Saturday, June 7, 2014


Well, well, it’s another week, and I just got done with another FIRST MONDAY gig at the Monkey House.  Tough crowd.  I say it was a tough crowd cause they weren’t there – how can we win them over if they don’t show up?  [Dan Hicks once sang, “How Can I Miss You (when you won’t go away)?” This was a little like that.]  Even one of our steady performers didn’t show up – he blames senility.  I guess I blame his illegible calendar…but no big deal, I just got to play more.  And then we had the solid rock power trio of Trevor Ayer’s ASTROCAT, who blew the place up a bit (no smoke – don’t get me wrong – sonically.)

BUT the thing is: they’re having the DISCOVER JAZZ FESTIVAL over here in Burlington, and there’ve been bands up and down the block (Church St., which is basically a street turned into the town Mall), in every club, gallery and bar.  For an entire week, including two weekends.  As a matter of fact, the bands playing in public spaces are so packed together that you often listen to one band with one ear and a neighboring band with the other ear. 
This is Abuse of Stereo, if you ask me.  You’re reading my blog, so we’ll say you asked.

I do enjoy the official Burlington Discover Jazz Festival, and all the other Festivals they have in town over the course of a year (Rock and Roll, World Music, Blues, Folk, Cabaret, Classical).
No, I’m kidding.  None of those festivals exist.  There’s a Film Festival and a Festival of Fools (comedians and acrobats, actually) and let’s see if I can think of any others…okay a Winter Carnival and Mardi Gras.  (And Christmas – let’s not forget Christmas: Shopocalypse.)

[There are a few local groups who put together Festivals, which is to say they have a number of bands playing on several stages, some in regular venues and some in special ones (tent blocking an entire street, setting up a band in the window of a bakery which fits about 20 people, etc.) over the course of a weekend.  Another festival or two are out on lawns – a few with elaborate setup, stages, and tickets; a few more modestly financed and modestly presented ones.  Three rock and roll festivals, basically – that’s it.  My thanks for those.]

What interests me is how the city expects all the people who do NOT listen to jazz the rest of the year all of a sudden to be INTO it, in high dosages.  PLUS even if you have the money (or a free VIP pass) you still miss most of it cause it’s happening all over at the same time!  Ahem.  So, as I was saying (and it’s going on still, just a few blocks from here!), many many people have been out all weekend and by the time Monday rolls around, they’re kind of exhausted.  Who could blame them.  AND usually we’re about the only thing happening on Mondays (except for the Open Mike at Radio Bean, which I hear has improved lately).  And that was the point to begin with – to entice the few who DO want to go out on a Monday.  BUT this week we were up against 12 other clubs with bands – clubs which are usually silent (okay, there’s football on the TV) on Mondays.  They all knew the tourists were still in town, by golly!  So we had plenty competition, and plenty of people at home snoring.  Which reminds me, I’m still recuperating from Monday, and it’s Wednesday, and tomorrow I’m going out AS SOON AS I GET HOME FROM WORK by god, and seeing a band one block from where I live.  Hope they’re good.  I expect them to be.

Yes!  They were great!  The Wrong Numbers, and I'm seeing them again on Sunday somewhere else.

It is now Saturday night.  It’s 9:00 PM.  Glad I finally have a chance to stay home, stay off my feet, get to sleep at midnight – a real Saturday night…but that’s cause last night I had to go (directly after work – a 5 to 8 show on Church St., big street dance) cause I’d heard about this band, and had heard most of the band members at other times.  But I hadn’t heard This band.  This band was Josh Panda and the Hot Damned, and I think they’re the best band in town.  Wish I could join them, in a way, though I suppose I’d change the band – can you really just “join” something? 

Must approach everyone in the band, to invite them to the Monkey House next month - even if just to buy them a drink.  Wow.  I won’t try to describe it.  They were being thoroughly documented last night, camera guys creeping around the stage (too much) and with luck there’ll be plenty for all of us to see on Youtube soon.
Damn.  They are GOOD.
So then I got another late night, five hours sleep and work all day, then a few volunteer hours at another publicity project for Habitat for Humanity (long story) and that went fine; then I came home.  Hung around downstairs talking with a couple neighbors – it’s nice to have nice neighbors.  I told them about my plans to concede that we need to form a new tenants association, but that it should be funny, have few and very short meetings, and be the Association for South Street, so our acronym can be ASS.  They all liked that.  I’m not sure if BHA (Burlington Housing Authority) has the legal right to reject the name or acronym.  I think it’s just right.
I’m going to publish this before anything else happens!  That way I’ll have a blog entry for all my friends (and you too, if you’re not a friend).  Goodnight!