I have to vent for a minute here. It seems like Vermont is stuck in this terrible weather pattern of mid-40s and clouds (well thunderstorms today). What is going on here? It's the end of April and it feels like late February. As soon as I gave up my boots and my winter coat on one 55 degree day, they were back on the next because I like to take a nice long walk on my lunch hour and not freeze.
Last Saturday was no exception to this absurd weather pattern. April 16 (aka the day that everything good in the state seemed to be happening) was an attempt at the start of music outside. I purchased my tickets to UVM's annual SpringFest weeks ago, crossing my fingers for a sunny day above 50 degrees. This April 16 was neither of those things. Just barely pushing 40 degrees, with fierce wind gusts and a terrain that was like a soaked sponge due to rainfall and a record amount of snowfall pushed SpringFest off the green and in to Patrick Gym. Bummer, but at least I was going to get to see the Roots and Theivery Corporation. SpringFest was due to start at noon with three openers before the headliners, so we took our time and arrived at 2pm hoping to catch at least one of the openers. What we found was a pretty empty gym with some rowdy college kids tossing around SpringFest branded beach balls. Hmmm where was the music? About 40 minutes of waiting later with still no music, we discovered Patrick Gym had no power which meant...no music. The last opener, Brothers McCann, tried to ease the crowd by doing some acapella stuff with a drum kit, sax and a tambourine. I applaud them for the attempt but almost an hour in with no (amplified) music, we left to go have a drink at a local chain restaurant. Fast foward an hour later, the power turned on right as we walked in. Like literally, as we walked in the door. Our string of luck for the day started here. Brothers McCann were allowed to come on and do some legit performing - and all I can say is what a difference when they were plugged in. They went from almost high school recital sounding to a perfectly rendered, beautifully harmozied, jam-band version of Mumford & Sons. You can check them out here, glad I caught a few songs from them.
Next up, Thievery Corporation DJ set. A quick disclaimer; I LOVE Thievery Corporation. I have seen their live act 3 times, always with an on-stage posse of 20+. This was a DJ set, so I knew it would be different, but I was a bit disappointed. The switched off, El Jefe spinning Thievery-esque instrumental stuff and Eric spinning mostly reggae. The transitions between tracks were not that good, and there was little to no performance value. Just one guy walking around while the other one spun and bobbed their head, no microphone. AND I missed the sitar. But I still love Thievery.
The Roots put on one of their classic lively shows, almost freezing the whole act multiple times and starting back up perfectly synchronized, like pressing pause and then play on a tape deck (or iPod). Oh, that sousaphone...I didn't really understand why they did a bunch of "americana rock-and-roll" cover songs, they have a ton of material to work with. But they were really good, as expected.
At 7:30 we departed Patrick Gym, just enough time to go home and eat a combination of left-overs for dinner and back to Burlington for, what I consider, the better part of the day : ?uestlove DJ set with Lazerdisk Party Sex and Philly Slick at Nectars. We parked nearby and just barely made it in to Nectars to catch about 15 min of the first opener, Philadelphia Slick. Philadelphia is a good, funky hip hop crew who are way too underestimated. Hardly anyone was there for their set at a sold out show. They kept it lively, threw out some t-shirts and cleared the stage. Noah's friend Joe happened to be bartending, which got us little to no cost drinks for a few rounds. Lucky lucky day. Lazerdisk Party Sex was next. They had me at storm trooper masks. Not only do they have fun, synthy, mixes including "Lemonade is Still Popular" (the vocal sample was 'lemonade was a popular drink....and it still is...pop...pop...pop...pop...Bruce Willis' HILARIOUS and totally danceable) and "Tigerblood" (you guessed it snippits of Charlie Sheen rants), but they are really good performers; jumping up and down and making hand motions to get the crowd going. Dressed in suits with a tie and bow tie, and of course the storm trooper masks. Fun fun fun. Oh, and they are originally from Burlington, awesome. Here are some photos from the show below:
As well as the two aforementioned tracks:
Tiger Blood by LAZERDISK PARTY SEX
Lemonade is Still Popular by LAZERDISK PARTY SEX
So, mid-Lazerdisk set I'm standing watching in excitement while Noah runs outside for a minute. Someone comes up and stands right next to me. I'm having a good time, I look over and did an instant double take. In all his awesomness and brown cord jacket glory, stands El Jefe (Rob Garza) of Thievery Corporation. I froze, and got on the iPhone and started a text to Noah: "I'm standing next to El Jefe..." as soon as I get done with the last "e" in Jefe, Noah comes back. I whisper "look to my left". He's looking around and finally spots El Jefe (who was maybe two feet from me) and goes right in for a handshake and a compliment about the great set today. Noah buys El Jefe a Corona and us another round of drinks, and I'm still close lipped and starstruck while he goes on about how we've seen Thievery 3 times in the last year. I couldn't believe it, the whole night I was just in awe. I never meet musicians, or anyone famous!
The night got more awesome still, if that was possible. ?uestlove came on and did almost a 3 hour DJ set of hip-hop history (or what I call ?uestlove unconvers the sample). He seeks out the sample of a track, plays the sample, then somehow transitions into the hip-hop track completely seamless. It was truly amazing, every minute of it. The show was totally worth the $20 just for that set, but I happened to get 1 1/2 more sets included in the ticket price.
More spring music tonight with Bassnectar and EOTO. I'm trying to prep my ears. This weekend will be crazy - I took Thursday and Friday off which will be spent putting up moulding and transition strips and preparing to have Noah's family up for Easter. Landon wants the Easter Bunny to bring him new movies (mommy plans on the Easter Bunny bringing some fun outdoor toys). We'll see what happens.
New music obsessions - Miami Horror. A perfect combo between chillwave and disco, I can already hear their album Illumination being the soundtrack to my summer. Check out my favorite tracks below:
Holidays by Miami Horror (Official)
Sometimes by Miami Horror (Official)
Looking forward to album releases from Digitalism and Justice. Check out the new singles :
2 Hearts by digitalism_official
Justice - Civilization by WATM Magazine
Ok sorry, this was a long post. But thanks for reading!