Bradley’s Almanac

[30 Years Ago Today] Sub Pop’s Vermonstress Fest

Posted on October 10, 2022 at 12:45 pm | 5 Comments



A few weeks back, sporting a Pond t-shirt while watching the re-kindled Come play a blistering set at the venerable Middle East Upstairs, with Buffalo Tom‘s Bill Janovitz in the sold-out crowd off to my right and Green Magnet School‘s Chris Pearson somewhere behind me, I had a stray thought: “Well, this is certainly a very Vermonstress evening.” The first time I’d ever seen all four of those bands play was at the absolutely-stacked 2-day Sub Pop Vermonstress Festival in my relatively small hometown of Burlington, Vermont. My second thought: “Wait, that was October ’92… it’s now 2022. Whoa, the 30 year anniversary is comin’ right up.” So here we are.

After Come left the Middle East stage that night, I mentioned the impending anniversary date to longtime WMBR DJ Jon Bernhardt (who was also at the VT fest, at least a decade before we’d actually meet), and remarked that I should probably do some kind of anniversary post. I recalled a previous post at the 20-year mark when I’d shared the fest’s soundboard recordings, and lamented the absence of the Buffalo Tom set, which was on a cassette that had long ago disappeared. Cue Jon: “Y’know, I think I may have those original recordings somewhere on a server.” And he did!

So today, on the three-decade anniversary of that fabled Sub Pop Records fest, I not only rectify the glaring Buffalo Tom omission, but also add the band that was on the other side of that lost tape: The World According To Steve, teenagers from Bennington, VT who were invited by Sub Pop to represent the host state. Also missing from that original share, but only because I didn’t think their set was even recorded: First day openers Gravel. Turns out that was partly true… just a few songs from their performance were captured, so I’ve added them here.

I’ve taken this opportunity to use Jon’s files, which were sourced from the original DATs, to vastly improve the sound quality of some select sets, and re-encoded all the MP3s as larger files at a higher bitrate (remember when server space was pricey?). Those new files also allowed me to reconstruct the exact playing order of the weekend, unearth a few songs that were missing from the cassette dubs, and tweak some details on a few setlists. And there are so many more older releases on both Bandcamp and Spotify than there were a decade ago that I was even able to finally identify all the HP Zinker song names. As a stickler for details, that’s always nagged at me a bit.

It may be hyperbolic to say that weekend changed my life, but it certainly had a butterfly effect on my future. I not only became a lifelong fan of a handful of incredible bands, but met some genuinely great people I’m still in touch with, and was in the room with others I’d eventually call friends. The event even inspired my pal Colin and I to start our own derivatively-named yearly indie music fest, during which I’d solidify relationships that eventually led to my move to Boston. I could go on, but yeah… it was a pretty big deal in my personal world, and it’s been a blast re-listening to these sets while editing over the past couple weeks. Psyched to be able to shine a light on them again. Enjoy…
Download all 157 live MP3s here: Vermonstress ZIP file

Sub Pop’s Vermonstress Festival


Day 1
Saturday, October 10th, 1992
at Club Metronome, Burlington, Vermont
afternoon show…
01. Sand In My Eyes (fades in)
02. Halfway
03. Over The Edge
01. Realize
02. Jr.
03. Barely Real
04. Cave-In
05. Hard to Find
06. D
07. Broken-Hearted Wine
Beat Happening
01. Tiger Trap
02. Teenage Caveman
03. Sleepyhead
04. Dreamy
05. banter
06. Red Head Walking
07. Other Side
08. Revolution Come and Gone
09. Nancy Sin
10. Noise
11. Godsend
12. Left Behind
13. Cry For A Shadow
14. Me Untamed
15. Crashing Through
16. You Turn Me On
evening show…
01. Confection
02. Eyes Are Bruised
03. Railhead
04. Light
05. Prisoner
06. The Charley Horses
07. EJ
08. God-Fearing Shareholders of the World
01. Grinned
02. Young Splendor
03. Perfect Four
04. Wheel
05. Pretty Thing (Bo Diddley cover)
06. Spots
07. Agatha / Filler
Velocity Girl
01. Even Die
02. 57 Waltz
03. Copacetic
04. Pretty Sister
05. Stupid Thing
06. Warm/Crawl
07. My Forgotten Favorite
08. Creepy
09. Crazy Town
Drop Nineteens
01. Delaware
02. Mayfield
03. Winona
04. Astral
05. Happen
06. My Aquarium
07. Reberrymemberer
08. Angel (Madonna cover)
01. Dead Molly
02. William
03. Submerge
04. Last Mistake
05. Fast Piss Blues
06. Bell
07. Car
08. S.V.K.


