 2016
I had a great time seeing music last night at the Upstate Concert Hall in Clifton Park, NY. I met up with my brother Ken, and took the long drive south. We arrived a little after 5, found the venue, gassed up the car and grabbed a quick meal. We returned to the venue around 6 and stood in the ever growing line. We chatted with a nice couple from Plattsburgh, saw a very young Ace fan, then got in and settled. The show was supposed to start at 8 but there was a lot of activity around the stage at 10 of and by 7:55 Within The Fire started rocking out their song Still Burning. They are a five-piece metal band with two guitars, bass, drums and a bald guy with a long gray beard singing. His voice was quite good and the band had a bit of a Priest or Maiden feel, though did not sound overly like either. I think the second song was Date With The Devil and the third was Three Days Ago. They played a song called Hypnotized and followed with Can’t Let Go. All the songs were hard driving rock and Three Days had some nice harmony guitar work. They closed the 35 minute set with a song for the sinners.
With zero fanfare and a 15 minute set break, suddenly I looked up and Simo were on stage and playing. They had a bit of a groovy swampy heavy rock sound and were completely intriguing. I’m not even sure what it was about the guitar/singer, bass, drum trio that I liked so much, but I was captivated from the first moment. They only played five songs but the first four were really cool and the fifth was a heavy rock version of With A Little Help From My Friends. The guitar player was shredding so hard at the end that he broke a string but they kept rocking until the crashing ending. I will have to find out more about them soon.
The next set break was not as quick but by 9:30 it looked like things were ready to go. I was wrong. It was about quarter of 10 when the lights went down and the bell started ringing and Fractured Mirror started to play. It went for a minute or so, then faded out and the stage was completely dark and empty. It was not long before a voice came over the speakers saying they had lost control of the lights. The audience impatiently waited and after a few minutes some of the stage lights came on. At 10:07 the lights went out again and Fractured Mirror started to play again. Again, it faded much to early, but Ace Frehley and his band just walked on stage and started playing Rip It Out. The lighting was fine for the rest of the night as Ace was joined by Richie Scarlet on guitar, Chris Wyse on bass and Scot Coogan on drums. All four sang lead and backing vocals throughout the night, but Ace sang the most. Toys rocked hard as the second song of the night then he pulled out the first one from his new album of cover songs. Emerald is my favorite Thin Lizzy song and Ace and the boys did a tremendous job with it. The audience was excited when he said they were going to play a song he wrote back in the 70’s. Parasite was the first Kiss song of the night and they rode that wonderful riff hard. Love Gun followed and was as bombastic as always. Snowblind rocked hard then they took us on a Rocket Ride. Bring It On Home started and ended as a bluesy number but had that Zeppelin feel for most of the middle. Ace marshaled all of us Rock Soldiers for a sing along and I loved the line about “If the devil wants to play a card game now, he’s gonna have to play without an Ace in his deck”. A short bass solo followed and Wyse showed himself to be very talented as he tossed in a little Fairies Wear Boots and God Of Thunder. They went back to the Hotter Than Hell album for Strange Ways then got another sing along going with New York Groove. 2 Young 2 Die was another Ace solo song that rocked hard. Scarlet got a short solo at the end but Ace played over it with him. I’m not sure I had seen a double guitar solo before, but they seemed to be having fun tossing in Secret Agent Man and the Batman theme and playing some harmony guitar. The Who’s I Can’t Explain followed but it turned out to be a tease. Will that be on Origins volume 2? They went classic with Shock Me and a great Ace solo followed. It was not super long but did feature the smoking guitar we all know and love. Ace simply said “Still Smoking” which was just great. He said to the crowd that he has been sober for 10 years then introduced a song about partying. He said it was OK for us to drink but to please not drink and drive, since he wanted to see us again. Cold Gin ended the set in a heavy rocking way. The audience could barely muster an encore clap, maybe it’s just too expected, but the band came back anyway. Detroit Rock City was beautiful and powerful and Deuce ended the night with a bang.
We headed out pretty quickly. The drive home was long but it went pretty smooth. In the back of my mind it was a teeny bit unnerving when trucks would drive by fast, considering the lyric in Detroit, but I kept my cool and delivered Ken safely at home in Shelburne, and myself shortly thereafter in Burlington. What a night. Wow, it was so cool to see a childhood hero in a club about the size of Higher Ground instead of the usual arena. I’m so glad I went.
