I still remember the shock when I saw the email. Homer flynn of the management and public relations firm on Cryptic Society wanted to talk to me about the Residents. The whore Residents. The representative of rock and roll’s most mysterious group, notoriously unfavorable to interviews during its 49 years of existence, emailed me to talk about the band’s show scheduled for August 30 at Higher Ground.
In fact, I lost sleep in the days leading up to the phone interview, I was so nervous. What if this was an elaborate farce against the press, and the group was just trolling a journalist? Then I realized how awesome it would be to get pranked by the residents, and I had really excited.
Despite all my apprehension, the interview was pretty normal. I spoke with Flynn, who nicely claimed he wasn’t a member of the band – although he did the Clark Kent / Superman thing a few times, often swapping “they” and “us” when he did. was talking about the group he’s probably been around for decades. And as we got into the resident mythology, we largely had a very sad human conversation about the chances of the show actually happening in light of the surge in Delta variant COVID-19 cases.
“The main income of the Residents was previously [from] sell the physical copies of the music they made, ”Flynn said. “This model is dead, of course. Bands have to rotate to generate income, so it’s important that the band get back on the road to make money and fund art. ”
Listening to our taped conversation, I could hear the note of terror creep into Flynn’s voice as he spoke about the tour.
“I just hope… well, I just hope that happens,” he said.
Well, it is not. The show was canceled earlier this month. A statement on the group’s website read: “The disappointment is real. And the Covid pandemic ravaging our culture is real. And the joy that an artist or musician brings to their supporters is also real, but the apprehension one feels when that excitement is replaced by anxiety and terror. Disappointment is a bitter pill and residents share the grief that accompanies the acrid sip … ”
The punchy announcement kicked off a week of COVID-19 news in music.
First, last Thursday, Burlington’s Radio Bean announced that guests must show proof of vaccination to enter. Higher Ground followed suit a day later, as did the Vermont Comedy Club. Swan Dojo and Zen Barn weren’t far behind, and suddenly a good chunk of local music and indoor entertainment venues adopted the policy.
As I scrambled to email every venue I could think of, Live Nation Entertainment, the nation’s largest concert promoter and ticketing company, announced its own proof of vaccination requirement on Sunday.
In a comment to Rolling stone, President and CEO of Live Nation Michel rapino said: “Vaccines will be your return ticket to the shows, and from October 4th we will follow the model we have developed for Lollapalooza and demand it for artists, fans and employees of venues and festivals. Live Nation across the United States. ”
Notice that “possible” part? This is because some states are trying to make the requirement for vaccination protocols illegal. Twenty states, in fact, each with a Republican governor. The Texas Alcoholic Beverage Commission has the power to revoke the liquor licenses of businesses in that state that require proof of vaccination, such as nightclubs and concert halls.
Anyone with a social media account can tell you that there are people out there who don’t support immunization efforts. If you’re feeling brave or masochistic, check out the comments on Seven days social media from my blog posts on the new Radio Bean and Higher Ground protocols.
One issue that some sites I have contacted have unofficially raised is: why are sites requiring proof of vaccination? How are they supposed to apply the policy? One club promoter noted that vaccination cards are easily tampered with – although the Canadian Border Patrol seems to be all over the place, as a few less than clever American tourists recently discovered. Admittedly, nightclubs do not have the same resources as the border patrol. Another club owner expressed concern for the door staff and their safety.
Senior Field Marketing Director Amy Sauvage isn’t too concerned with implementing the process, however.
“We have a plan in place to enforce the new policy which aims to keep it as simple as possible,” she wrote in an email, adding that the response to the policy has been “overwhelmingly favorable.”
Some clubs, such as Nectar’s and Monkey House, are sticking to federal guidelines but will let artists dictate vaccination policies during their concerts.
“If any of the artists performing in our venues ask their audience for proof of vaccination, we will certainly make it easier for them,” said the co-owner and managing partner of Nectar. Christmas Donnellan.