Sub Pop’s Vermonstress Festival

Day 2
Sunday, October 11th, 1992
at Club Metronome, Burlington, Vermont
afternoon show…
The World According To Steve
01. Spur of the Moment Song
02. Grey Eyes
03. Manufactured World
04. Here and Back
05. Beauty and Pain
06. Happy Hour
07. TWATS Theme
08. War Dreams
09. Funky
H.P. Zinker
01. Desperate Moves
02. A Million Sparks Are Riding In My Mind
03. Reason
04. Trapped
05. Our Precious Love
06. The Breed
07. Mirror
08. Sometimes I Just Don’t Feel Like Talking
09. Warzone City
10. Mysterious Girl
Eric’s Trip
01. Kiss Me Baby / Smother
02. Listen
03. Haze
04. Belong
05. Happens All The Time
06. Float
07. Belly
08. My Chest Is Empty (part 2)
09. Blinded
10. Bring Down the Rain
11. Easier Last Time
12. Open Your Heart (Madonna cover)
Green Magnet School
01. Sonic Exterminator
02. Noxin
03. Barmecide Room
04. Don’t Cry (Neil Young cover)
05. Singed
06. 12 Gauge
07. Penance
evening show…
01. Sleepover
02. Lucky For Me
03. Shame Shame
04. Ill-Placed Trust
05. Underwhelmed
06. Amped
07. Take It In
08. Marcus Said
09. Pretty Voice
10. Rag Doll
Six Finger Satellite
01. Sex Transistor
02. Niponese National Anthem
03. Laughing Larry
04. Polish the Shine (Satchmo)
05. Home for the Holy Day
06. Crippled Monster Bearing Malice
Sub Pop says “Thanks!”
Chris Harford & the First Rays of the New Rising Sun
01. Swinging Bridge
02. Raise the Roof
03. Looking For Light
04. Road With You
05. If You Forget Me
06. Pop Life (Prince cover)
07. You Brains
08. The Living End
09. Sing, Breathe, and Be Merry
Giant Sand
01. Neon Filler
02. Sage Advice
03. Wearing the Robes of Bible Black
04. Solomon’s Ride
05. Stuck
06. Unwed and Well Sped
Barbara Manning
01. Never Park
02. Breathe Lies
03. Someone Wants You Dead
04. Don’t Rewind
05. Winter Song
06. Green
07. On On and One
08. Smoking Her Wings (The Bats cover)
09. Lock Yer Room
10. Scissors
Buffalo Tom
01. Walk Away
02. Staples
03. Enemy
04. Darl
05. Taillights Fade
06. Velvet Roof
07. Mineral
08. Sunflower Suit
09. I’m Not There
10. Bleeding Heart
11. Birdbrain


“um, thanks for coming, it’s 2 o’clock…
they gotta close… so it’s done.
c’mon, 18 bands, 36 hours…
you’ve had enough rock.”

– the final words from the Metronome stage,
spoken by WMBR DJ/Vermonstress emcee David Greene,
during unending encore applause at the 2am curfew
on Monday, October 12th, 2022


[Vinyl Giveaway] The Loyal Seas are Tanya Donelly & Brian Sullivan

Posted on May 26, 2022 at 1:17 pm | No Comments

Last Friday gratefully brought us “Strange Mornings In The Garden”, the long-awaited and absolutely wonderful debut full-length from bi-coastal duo The Loyal Seas. Longtime friends & collaborators Tanya Donelly (Throwing Muses, Belly, Breeders, duh) & Brian Sullivan (Dylan in the Movies) teased us with a first taste back in December 2000, when CT-based label American Laundromat released a limited edition (and very quickly sold out) 7-inch that featured the LP’s eventual title track with b-side “Last Of The Great Machines“. Both can be found among the ten beautiful songs that make up the new record, and I’m fortunate enough to have a signed copy (including a digital download) to hand out to a random reader.
(* cat not included)

