The Nancy Druids, The Atlantic Effect, and Carraway at The Monkey House on August 25, 201
The Nancy Druids pic by Tim Lewis
I had a great time seeing music Saturday at The Monkey House. It was one of those bills with two bands I love and one I knew nothing about, so I was excited.
I took the lovely long walk to Winooski and got and settled and The Nancy Druids took the stage and rocked out Sky. December had a lovely pop sound with a shimmering guitar sound that made me smile. Bitter Days began with a chunky Rikenbaker bass riff from John Franklin and the song coalesced into pure delight. I Can’t Remember Who You Were soared to glorious rock heights and I felt like I was swimming in Sean Toohey’s massive guitar break at the end. Vondle Park was a slice of joyous pop then they rocked furiously on Halo. I love the powerhouse drum parts that Ann Mindell throws in. By Design was lovely and Salvation was inspirational. They rocked The Space Between super hard and that was going to close the show, but they had about four minutes left in their allotted time. They closed the night with a fun cover of Give A Little Bit. What a great set.
The Atlantic Effect pic by Tim Lewis
After their set I looked back and was pleased to see the room was mostly full of people. I chatted with Loren and Molly King for a bit then it was time for The Atlantic Effect. They opened with a jazzy instrumental that soon began to rock. They played a bluesy rock song about picking up the pieces and bringing it all back home. They sang about what it takes to be my sweet Virginia then tossed in a Band Of Horses cover that I did not know. It was pretty cool. They played a song about it being time for work and a cover I did not know with a funky groove. They played a song with a smokey blues sound then a super fast cover that might have been a Beastie Boys song, or something that sounded like that. They wrapped up the set with another blues rocker about giving me a second chance and that was that.
Carraway pic by Tim Lewis
I hung out for a bit during the set break then Carraway hit the stage hard with a cool new song about Pluto. It grabbed me immediately. Lion Tamer followed and rocked hard. They eased up for the gorgeous I’ve Come to Love and my heart was smiling. They played a cool song I did not know about making a deal with the devil when you ain’t got no soul. I was in a happy place as they sang songs about not wanting to do this anymore, being under the sea and being Kool. Time To Save The Wold had that lovely build then they became nice and heavy on The Anchor. They had us Raising The Dead and taught us how to celebrate St Patrick’s Day, in the worst way. They rocked hard on last night and closed with a great cover of Where Is My Mind. I love their sense of melody and drama and am very excited about the new songs they have.
I headed out fairly soon after. I contemplated how the show might have been cooler if Carraway and the Druids had played back to back, since their music is similar and Atlantic was a departure, as I took the long walk home. That said, I was happy to catch what I did.
Carraway (photo by Tim Lewis)
Happy Spangler and Miku Daza at The Skinny Pancake on August 24, 2018
Happy Spangler (Photo by Tim Lewis)
I had a great time seeing music Friday at The Skinny Pancake Burlington. I got in a little early and got a bite to eat and hung out with Frank DeAngelis, Charlie Messing, some of the band, and some other cool people. We were all set to go when Happy Spangler hit the stage. They set a nice rocking tone with Dave Doesn’t Live Here Anymore and we were off. They played a great version of Carole King’s Take A Giant Step then switched to the cowpunk zone for a song about falling out late last night. Bit O Honey had some furious Michael Bradshaw drumming at the end then they pulled out a new classic. By my count, Spangler have three of my favorite local songs in their setlist. Golden Caddy is a fun ride and I love it when they pull it out. They played some Donovan on Bart’s Blues, and I had no idea what the song was until they announced it at the end, but really enjoyed it. They pulled out classic number two with an epic version of I Brought You Flowers, You Wanted Drugs. The title is fun and the song has a huge rock sound that I love. All night long Barbara held the songs together on bass while Kirk Flanagan sang and alternated between rhythm and lead guitar. Bradshaw played killer drums and sang the next one, which I think was Big Star’s You Get What You Deserve. They played a song about how a door flew open and you blew in then they played the third great song. It’s called Hawks and takes some lovely twists, rocks hard and soars at times. Hmmm, I love that song. They ended the set with a rocker about never letting me go and called it a night. They are so great. It’s always fun when they are on stage.
After a quick set break, Miku Daza hit the stage hard. Their gypsy inspired indie punk gets my heart racing and my feet moving. They opened with the one two punch of Parasite and Flaca Daza and we were off. They sang a song about living in a different place as Miku’s voice soared to dramatic heights. Her guitar hit hard and fast and was totally locked in with Chris Tranten’s ripping bass. Jonathan Tollefson fired continued bursts of Baritone Saxophone, and Will Bennington kept the drums at full throttle, despite an injury to his hand. What a trooper. They sang a song in Spanish that was cool, then asked if they make us nervous. We Panicked on the next one then they eased the pace back a little for a song about a criminal. They sang about bank robbers, sugar rushes, and a bird on a wire. They played one that was about haunting you forever or nakedness or something, then played another one in Spanish. They played a couple more and closed with a song about being on a tree. The audience wanted more but Miku pulled the old “I just broke my guitar cord off with the plug still in the guitar” ploy and called it a night. Such timing.
