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Thursday, January 05, 2006

Indie Rock?

I must admit that Central Vermont is fortunate to have served as a stop on tours for many sizeable music acts. I was fortunate enough to catch Bright Eyes, M Ward, Superwolf, Coco Rosie, the Pernice Brothers, and a few other indie acts at the Higher Ground Music Hall in 2005 after it relocated to South Burlington from Winooski.

But their winter schedule has so far been nearly empty of any type of indie rock; instead filled with the likes of RAQ, Strangefolk, and Addison Groove Project. I understand that Vermont has a reputation, and that one is most likely to find similar jammy sounds playing in the local smoke filled dorm rooms, but I believe that the palate of Central Vermonters is larger then this.

This line of reasoning (however selfish) prompted me to contact the owner of Higher Ground in search for an answer. Alex Crothers explained that brining indie rock to Burlington/Higher Ground is a chicken and egg game. Past indie shows have been lightly attended and have resulted in Burlington being seen as a soft indie rock market. Without the actual support for indie shows, they have no option but to book for the masses (hence another Antibalas Afrobeat Orchestra show).

I guess I didn't need Alex to explain this to me, but the exercise was worth the opportunity to express to him that the indie market isn't dead, even though ticket sales are down. If we are going to get more indie shows in Burlington, we need to have folks coming out en masse to support the bands that are convinced to play Burlington.

A few opportunities are on the horizon:
January 25 - OK Go - Higher Ground, $10/12
January 26 - The Walkmen w/Mazarin & Lobot - Higher Ground, $10/12
February 8 - Aimee Mann w/ Chuck Prophet - Higher Ground, $25/27 (not necessarily indie, but worth mentioning)

I look forward to seeing folks at these shows. We'll see if we can change things. In the meantime, here are a bunch of shows for those willing to drive north of the boarder:
January 12 - Akron/Family w/ Timber - La Sala Rossa
January 17 - Feist - Spectrum De Montreal
February 1 - Low w/ His Name is Alive & Death Vessel - La Sala Rossa
February 7 - Supergrass - La Tulipe
February 22 - Animal Collective w/ Barr - La Sala Rossa
March 1 - Metric - Metropolis
March 10 - Nada Surf w/ Rogue Wave & Inara George- Cabaret Music Hall
March 15 - Stereolab - La Tulipe

The Walkmen - Little House of Savages.mp3
Death Vessel - Deep in the Horchata.mp3


  • At 12:37 AM, Blogger Tmoore said…

    great post, i'm totally w/ you on this, i had to spend two whole hours getting jan-april HG tickets ready to sell @ pure pop the other day and there wasn't ONE SINGLE decent show in the whole lot. I wanna find Alex and kick him in the nuts. utter HS. i'm so in montreal for Akron and low.


  • At 10:01 AM, Blogger Flatlander said…

    I'm up for that Low show too. I saw them a long time ago in NYC with Dirty Three and it was a great show. Plus, with the nice sound systems and quiet audiences in Montreal, it'll be a nice place to see the show.

  • At 6:43 PM, Anonymous Sarah said…

    Thanks for the heads-up! I admit I'm more of a hippie/jam/groovster when it comes to live shows, as I think the improvisational music lends itself to a more interesting live performance. However I'm big fan of Amie Mann's and have been wanting to check out OK Go since I bought a compilation that included one of their tunes. I've also been looking for an excuse to check out Higher Ground. One question for those of you who have lived in the area longer - is it worth the extra fee that HG charges to purchase tickets online (even for WillCall) or should I just pay the door price and hope the extra $2 goes to the band?

  • At 4:02 PM, Blogger K. said…

    Feist, Stereo Lab, and Animal Collective in Montreal sounds promising! I might have to make a trip north!

    Hmm sorry no idea why I am shouting right now.

  • At 10:50 PM, Blogger Flatlander said…

    Hey. I just noticed that Apollo Sunshine is opening up for OK Go. I'd go to just see them.

    Plus, I had initially missed that Mazarin is opening for The Walkmen. I stumbled upon them on a blog recently and they aren't bad.

    Unfortunately, those two shows are on back-to-back nights. Regardless, the HG calendar just looked a little beter to me.

  • At 10:58 AM, Blogger jds said…

    tmoore - I might make the Low show. Let me know how Akron is.

    sarah - Higher Ground is a really great venue. Thankfully it's two places in one - one for more intimate acts, the other for the big shows. Not so sure about the $2 fee for online. I tend to get my tickets at the box office.

    k - Curious to see how Feist does in such a large venue as the headliner. I'm very interested in Stereolab, even though I'm afraid that they are past their prime. One of my top three all time shows was Stereolab at the Cat's Cradle in Carrboro, NC back in '97 while they were supporting Dots and Loops. Truly amazing show, plus I was there rocking a sweet Tennessee Waterfall.

    Flatlander - I too have to choose one night at the HG. It sucks for them that the only indie in at least two months is happening on back to back weekday nights.

  • At 12:45 PM, Blogger Nick said…

    Just added a few more shows to the list for the HG schedule

    Clap Your Hands Say Yeah in April
    The Books in May

    hopefully some folks will come out for these!

  • At 6:44 PM, Anonymous joe r said…

    Yeah, I certainly agree we're very short on worthy shows to hit this season. Might make it out to The Walkmen, but as much as I love OK Go, I saw them both times (or was it three?) they came to HG last year and am just not up for back-to-back shows, so I'm gonna have to go with the band I've yet to see.

    Definitely going to Montreal for the B&S/New Pornos!


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