For a chance to snag it (if you’re a U.S. resident), just drop an email to giveaways [at] bradleysalmanac [dot] com with the subject line “Vinyl Seas” before midnight this coming Monday, May 30th. I’ll pick a random recipient Tuesday morning and reach out for your mailing address. UPDATE 5/31: Congrats to winner Jesse from LA!

  • The “Strange Mornings In The Garden” track list…

    1. (So Far From) Silverlake
    2. Strange Mornings In The Garden
    3. Early Light
    4. Driving With A Ghost
    5. Mary Magdalene In The Great Sky
    6. Come Around Again
    7. Milkweed
    8. Last Of The Great Machines
    9. You, Me, And The Sea
    10. Swimmers In The Gold

  • Order up your own copy over at ALR, where you can choose from a wide variety of formats (I went for the “Sunburst Splatter Vinyl”, and it looks so damn spiffy spinnin’ on my turntable).

  • Two details that make this record even better: It was pressed at the Burlington Record Plant (hometown represent!) and was distinctively designed by Nicole at Daykamp. Soundin’ good, lookin’ good.

  • Listen to the duo’s very first joint interview over on the How Did I Get Here? podcast, which marked the arrival of that 7-inch back in December, 2020. For more current pieces, check out last month’s interview with Erika Wolf over at Albumism, or a chat with Tanya on a recent episode of the Trading Fours podcast.

  • Some Loyal Seas audio & video action…

    (So Far from) Silverlake

    Swimmers In The Gold

    Strange Mornings In The Garden

  • The Loyal Seas will play two sold-out record release shows in the beloved Burren back room in Somerville on Saturday, June 25th. Beyond that? Fingers crossed for more. Update! They’ve added an August 6th show at City Winery Boston, and tickets are now on sale.

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  • Handy links

    Thursday, February 2nd
    Jennifer O'Connor
    Chris Brokaw
    @ Atwood's Tavern

    Thursday, February 2nd
    The Charlatans
    @ Big Night Live

    Friday, February 3rd
    Patty Griffin
    Raul Malo
    @ the Wilbur

    Saturday, February 4th
    Dyr Faser
    Tequila Sirens
    Van Chamberlain
    @ the Loft, Somerville

    Saturday, February 4th
    Black Helicopter
    @ the Midway Cafe

    Sunday, February 5th
    Major Stars
    Soft Fangs
    @ O'Brien's
    Saturday, February 11th
    Kiwi Jr.
    @ the Lilypad

    Saturday, February 11th
    Maggie Rogers
    Del Water Gap
    @ Roadrunner

    Tuesday, February 14th
    @ MGM Music Hall
    Tuesday, February 21st
    The EARFULL Series
    with authors
    Douglas Bauer & Laura Zigman
    and musicians
    Colleen Green & Positively Daves
    (featuring the Daves from 0 Positive)
    @ the Burren

    Friday, February 24th
    Waiver Wire
    Early Exit
    Paper Tigers
    Indoor Friends
    @ the Jungle

    Friday, February 24th
    Walter Schreifels
    (Of Quicksand, Rival Schools, etc)
    Kevin Rheault
    DJ Dookie
    @ Zuzu

    Friday, February 24th
    The City Gates
    The Spearmint Sea
    @ O'Brien's

    Friday, February 24th
    Elle King
    Red Clay Strays
    @ Roadrunner

    Saturday, February 25th
    Topsy (Hannah from "And the Kids")
    Children of the Flaming Wheel
    @ the Loft, Somerville

    Saturday, February 25th
    Gramercy Arms
    (featuring Dave Derby
    of the Dambuilders)
    @ the Midway Cafe

