Clever Idea + Good Execution = Pretty Damn Funny
Be sure to stick around to the end to see the train scene.
Saturday, March 31, 2007
Clever Idea + Good Execution = Pretty Damn Funny
Tuesday, March 20, 2007
In an interesting marketing move, Ski Vermont, the marketing arm of the Vermont ski industry, has decided to promote Vermont bands as a part of their attempt to broaden the "Vermont brand". There's two parts of this. The first is a CD sampling Vermont bands which will be distributed at trade shows. The second part is a jukebox on Ski Vermont's site that streams about a hundred tunes from Vermont bands. Both projects are being done in concert with Big Heavy World, the non-profit Burlington music promoters.
I don't know how much impact this will have on either the ski industry or the bands involved but it's nice to see some cross promotion. I could squabble with the bands selected for the jukebox but that's BHW's call and it seems to change every few weeks. So, perhaps some of my favorite local bands were included in other playlists.
My only suggestions for improving the jukebox would be to have the songs automatically play one after the other. The way it works with my Mozilla browswer is that I have to hit the "|>" button at the end of each song to jump to the next one. It's nice that there is a link to the band's website on the jukebox but it would also be nice to be able to download the mp3 directly from the player. Otherwise, it's a cool easy way to check out some VT bands.
The more I listen to Bright Eyes' I'm Wide Awake It's Morning the more I love it. The album has been creeping since I bought it in 2005. There isn't a better time for new material, now that it's 2007. An EP, Four Winds, was released two weeks ago (which is appropriately named, as it shares the name of the place where all the kids in my town went once their parents became scared of their substance abuse/emotional state). April 10th marks the full release, Cassadaga. The tracks have a pretty heavy handed dry atl-country feel, but driven by Connor's waivering stories. Of course it is peppered with plenty exceptions, including the rawkus I Must Belong Somewhere, which I've been digging since I first heard it a year or so ago.
In 2005, my favorite album was The Go! Team's Thunder Lightning Strike. However, since 2005, I'd say my most often listened to album from that year would be The National's Alligator. In fact, it isn't even close. The album is beauty from start to finish.
That's why I'm excited to hear their new album, Boxer, due May 22nd. Well, Blogotheque has given us a taste of the new album. They recorded two casual performaces of songs from the new album, "Start a War" and "Ada", and posted them on their site. They also have a brief piece explaining the night that drove these recordings.
The videos fall into the category of "artsy for the sake looking cool because it's artsy" but I'm just happy to get a taste of the new tracks.
"Start a War"
Monday, March 19, 2007
For the last nine months, I'm been grooving to Dirty on Purpose's Hallelujah Sirens without ever knowing about their connection to Vermont. It turns out that guitarist (and vocalist on "Kill Our City"), George Wilson, is from Chester, VT which is down in the southeastern corner of the state near Bellows Falls.
Apparently, they even played Burlington a few years ago before I knew about them. However, they had played in Chicago the night before and then drove straight through to Burlington. So, if the show was lackluster, you'd have to cut them some slack. Hopefully, they'll come back again.
If you haven't heard Hallelujah Sirens, it's difficult to fit into any one category. Their shoegazing guitars tend to be consistent throughout the album but they keep their sound fresh by feeding you side dishes of horns, keys and strings too. The best comparison would be to mid-90's Yo La Tengo. Perhaps that's why I'm such a fan. Plus, now I can claim them as a Vermont band.
Photo courtesy of MUDSUGAR
Here's their video for "No Radio". George is the trumpet-playing guitarist; an obvious sign of Yankee thrift.
Dirty on Purpose | Kill Our City | Buy
So, a few weeks ago, the draw was held for the U-20 World Cup this summer in Canada and the soccer Gods were shining on me because the US team got put in the group that will play in Montreal and Ottawa. Here's the schedule:
June 30th - Montreal - US vs South Korea
July 3rd - Montreal - US vs Poland
July 6th - Ottawa - US vs Brazil
It's a tough group because Brazil is always a favorite and the Koreans are very competitive in youth competitions. I don't know much about Poland but they probably won't suck.
Tickets for individual games are on sale via Admission.com. They are reasonably priced (the best seats are $24US) and all the dates are doubleheaders. So, on June 30th, your ticket gets you in to see Brazil play Poland at 2:15 and then the US plays Korea at 5pm. Good deal.
The beauty of this tournament is that you get to see the superstars of tomorrow. So, the question is who are those superstars to watch out for. Here's a few possibilities:
Our own Freddy Adu:
Brazil's Alex Pato:
Brazil's Kerlon the Seal (possibly hurt for the tournament):
Now you can see why Brazil is one of the favorites.