I have yet to hear from local musicians who do not support the requirement for proof of vaccination during performances. Those who disagree may be worried about the community’s return, so it’s no surprise that they don’t answer my questions. I’m not trying to get anyone to cancel, unless your idiot was involved in, you know, an insurgency on the United States Capitol in January.
But the truth is, I have a horse in this race. I have played concerts in this city for years. Now my job is to write about going to shows. I am the furthest thing from impartiality when it comes to this subject. Then…
Do you like to see live music? Then get yourself vaccinated. If you really can’t medically, stay masked and get tested regularly if you plan to attend public events. For those who prefer to quote YouTube videos or mental giants such as Joe rogan and Rand Paul, Good luck to you. I’ll be at the rock show.
Let’s move on to a less controversial issue: the battle of the Citizen Cider Bands!
On Saturday, I had the honor of being one of three judges at the annual event at the Pine Street Cider House in Burlington. Me, with other musicians / stage bums Luke Awtry and Urian hackney, sat in the very important Judging Chairs to decide which of the five competing groups would win and become the Citizen Cider 2021 house group.
As for the bands, to quote the event coordinator Citizen Cider and local rock legend Matt perry, “What crop! “(Full disclosure: Perry stars in Dino Bravo, which features a guitarist with my name, who is me. Is this a conflict of interest? Nobody knows. Do not worry.)
The first were Brit Kane & Co. Playing one of their first concerts, the bluesy band did well. However, a list of all the covers did not excite the judges and crucial points were tied up.
the Jesse Taylor Group then hopped onto the loading dock / stage and delivered an eye-catching high-energy indie rock ensemble. JTB is a known quantity, but they surprised us with new songs and rock solid dynamics, which shows how hard the band has worked over the past year or so.
Despite the fact that Hackney and Awtry were wearing shorts, JTB was fiercely attacked and secured points for the number of shorts worn on stage. Do I also have anchor points for short films on stage and single bassist Ian greenman for his Knicks jersey and flip flops? Yes, yes, I did. For one thing, I was the only judge wearing pants in 80 degree heat, so I was cranky. Second, it was a Amar’e Stoudamire jersey, which is just bad luck and could have caused Greenman’s ACL to explode. I was doing her a favor.
the Shake were next. It’s a new group but with familiar faces including singer-songwriter and keyboardist Glass of Joshua. The Shake impressed with a radio-adapted set mixing 70s-style arena rock and more blues-influenced stuff. But between a few slower moments and a resumption of Cheap tip“Surrender” from “Surrender” which just didn’t rock enough, they lost some vital points. The Shake is a group to watch, however.
Rites of the shore were the biggest mystery of the day. Dressed as three pals on their way to a bachelor party at the beach, the group took to the stage scratching their heads. But once he’s triggered a Foals-meets-Dick dale sound, things got serious. Of all the bands, Shore Rites had the boldest sound to my ears, and I scored them high enough to win. Sadly, one of their songs featured a harmonica solo and Awtry went off. I support my friend in this matter, even though I was cool with the harmonica.
Merry Spangler, which present Seven days‘ Michael bradshaw on drums, ended the festivities with indie rock that kills. I’m always ready to see them play, and they more than held up, finishing second overall.
But in the end, the judges ruled that no one could beat the sound and stage presence of the Jesse Taylor Band, the shorts be damned. The crowns (literal) therefore went to the new group of four musicians Citizen Cider. Congratulation!
Francesca Blanchard released a new single this Friday August 20th. Blanchard says the song, titled “Loon Song”, is a “slight summer bop on hearing the call for hope”.
Burlington-based singer-songwriter could do what she did with her latest record, 2020 Do it better, by releasing several singles before recording, or it could be just a single for fun. We will have to wait and see.
You can listen to the track a day earlier on Thursday August 19 on atwoodmagazine.com. Blanchard shares the bill with independent rockers Smart girls at Backside 405 in Burlington on Friday August 27.