    Sunday, February 26th
    Future Teens
    Shallow Pools
    @ the Sinclair

    Sunday, February 26th
    Kula Shaker
    @ Brighton Music Hall

    Monday & Tuesday
    February 27th & 28th
    The Beths
    Sidney Gish
    Hans Pucket
    @ the Sinclair

    Friday, March 3rd
    Pile (LP release)
    @ the Somerville Armory

    Friday, March 3rd
    Arctic Monkeys
    Fontaines DC
    @ the Garden

    Friday, March 3rd
    The "Remain In Light" Tour
    with Jerry Harrison
    & Adrian Belew
    @ House of Blues

    Saturday, March 4th
    Puppy Problems
    @ O'Brien's

    Saturday, March 4th
    Constant Smiles
    @ the Lilypad

    Sunday, March 5th
    Weyes Blood
    @ the Royale

    Tuesday, March 7th
    Clan of Xymox
    @ Crystal Ballroom

    Tuesday, March 7th
    @ The Rockwell

    Tuesday, March 7th
    Elvis Costello &
    the Imposters
    @ the Cabot, Beverly

    Friday, March 10th
    The Sheila Divine
    Tugboat Annie
    Vic Firecracker
    @ the Paradise

    Sunday, March 12th
    Pale Dīan
    Storax Sedan
    @ O'Brien's

    Tuesday, March 14th
    Bat Fangs
    @ the Sinclair

    Thursday, March 16th
    Bruce McCullouch
    of the Kids in the Hall
    @ the Wilbur

    Friday, March 17th
    @ Roadrunner

    Saturday, March 18th
    Hallelujah the Hills
    @ Atwood's

    Sunday, March 19th
    White Reaper
    @ the Royale

    Monday, March 20th
    Bruce Springsteen
    & the E Street Band
    @ TD Garden

    Saturday, March 25th
    Bird Streets (duo show)
    @ the Village Social Club
    inside Garrison House, Brookline

    Tuesday, March 28th
    Sunset Rubdown
    @ the Crystal Ballroom

    Tuesday, March 28th
    The Residents
    @ the Sinclair

    Thursday, March 30th
    The Murder Capital
    @ the Sinclair

    Friday, March 31st
    The Church
    @ the Sinclair

    Friday, March 31st
    Jukebox The Ghost
    @ the Royale

    Sunday, April 2nd
    Robyn Hitchcock
    Kelley Stoltz
    @ City Winery

    Monday, April 3rd
    Kate Bollinger
    @ the House of Blues

    Thursday, April 6th
    Rick Berlin w/Orchestra Luna,
    Berlin Airlift, & Nickel & Dime Band,
    with guests The Sheila Divine,
    Hallelujah the Hills, & Nervous Eaters
    @ Brighton Music Hall

    Thursday, April 6th
    Caroline Rose
    @ the Sinclair

    Saturday, April 8th
    Sleaford Mods
    @ the Paradise

    Saturday, April 8th
    Emma Ruth Rundle
    @ Crystal Ballroom

    Sunday, April 9th
    Bikini Kill
    @ Roadrunner

    Thursday, April 13th
    Andrew Bird
    @ MGM Music Hall

    Friday, April 14th
    U.S. Girls
    Jane Inc.
    @ the Sinclair

    Friday, April 14th
    @ the Paradise

    Friday, April 15th
    Sidewalk Driver
    Stars Like Ours
    Aaron and the Lord
    @ Crystal Ballroom

    Sunday, April 16th
    Peter Case
    Ben de la Cour
    @ Atwood's Tavern

    Sunday, April 16th
    Dead Can Dance
    @ the Wang

    Wednesday, April 19th
    @ Brighton Music Hall

    Thursday, April 20th
    Black Flag
    @ the Middle East Downstairs

    Friday, April 21st
    The Feelies
    @ the Sinclair

    Friday, April 21st
    Fruit Bats
    @ the Royale

    Saturday, April 22nd
    Elliot Lee
    @ the Royale

    Saturday, April 22nd
    Unknown Mortal Orchestra
    @ Roadrunner

    Sunday, April 23rd
    @ Roadrunner

    Tuesday & Wednesday
    April 25th & 26th
    Built to Spill
    @ the Sinclair

    Wednesday, April 26th
    Andy Shauf
    @ the Royale
    Friday & Saturday
    April 28th & 29th
    The Town & the City Festival
    with so many artists, including...
    Buffalo Tom, Ted Leo, John Doe Trio,
    Vapors of Morphine, Rhett Miller,
    Pile, Dave Herlihy (O Positive),
    Robin Lane, Justine & the Unclean,
    and many, many more
    @ lots of walkable Lowell, MA venues