Barbacoa and Sad Turtle at Foam Brewer September 30, 2016
I had a great time seeing music recently at Foam Brewers. There were a ton of great shows in town that night, but my cousin Michael Pearson was in town and wanted to hang out and see some music. I thought the show at Foam would be a cool place where we could still chat a little without me being completely absorbed in the show. We arrived around 8 and a short while later Barbacoa hit the stage. They rocked hard with their super fun surf noir instrumentals. Bobby Hackney Jr. was super solid on drums, Kirk Flanagan ripped it up on bass and Bill Mullins is super cool and calmly explosive on guitar. The played a bunch of originals and tossed in covers like Paint It Black, and maybe the theme to You Only Live Twice. They ended the hour long set with the jam that started as Misirlou then went into Secret Agent Man and the Spiderman theme and ended somewhere else. They are such a great band.
The set break was not quick, but was not too bad, then Sad Turtle took the stage to release their Ruthless and Toothless album. They played the album all the way through in order. They are an instrumental band also and play structured music with a jazzy and electronic sound. They sounded great and I especially loved Jeremy Gartner‘s drumming. We could not stay late since Mike had to drive back to Maine the next day but it was cool to hang out and catch a few of their songs.
Bethany Conner at Light Club Lamp Shop September 27 2016
I had a great time seeing music recently at Light Club Lamp Shop. I had a chance to see and hear Bethany Conner Music a few weeks back when she appeared on Rocket Shop. I was impressed and have been playing songs from her album ever since. She mostly plays around Vermont so when I saw she was returning to Burlington I really wanted to listen to her play a few songs to see if I was as impressed as the first time.
The show was set to start at 7. I got out of work at 6:30, raced home and did a super quick turn around, and headed downtown. The church bells rang the seventh time as I approached the club. I got in and settled then realized the show would be more of a singer songwriter showcase rather than just Bethany and John Smyth, who was also on the bill. I forgot the name of the first gentleman who took the stage, since I misplaced the notes I took, and he nicely sang and played some old timey songs on acoustic guitar. I sat and listened and appreciated the window on another time. He only played four songs, the last of which was a Randy Newman song, or one Randy covered.
After his set Bethany Conner took the stage. She had poise and confidence as she played acoustic guitar and let her voice loose on the crowd. She had a 40 minute set and played most of the songs from her EP I’ll Tell You. Every song was good and her stories in between were casually told and fun to listen to. She tossed a cover in the middle of the set, that faded into something else, and unfortunately, at this point I can’t remember which songs they were. Either way, they were nicely done. I like a lot of Bethany’s songs but that night The Worst Part stood out just a little bit more than the rest. She closed the night with a cover of 4 Non Blondes song What’s Going On. Her voice just soared on the chorus and filled the room as her guitar drove the song perfectly. It was a great end to a wonderful set.
I hung out for a bit, but was tired and had not eaten yet. The first singer came back on and was joined by two others. As they took more and more time to get set up, my energy went the other direction. I hung out for a while, but without music to keep me anchored, I drifted out the door and took the short walk home. On the way I stopped in at Drifter’s and ate a quick tasty dinner, then finished the walk.
Violet Ultraviolet, Invisible Homes and Ryan Power at The Monkey House September 24, 2016
Viloet Ultraviolet at The Monkey House September 24 2016 pic by Tim Lewis
I had a great time seeing music a week ago Saturday at The Monkey House. It had been a while since I had seen Ryan Power. As he often does, he plugged in his phone and played some songs and sang over them. The songs all had a lush texture and went in interesting places. His voice is very smooth and lovely to listen to. I was happily enchanted as he sang seven songs. Most of the songs had a pop sound though one had a country tinged electro vibe. That man just oozes talent and it was great to just stand and listen.
Invisible Homes were on next and played the usual brilliant show. They opened with the Crimsonesque All Your Basis the flooded our ears and hearts with Above The Frequency. Song For My Double had a nice rock groove then they played the cool new one that has the What’s In California? sounding riff. It had some nice freak out Sean Witters guitar work. I’m not sure what the next one was, I’m guessing it’s a new one, then the friendly strains of Pale Rage passed around the room. They followed with the new song about our Robot overlords and closed the night with a ripping This Machine. I was elated for every moment.