I hung out for a bit but quickly took the lovely walk home. It was yet another great night of Rock and Roll in Burlington.
Miku Daza (Photo by Tim Lewis)
The Hurdy Gurdy Men Play Donovan at Light Club Lamp Shop on August 28, 2018
I had a great time tonight seeing some Hurdy Gurdy Men, and Women, singing songs of love. I got out the door a little after nine and took the hot sweaty walk to Light Club Lamp Shop. I got in and Sean Toohey and Kirk Flanagan were on stage, with acoustic guitars in hand, ready to go. Kirk began singing, and Sean filled in backing vocals on Catch The Wind. They had a sweet and somber and joyous sound. They moved into a more playful mood with Jennifer Jupiter, I missed the next one but it was something about drinking in sunshine. Maybe Sunny Goodge Street? Barbara from Happy Spangler got up to add some vocals to Sun. Linda Bassickcame up next and joined the duo on backing vocals and trombone. Their version of Mellow Yellow was fun and Linda had a lead trombone break that lit up the room. They returned to the duo state for a tale about a mad mad mad life called As I Recall It. Sean took over vocals for Hi It’s Been A Long Time and I love the pro-woman lyrics. Michael Bradshaw joined the band and brushed the bongos, which was a really cool sound, as they played Bert’s Blues. Fin added some beautiful vocals to Season Of Farewell as Bradshaw moved to the audience near the stage, but kept on adding percussion. Another guest named Chris came up to sing backing vocals on Happiness Runs and the vocal round was delightful. At some point, another acoustic guitar player joined the band and played for the rest of the nigh. Jeff Barrows maybe? Bill Mullins joined the band on a subtle and powerful electric guitar as Sean sang a gorgeous Wear Your Love Like Heaven. Chris sang the lead on a bluesy sweet version of Colours. Miku had to miss the show so Kirk sang a lovely version of Lalena. At some point Bill left and the three acoustic guitarists played a song about happiness in a pipe called The Fat Angel. Note to self, always Fly Translove Airways, get you there on time. Jeff had a nice early lead break and Sean had a cool one at the end. Chris and Bill came back and the band rocked out a Season Of The Witch that illuminated the room. Bill sang, and played some poignant guitar on Cosmic Wheels that just filled me. They rocked out Hurdy Gurdy Man. Sean had a cool lead in Sunshine Superman and it was a delight. Bill left and Chris and Fin came back. Fin narrated the opening to Atlantis in a chilling way and the band turned it to pure joy for the Way down below the ocean where I wanna be part. That should have wrapped it up, but the audience wanted more. Sean, Kirk, Chris, and Jeff came back for a playful version of I Love My Shirt, and that was that.
Julia Caesar at Summervale on August 23, 2018
I had a great time seeing music Thursday at Summervale. It’s a fun festival throughout summer to raise funds and awareness of the Intervale Center, which helps supply a lot of the food consumed in Burlington.
I steeled myself up to be sure I left at 7:15, even if that meant leaving early, and took the lovely walk into Burlington’s farm land. I got some food and found a seat on the ground not too far from the band. I chatted with several cool people then it was time for the show.
Julia Caesar opened with The River then followed with the one about how ashes ashes all fall down. At some point, some of the younger kids started to approach the band and bop around a little. The band played the one about the person who told a girl she took up too much space and Meg let loose some heavy guitar riffs. They played a great version of Chosen Names then Meg took the drums and Stephen played guitar on the one that followed. All night long Katy Hellman had been swaying to her bass grooves and singing beautifully. Meg and Liz joined in often and the harmonies were lovely. They played a killer version of Hear Me Now then pulled out the single Crimson. They played the one about letting it be with out a sound and being able to breathe again. I think they said it was called Holy Ghost.
At that point, Chelsea from the Intervale center got up to speak about the good work that they do. Dan Rome from Soundtoys spoke about how nice it was to be able to sponsor the event. I wandered around a little and chatted with some friends and didn’t catch the song that Julia came back with, though it sounded nice. They played the one that begins with a vocal round and may be about the holy and profane. Liz took the drums and Stephen played guitar on a song about how it’s hard to connect with people and hidden loneliness. I think the lyric was about wanting to swim inside your soul. They returned to the regular instruments and rocked out Nosedive. Stephen left and Katy put down the bass and the next song just had three voices and two guitars. It was something about hoping to forget your sacred sin. It was close to the time I had to leave, but they said they only had one more. I hung out as they let loose a huge version of Falter. As it wound it’s way to the conclusion Liz pushed her guitar into a feedback haze as the rest of the band rocked out. It’s such a treat to hear them play it live.
The Thursday Torys and Gnosis at Radio Bean on August 22, 2018
The Thursday Torys pic by Tim Lewis
I had a great time seeing music last Wednesday at Radio Bean. I’ve been enjoying the music of The Thursday Torys but hadn’t caught them live. I saw Brayden Patrick Baird play a couple of their songs recently so I was excited for the show. I got in and settled and even through they were playing as a duo, they set up a ton of speakers and other equipment. Jason and Brayden played guitar and sang and laptopped in the rest of the band. They unfurled songs from their Future Folk album and sounded lush and gorgeous. They sang about how one thing leads to the next in A Falta De, then sang a song about love. In The Morning had gentle feel at the beginning then rocked a bit. The next one was a lush pop song then they took a fun odd turn for Todd Likes Dancing. They spaced out a bit for Driving Song then lit up the room with Love In The Afternoon. They closed with a song about a made up place called Resoterra. It was a cool show, and now I’m aching to see the full band.
