April 30, 2010

Musical happenings in and around the Capital City: By Ed Dufresne

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Musical happenings in and around the Capital City

It’s a slow week here in town, but after this last powerhouse week of music around the Capital City, perhaps we need some down time. There’s still lots of great live music to be had, however, so fear not. Here’s the scoop:

Positive Pie II on State Street in Montpelier had taken some extended time off from live music over the winter, but the popular resto-cum-venue is getting back into the action now that it’s springtime, starting Saturday night. Burlington groove-meisters Japhy Rider will resurrect the room with their mix of jazz, dub, rock and the like. Genre-mashers that they are, they should provide a good soundtrack for the dance floor faithful. Oh, and they have a new live album out, too, which I’m quite sure will be available for purchase at the show. Casio Bastard, featuring Halogen Records impresario Justin Hoy, opens the show. A late start is preferred at the Pie, with shows starting around 10:30, so you’ll have plenty of time to get your pre-game on. Funky!

Around the corner (or across the parking lot if you go out the back door) at Charlie O’s, there’s some good sounds happening this weekend as well. Tonight our local dive for nice people hosts Madmen 3, the electronica trio that has emerged from the ashes of MadDub. The trance-like dance music cranked out by Fred Wilbur (of Buch Spieler fame), Phil Carr and Jofus really gets the dance floor moving, which is exactly what it’s designed to do. Get your freak on starting at 10 p.m.

On Saturday night, a Burlington band makes its Montpeculiar debut when Anna Pardenik & Holy Smoke Off take the back of the barroom. A bright light on the Burlington indie-folk scene, Ms. Pardenik possesses a vintage sounding voice that’s just enough off-beat to denote the “indie” label. Though the stuff on her MySpace sounds a bit like speakeasy-era, Tin Pan Alley jazz, I would expect some more energetic material from this project. Check out some of the best the Queen City has to offer, also at 10 p.m., and, as always at O’s – never a cover!

The Lamb Abbey in Pioneer Center (next to The Source auto repair behind the VFW) gets into the act with two shows this weekend. Saturday night, local songstress Abby Jenne plays the big stage in the wide open studio room with her band The Enablers. Expect solid songwriting, rockin’ Americana, and great vocals from one of our longtime local luminaries. The show starts at 8 p.m. and is $10 at the door, with the first 50 people getting FREE CDs! Kind of makes the cover worth it, dontcha think?

And, on Sunday at the L.A., a very special show happens with Idaho-based indie rockers Finn Riggins. The guitar, synth and drum trio plays an infectiously post-punk brand of indie rock that has the underground buzzing. If you’re looking for something different, this is a show for you. Highly recommended for any fans of new music. Once Radio and Points North open the show at 8 p.m. No word on the cover at press time, but as always at the Abbey, it’s BYOB, making whatever the cover is oh-so worth it!

And, we ain’t done yet! Langdon Street Café kicks off the weekend tonight with the happy hour at 6 p.m. featuring local country crooner Mark LeGrand and the Lovesick Band. After that, Northeast Kingdom-based jazz/prog/jam rockers Viscus take the coffeehouse stage at 9 p.m.

On Saturday night, award-winning Boston band Girls, Guns and Glory debuts at the corner of Elm and Langdon. Combining a classic country sound with early rock ‘n’ roll, the band’s alt-country music has the critics swooning – they are clearly one of Beantown’s best Americana bands, hands down. Highly recommended for fans of classic country and old-school rock. They get the party started at 9 p.m.

You may have noticed at this point that I’ve given no mention of The Black Door this week. That’s ’cause they don’t have anything booked this weekend as they are on “spring break.” They’ll return to the normal third floor music next weekend. Should mean there’s plenty to go around for the other venues in town.

In closing this week I’d like to give you all a little heads up to what’s in store for next weekend in the capital. On Saturday, May 1, Montpelier’s newest bar (and a phenomenal addition to the downtown scene, I might add), The Three Penny Taproom, celebrates its one year anniversary with a party in the Onion River Sports lot on Langdon Street. The event features a plethora of super-special cask beers, awesome food by new chef Joey Nagy, and music by the one and only Primate Fiasco, who are like a Dixieland band on steroids. More details next week, but mark your calendars as this is going to be seriously FUN!

So, until next week, support your local venue – go see live music!

Ed DuFresne is the former talent coordinator at Langdon Street Café, occasionally produces concerts, and books at various venues in the area on a freelance basis. He lives in Montpelier with owners of a local vintage clothing franchise and an annoying bird named Lucy.

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