• Capital Sounds: Hot stuff at the Frostival
     | January 30,2013

    Our capital city is down a few venues these days, but rumors of the resurrection of some abound — though there is nothing solid I can confirm as of yet. There’s plenty going on in and around the city of the golden dome, however, and we gotcha’ covered right here. Read on:

    There was no organized “First Night” in the capital this year, and this weekend is why. Montpelier Alive, the city’s promotional organization, decided to instead host a winter festival this weekend, the Montpolar Frostival. Here’s hoping it’s successful after witnessing the deadest New Year’s Eve ever in the capital.

    The event centers mostly on family friendly outdoor activities, i.e. sledding, snowshoeing, fitness events, hot chocolate stations, etc. (essentially what we do on our own all winter in this region), but also includes some performance highlights. On Friday night, Lost Nation Theater in City Hall will host The Snow Ball, a “dance party” featuring the Montpelier Chamber Orchestra, the Vermont Fiddle Orchestra and Sideshow Bob, who apparently plays a range of covers from The Animals to ZZ Top, which at least some of us can probably manage to dance to (at least, better than to a chamber orchestra). The party starts at 8 p.m. and tickets are $15, or a bargain at $20 for two. I hope I’m wrong, but I don’t predict much of a draw for this as a dance party – just sayin.’

    Also on Friday night, the Contemporary Dance and Fitness Studio will host a jazz dance show with The Allison Mann Septet starting at 7:30. That one is for just a $10 suggested donation.

    And, speaking of dance, the art of movement is a cornerstone of the festival, with local dance divas Hanna Satterlee, Willow

    Wonder and Avi Waring working to collaboratively produce “Co-Lab 1: The People Gallery.” “Featuring dynamic choreography… this evening-length dance performance celebrates the beauty of being human and showcases the powerful results of working collectively. Inspired by concepts of evolution and perspective, this dance collage displays technical, intricate dancing, live musicians, layered soundscapes and the use of interactive videography.” Sounds like this could be one of the most interesting and artistically inspiring features of the weekend. The 7:30 p.m. Saturday night performance is $15, with tickets available at the

    Lost Nation Theater box office, or by calling 229-0492. The Sunday performance at 2 pm is open to the public with donations encouraged, with doors at 1 pm.

    Another highlight of the “Frostival,” which I noticed by perusing their schedule, is The Crew, a group of local teens that breakdance, and do it darn well. This is definitely something worth checking out at 4 pm on Saturday in City Center. Trust me that this one will be worth showing up for!

    As for nighttime live music, Charlie O’s has two nights of it coming up, tonight featuring local hip-hoppers Mr. Yee and Danny Bic.

    This should be a fun one for local hip hop fans starting at 10 p.m. Holla’ out to the back of the barroom!

    On Friday, O’s shifts gears when they host local honky-tonk stalwarts The Starline Rhythm Boys, playin’ it as authentic as it gets, also at 10 p.m. Then, on Saturday, O’s hosts its weekly request-friendly dance party with Blue Moon Entertainment starting at 10 p.m. Bring your good taste if you’re makin’ requests. As you know, there’s no cover at O’s, so tip your bartender.

    Positive Pie II also has two nights of music this weekend, starting Friday night with its First Friday Dance Party featuring D.J.s Bay

    Six and Jah B spinning techno, hip hop, R&B, funk, reggae and the like starting at 10:30 p.m. for no cover. Then, on Saturday, rising Burlington soul act The Zac DuPont Band takes the prominent Pie stage. The band has been much lauded in the bigger market of the Queen City, and is seeking to expand its range to get some capital city love. You can help ‘em out by showin’ up and getting down starting at 10:30 p.m. for $5 at the door.

    Down to the south in White River Junction, The Tupelo Music Hall continues its trend of bringing in legendary artists when it hosts

    British blues guitarist, singer and songwriter John Mayall on Saturday night. The dude has made a career of being a bandleader, having spawned the likes of Eric Clapton, Mick Taylor and Peter Green out of his ‘60s band, The Bluesbreakers, essentially serving as a “finishing school” for future guitar-god blues-rockers. Tickets for the 7 p.m. performance are $45 or “select a price” from the Tupelo Hall website at www.tupelohallvermont.com.

    Finally, if you want to catch a high-end show with a lot of promise, head on up to Stowe on Saturday night to The Spruce Peak

    Performing Arts Center to catch Lauren Fox performing “The Songs of Joni Mitchell and Leonard Cohen.” I would recommend this show based solely on the material of two of my favorite folk artists, but by all reviews, Ms. Fox does their music justice with particular aplomb, essentially weaving “songs by Joni Mitchell and by Leonard Cohen into a spellbinding his-and-hers dialogue.”

    Tickets range from $38 to $52, with family 4-purchase discounts. For those and more info, visit www.sprucepeakarts.org.

    That wraps up this week … enjoy the Frostival and go see live music!

    Ed DuFresne is the former talent coordinator at Langdon Street Café and The Black Door, occasionally produces concerts, and books at various venues in the area on a freelance basis. He lives in Montpelier with a lovely Polish anarchist and a human version of the Lorax.

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