I was going to take off but I had put the next day’s radio show together earlier in the evening, so I had a little time. A band called Gnosis took the stage and began playing some electro-Jazz. They opened with Porcupine Tree like jam that may have had hints of Caravan. The next song had more of a jazz fusion sound but the third one was driven by the bass and drums into a happy Porcupine place. They played another cool jam then played one that had hints of the Bond theme. They closed the set with more fusion that kept me enthralled until the last note. I’m so glad I stayed.
Gnosis (Photo by Tim Lewis)
Miku Daza and Julia Caesar at the Light Club Lamp Shop on August 17, 2018
Miku Daza pic by Tim Lewis
I had a great time seeing music last Friday at Light Club Lamp Shop. With two great bands on the bill, I couldn’t not go.
I got in and settled a little early and the room steadily filled. Soon enough, it was time for Miku Daza to play. Their thrashing gypsy punk sounded great as they lit into Parasite. They followed with Flaca Daza and we took a ride through mellow lows, soaring heights and dramatic vocals. They sang about letting me go nowhere and pulled out a cover of a Colombian song I did not know. Panic rocked hard then they eased up for one with a Hotel California vibe. The next one was epic and took us on a journey then they followed with one that started slow and got faster and faster. The whole set was blistering and great and they wrapped up the 14 song set with Frosty Pink Skies. I love when they play.
As the dust settled, I looked around and saw that the room had filled. Julia Caesar began by rocking us with Hear Me Now and followed with Ode To The River. Katy Hellman‘s voice was spot on and sounded even better when harmonizing with Liz and Meg. They sang about breathing and letting it be without a sound. They rocked out Chosen names and played another newer on about ashes ashes. They played the first song they every played out. It was about a girl who was told she took up too much space. They got the audience clapping along for the one about dying alone. Nosedive featured some powerhouse Meg guitar work then they closed the set with an epic version of Falter. Towards the end Liz ripped some serious feedback out of her guitar then put it on the ground and used he pedals to sculpt the sound into a buzzed out ending.
I headed out quickly to try and catch a band called Blue Dream at Radio Bean but they rocked hard for a minute or two then said goodnight. Oh well, I tried. After that, I ducked out the door and took the lovely walk home.
Julia Caesar (Photo by Tim Lewis)
High Summer at Summervale on August 16, 2018
I had a great time seeing music a week ago Thursday at Summervale. I had not made it to any of the shows that happen beside the Intervale Center this year, and had been meaning to see the band. The timing was pretty great so a little after 5 I took a walk down the hill into Burlington’s farmland.
I got in and found some food and a beer and soon enough, it was time for High Summer to play. They opened with an instrumental that had a nice rock groove and a ’60’s detective show theme kind of feel. Miriam Bernardo came in on the second song and her lovely voice filled my heart. The song had a mellow Traffic vibe. The third song was about infinity and fluid dreams and rocked a little harder than the second song and a little less than the first. The next one had a reggae feel and featured a nice Jacob Deva Racusin sax solo at the end. They played songs about fleeting memories and seeing the sun. An instrumental written by the guitarist followed. It had a jam opening, a prog middle and was quite cool. They stopped for a bit when Chelsea from the Intervale got up to speak about the event and about all the great work the Intervale center does. The band returned for a song with just Miriam and the guitar player that was about loving you forever. The band came back and they added a little guitar muscle to a cover of They Way You Make Me Feel. They moved a bit towards reggae for a song about how time and space keep stretching then moved to a rock steady feel for one about seeing the morning sunshine. They kicked it up a notch and let the brass rock out a song about how long is our lifeline. They sounded great, but I had work to do. About 7:15 I reluctantly ducked out but still enjoyed their lovely sound as I walked up the hill.
Francesca Blanchard at the BCA Center in City Hall Park on August 14, 2018
I had a terrible time seeing music last Wednesday at City Hall Park. I had the day off and took a stroll downtown a little after 5. The sky was sunny for the walk but a bit overcast in the park. The band were set up near the BCA center but all the tables and chairs were across the sidewalk on the grass, which created a large space. I found a spot in between and Francesca Blanchard began to play. Joined by Mike Dondero on bass and Charlie Hill on guitar she opened with a lovely version of My Heart. She followed with a song called Free. It sounded great but towards the end she changed the lyrics to something like “the rain is coming. We have to Stop. Sorry about that”. I think I prefer the song with the regular lyrics. They started tearing down the stage and sound desk as the rain picked up intensity. Thunder rumbled and the sky flashed. I hung out for a bit in hopes that they might be able to get back on track, but alas, that didn’t happen. I wandered through the BCA gallery for a bit, then when it finally eased up, I took the quick walk home.
It did not turn out well, but I’m glad I put in the effort.