    Saturday, April 29th
    @ Roadrunner

    Sunday, April 30th
    Deap Vally
    @ Roadrunner

    Monday, May 1st
    Pedro The Lion
    "It's Hard To Find A Friend"
    and "Control" in full
    @ the Sinclair

    Friday, May 5th
    Fever Ray
    @ Roadrunner

    Saturday, May 6th
    Nova Twins
    @ Roadrunner

    Saturday, May 6th
    David Cross
    Sean Patton
    @ the Wilbur

    Sunday, May 7th
    Goth Babe
    Yoke Lore
    @ Roadrunner

    Wednesday, May 10th
    Natalie Merchant
    @ the Emerson Colonial

    Thursday, May 11th
    @ the Sinclair

    Thursday, May 11th
    Graham Nash
    @ the Cabot, Beverly

    Monday, May 15th
    The New Pornographers
    Wild Pink
    @ the Royale

    Thursday, May 18th
    The Pernice Brothers
    perform "Overcome By Happiness"
    (with a string section!)
    @ the Crystal Ballroom

    Friday, Saturday, & Sunday
    May 19th, 20th, & 21st
    Taylor Swift
    Phoebe Bridgers
    @ Gillette Stadium

    Sunday, May 21st
    Blink 182
    @ the Garden

    Tuesday, May 30th
    Crowded House
    @ the Wang

    Wednesday, May 31th
    Fenne Lily
    Christian Lee Hutson
    @ the Sinclair

    Friday, June 2nd
    Bruce Cockburn
    @ the Cabot, Beverly

    Thursday, June 8th
    Franz Ferdinand
    @ MGM Music Hall

    Saturday, June 10th
    Bryan Adams
    Joan Jett & the Blackhearts
    @ TD Garden

    Friday, June 16th
    Steve Lacy
    James Blake
    Toro y Moi
    @ the Stage @ Suffolk Downs

    Saturday, June 17th
    LCD Soundsystem
    Jamie xx
    @ the Stage @ Suffolk Downs

    Sunday, June 18th
    Bartees Strange
    @ the Stage @ Suffolk Downs

    Wednesday, June 21st
    @ the Sinclair

    Saturday, July 1st
    @ the Wilbur

    Sunday, July 16th
    First Aid Kit
    The Weather Station
    @ Roadrunner

    Monday & Tuesday
    July 24th & 25th
    Le Tigre
    @ the Royale

    Saturday, August 5th
    @ Xfinity Center
    Friday, August 11th
    Glen Hansard &
    Marketa Irglova
    (of the Swell Season)
    @ the Wang

    Saturday & Sunday
    August 19th & 20th
    In Between Days Festival
    Modest Mouse, Lord Huron, Metric,
    Trampled By Turtles, Sunny Day Real
    Estate, Cautious Clay, Yoke Lore,
    Blitzen Trapper, Allison Ponthier,
    Illiterate Light, Slothrust,
    Miko Marks, Weakened Friends,
    shallow pools, Kat Wright,
    Fantastic Cat, Dwight & Nicole,
    Paper Tigers, Dutch Tulips,
    Carissa Johnson, Mint Green,
    Gypsy Moths, & Sweet Petunia
    @ Veterans Memorial Stadium, Quincy

    Tuesday, September 5th
    Weyes Blood
    Sir Chloe
    @ MGM Music Hall

    Tuesday & Wednesday September 12th & 13th
    Death Cab For Cutie
    The Postal Service
    @ MGM Music Hall

    Wednesday, September 20th
    @ the Royale

    Wednesday, September 20th
    Death Grips
    @ House of Blues

    Wednesday, October 11th
    The Mission UK
    The Chamelons
    @ Brighton Music Hall