Violet Ultraviolet took the stage and played a bunch of the songs from their new album Pop City which was being released that night. VU have a cool sound with oddly paced songs that are quite enjoyable to experience. They played a 14 song set with two played by Jake solo. They sounded great and played well and I really need to listen to their songs to get a handle on them.
I’m so glad I went.
Radio Show 178 Thursday October 6, 2016 9-11pm Eastern US Time 107.1 FM and WBKM.ORG
I got a little extra organized and have tonight’s local music radio show on 107.1FM WBKM all lined up. It will run from 9-11pm US Eastern Time and will go as follows:
Song before: Alone – Children in Paradise
From our small city to the great big world, these are the Sounds of Burlington. I want to thank Higher Ground for sponsoring our station. They have lots of shows happening this week and have Built to Spill playing tonight. Let’s begin tonight with some huge sweeping songs in honor of all of those people in our community who have huge sweeping hearts.
1.) Teenage Mother Earth – The Red Telephone
2.) Breathing In – The Hero Cycle
3.) If You Get Lost – SWALE
4.) Cascade – Andriana Chobot
Cascade has such a huge luscious sound. Same for Lost. Swale will be playing Saturday at The Monkey House with The Nancy Druids. Sean from the Druids also plays in Telephone so it’s going to be a great night of music. I will be out of town, but more on that later. Great song from Hero. On a more somber note, this week the Burlington community lost one of it’s funniest and most treasured people. I loved all the wry posts that Mike McGonegal shared with us and I got to meet and hang out with him a few weeks back at a Silver Bridget show. I’m going to play three of their instrumental songs to pay a quiet tribute to Mike, and to all of the people who have left this life. I invite you to join me.
5.) Old Man – Silver Bridget
6.) She’s Leaving Home – Silver Bridget
7.) Harvest Moon – Silver Bridget
It was fun seeing them that night and having Mike help me identify which song they were playing. He will be greatly missed by our community. Since we are in a contemplative mood, let’s play the next song from the album I’m playing all the way through, song after song, week after week. Here is the next one from Song For My Double.
8.) Contemplating The Ivory – Invisible Homes
9.) Little Monster – Strange Machines
10.) What If – Madaila
11.) What If – REDadmiral
I had to play those two back to back. They are obviously quite different songs. Machines will be at Nectar’s tomorrow. Homes play so many great styles of music. That’s a song from Madaila’s new album Traces. Admiral are at The Monkey House Tonight. So is this next band.
12.) Ninjas Vs Zombies – Phil Yates
13.) Restaurant – The Mountain Says No
14.) Emerald – Ace Frehley
15.) Hey Ernie – Cold Sweat
When I was younger some friends and I would drive all over Vermont and New York to go see Sweat. We’d see them in Glens Falls and Clifton Park and places like that. I have tickets with my brother Ken to see Ace on Saturday in Clifton Park, NY so that should be fun. I believe that Lizzy cover is in the setlist. Great rocker from Mountain and fun song from Phil. I saw this next band last week at Foam Brewers
16.) Medieval Knieval – Barbacoa
17.) Say It – Anachronist
18.) Falter – Chin Ho
19.) Green Apple Girl – David Jarvis
It sounds like Dave is getting the band back together soon. Great classic from Chin. Great song from Anachronist. Barbacoa always rock. OK, let’s keep rocking.
20.) Sally – Daniel Waterhouse (Dan Murphy)
21.) Windigo – Crazyhearse
22.) The Day I Met You – Dirtminers
23.) A Different Machine – Elephants of Scotland
Great rocker from Elephants, who are really from VT. Great rockers from Dirt and Crazy and cool song from Dan. OK, there’s just a little bit of time left. Let’s keep rocking.
24.) 88 – Wave of the Future
25.) 22R – Cave Bees
26.) Black, Blue and White – The New Siberians
27.) I Am Sunday – The Red Telephone
I thought I’d end where I began. I hope you enjoyed checking out the music of our town, let’s do it again next week, shall we?
Songs after: Internal Exile Medley (Big Bus) – Fish
Against The Rain – TILT
Butts Wigglin’ – The Tragically Hip