Poland's Dawid Janczyk:
Sunday, March 18, 2007
If you're still debating whether to hit the Cold War Kids / Tokyo Police Club show at Higher Ground on April 1st, here's some more persuasion. Tokyo Police Club has followed their touring partners to Daytrotter's studio and cranked out four songs inlcuding two new ones. That gets them up to about twenty minutes of released material...it's small but stacked and packed with rock and roll goodness.
All four songs are available as free downloads. And the interview portion of their time at Daytrotter revealed this sudden contradiction:
What are the new tunes sounding like? What are the plans for a full-length?Huh? But I don't care. I just love that EP of theirs.
GW: They’re sounding pretty cool. A little bit denser and more complex than the EP, but still keeping the same brevity and poppiness.
Cold War Kids hit Daytrotter last August but their tracks are still up there too.
OK. Even as a Dylan fan, I have to admit this is clever and pretty funny.
Dylan Hears a Who
Thanks to Jeff for the link.
UPDATE: I guess Columbia's lawyers got to whoever put the site up because it's down today. Oh well, it was fun while it lasted.
Saturday, March 17, 2007
With a publicity photo like that, I'm not sure how seriously, I take Minneapolis' MC/VL. However, I largely felt the same way, the first time I first saw pictures of The Beastie Boys back in the mid-80's. At the very least, it shows they have a good sense of humor.
I can't say I know a heck of a lot about these guys but their song "Cold Check It" popped up on my iPod early in my vacation and I repeatedly dialed it up over the rest of the week. Like The Beasties, the song is a great combo of hip-hop and rock with a big addictive fuzzy bass beat.
The song is off their debut album Stance which came out last month. Now, if I could just figure out where to buy the album, I'd be set. Unfortunately, MC/VL has chosen to not inlcude that nugget of info on their site.
Oh, well. In the meantime, play this track loud.
MC/VL | Cold Check It
What do you make of a British trio that goes by a Japanese name and plays krautrock-inspired tunes? It gets even more peculiar when you learn that one guy has adopted the moniker Fujiya, another guy is Miyagi and the poor bass player goes by Ampersand. It sucks sometimes to be the last guy to join a band.
Regardless, Fujiya & Miyagi's recent album Transparent Things is droning yet melodic and back with beats. The songs can sound a bit repetitive as you progress through the album. However, I've listened to Transparent Things straight through numerous times and the repetition hasn't gotten on my nerves yet. There are enough sub-beats and sub-melodies to keep it fresh.
They're currently touring the US in limited cities to sold out crowds which seems to be the model to follow for blog-loved bands these days. Hopefully, they'll continue to follow that model and come back stateside later this year with a full-blown set of tour dates.
Fujiya & Miyagi | Ankle Injuries | Buy
After finishing their inaugural season in the ABA ranked #1 in the league, the Frost Heaves kick off their post-season campaign on Sunday afternoon (4pm tipoff) against the winner of tonight's Strong Island-Quebec City game. The Heaves dropped two games to Quebec City this year and one to Strong Island. So, those two teams accounted for half of the Heaves six loses this season.
Therefore, the Heaves are hoping for a big home court advantage when they take the court in Barre. Based upon ticket sales, it appears they are on their way to a big crowd. There are only 350 tickets left and the team is holding those tickets for sale at the door. The tickets will go on sale at 2pm when they open the auditorium.
We haven't gotten tickets yet so I may try to fight the crowds and get there early. However, it's supposed to be cold and windy tomorrow. So, it might suck to stand out in front of that old gym for a while waiting in line but if it's a good game and the crowd gets into it, it would be worth it.
Friday, March 16, 2007
The Green Mountain Film Festival starts today in Montpelier and runs until Mar 25th. The picture above shows the line out the door for tickets the other day. I guess tickets are selling faster than they ever have before. When I stopped by yesterday to get tickets to see Gimme Shelter (10:15pm, tonight), the board showed that nine shows had already sold out. So, if you are planning on catching a movie, be sure to get your tickets in advance.
Here's the trailer for Gimme Shelter. I've seen the movie a few times on TV but never on a big screen with a loud sound system. So, it should be a hoot. Plus, with the threat of a flood and 18 inches of snow simultaneously, we should be able to feel the nervousness of the fans at Altamont.
A week or so ago, we left behind the scene above at our house for the scene below on the balcony of our hotel in Florida. It was a well needed escape from winter and life for me and my family. It's always nice to be back but it was also nice to get out of here for a little while.
I want to apologize to all the people that sent me time sensitive event and show dates to post while I was gone. However, I'll catch up on all the non-date specific stuff eventually.
Thursday, March 15, 2007
Saturday, March 03, 2007
With yesterday's nine inches of snow, Montpelier's flood watch continues. As you can see above, they've sandbagged the post office. Plus, a lot of merchants are moving inventory out of their basements.
Someone sent me a link to another good graph for following the water level in the Winooski River. It's a lot easier to interpret than the one I posted last week.