Category Archives: Shows

Light Club Lamp Shop – 04.23.16

Been a while since I’ve done one of these recaps because I am an inconsistent and terrible person. So here goes:

Have you been to the Light Club Lamp Shop in Burlington? If not, go. It’s a wonderful space and this is our second time playing there as Milton Busker and The Grim Work. I can’t say enough good things about it. Here’s what we played:

  1. The Basement Song
  2. That Person Aside You
  3. Baby, Let My Money Keep You Warm
  4. The Meanest Thing I’ll Ever Write
  5. Jesus in Chains
  6. Ordinary Day
  7. Sixteen Ton Soul
  8. No One Needs to Know
  9. Dogs at the Door
  10. Gravity
  11. Lost Cause
  12. Mind This Mind
  13. Glad to See You Go
  14. Let You Down

Encore-ish

A funny thing happened after we finished out the last song. We started breaking down and realized we had fifteen more minutes to play. So we did:

  1. Stranger
  2. Ode to Apathy

We hadn’t practiced these songs in a while, but they had great energy and brought us out on a pretty energetic note. I can’t wait to play there again.

Photo from Angela Simpson

Radio Bean 05.23.15

Fun night at the Bean. I think we’re finally getting the hang of the sound there. It will never be perfect, but it felt good. Particularly from my vantage point, I could hear Dave, Jom, and John very well, and they played great! I can’t emphasize how much fun it is to have folks backing me up and round out the sound. Anyway here’s what we did:

  1. Ode to Apathy
  2. Jesus in Chains
  3. Ordinary Day
  4. That Person Aside You
  5. The Meanest Thing I’ll Ever Write
  6. Stranger (cover song by The Devil Makes Three)
  7. The Basement Song
  8. Mind This Mind
  9. Gravity

I could have played for another hour (or at least another 15 minutes) but alas it was not to be. There was a pretty good acoustic duo on after us called Lines West and they needed the stage.

Overall I felt very good about the show and there were a number of old friends that stopped in to see us. It’s always good to see friends. We’re back at the Bean on June 23 from 8:30 to 9:30. You should come and bring a friend.

Radio Bean – 12.13.14

The Grim Work and I did our thing at the Bean tonight. I was happy with it. I don’t know how it sounded to the audience but it felt pretty good to me.

  1. Dogs at the Door
  2. The Basement Song
  3. That Person Aside You
  4. The Meanest Thing I’ll Ever Write
  5. We Get Over
  6. Jesus in Chains
  7. Mind This Mind
  8. Rehearsing Our Goodbyes
  9. Gravity

I probably won’t be playing again before the New Year, so I hope everyone has a safe and happy holiday season. Take care of yourself and each other.

Radio Bean 09.20.14

It seems like it’s been a while since I last played the Bean and I have to say I have missed it. And you missed it too (unless your name is Joe, Tim, Alice, or Wright), but that’s ok. As I said earlier on Twitter, I wasn’t expecting you, but man you missed a fun set.

I had fun. I don’t normally do that. I’m not saying that I don’t enjoy myself or feel good about performing, but I don’t normally have fun and tonight I did. Why? I don’t know. Well, I sort of know; I allowed myself to play around. I had my set list and I didn’t deviate from the songs, but I played around with them a bit – took advantage of the AniMoog and drew out the middle of Ordinary Day, expanded the intro to Dogs at the Door so that the weird noises and odd propulsion could breathe a little more. And I breathed a little more. I played a new song “Ode to Apathy (Ain’t Nothing We Can Do)” which was inspired by all the shit that’s gone down in Missouri; brought out a newish song “No One Needs to Know” inspired by Ted Haggard and people like him who preach about sin while taking advantage of their positions to enjoy that exact thing they say is sinful.

Oh, and I was loud. The bar had to steam some milk and I didn’t even care – that’s how loud I was. It meant I could hear everything I was playing and it was fantastic! To be honest, it may have been a bit too loud, but I did not care. Loud=Good. That’s math, people. Math only ever has one answer and it’s always right. I don’t have any fans that actually know anything about math, right? Good.

But I think the people there enjoyed it. I did. I’m going to keep this “fun” thing going if I can, so you should definitely come to the next show to see what that’s like.

It’s weird… for me.

The Set List:

  1. Ordinary Day
  2. Isham 605
  3. Jesus in Chains
  4. All the Same to You
  5. Dogs at the Door
  6. How to Grow a Woman from the Ground (Tom Brosseau cover)
  7. No One Needs to Know
  8. Ode to Apathy
  9. Rehearsing Our Goodbyes
  10. That Person Aside You
  11. The Basement Song
  12. Let You Down
  13. Mind This Mind

One more thing: if you haven’t heard “How to Grow a Woman From the Ground” – either by Tom Brosseau or The Punch Brothers, go listen to it. It is an astounding piece of songwriting.

Radio Bean Residency – June 14, 21, & 28 from 12 Noon – 2PM

Hello Internet people. Milton here. You’ve probably noticed that I haven’t had many shows in the last few weeks… no really. Think about it, you haven’t seen me or my alternate identity invite you to a show through Facebook and thought, “I should really go; I haven’t seen him in a while” and then totally forget about it because you’re busy and the little one had a tough week at school and work has been totally hellish and maybe if you and your partner spend a quiet evening at home you could watch that HBO series all of your friends are talking about and maybe even be intimate after the kids go to bed, but that probably won’t happen because you’re just so damn tired that you’ll probably end up with a pizza, falling asleep to some stupid superhero movie because neither one of you could decide what to watch and even though that HBO show sounds good during the week, by the time you get around to it, do you really want to be intellectually and emotionally challenged when all you want to do is put your stupid feet up and watch two people in spandex destroy a city but you can’t even do that anymore because every superhero has to be “damaged” in some way so that the 40 year old boys who purchase movie tickets can justify dropping $20 to watch things go boom and maybe catch a little side-boob from the poorly written female character who’s probably really talented but can only hint at her depths so as not to frighten the masses into thinking she’s more than just an object for projecting their desires on because she wants to direct, dammit! and if this gig gets her closer to her dreams than she’ll swallow a little pride, lose 10 pounds, and contort her body into poses that always allow her breasts and butt to be visible in the same shot, because that’s what the people who control the money want, because they’ve done study after study of human behavior that tell them that and every time they review the results they’re hoping that this time artistry and novelty will win out over the lizard-brain instinct of seeing attractive people fall down naked, but humanity doesn’t change; the evolutionary instinct can’t be over-ridden because you got a bachelor’s degree in philosophy and think that if everyone just watched really watched The Seventh Seal that they would recognize all the crap they’ve been gorging on and devote themselves to art that explores what it means to exist and be a part of this world, but you can’t really complain because you like to watch Spider-Man and His Amazing Friends even though you know that’s a crap show, and sure, you can say that you’re just watching it because the kids put it on, but you could just as easily commandeer the TV to watch something else, but you’re kind of psyched that the kids are into this show because it reminds you of all the Saturdays when you were young and would wake up before anyone else and sneak downstairs in order to get a half hour (or maybe even a blissful whole hour) of uninterrupted TV time; just you and Spider-Man and Iceman and Firestar, a bowl of Cheerios, and your whole sweet life ahead of you…

So June 14, 21, and 28th I’m going to be playing a series of shows at the Radio Bean from Noon to 2PM. Two sets each show. Brunch will be served, because I’ve always thought my music could use some breakfast food. I’ll be playing a number of covers, some new songs, and some stuff that hasn’t made it into my live repertoire for some time. It would mean a lot to see you there. Spread the word.

Radio Bean 04.01.14

Fun night. Tried some new things, not all of which are successful; for example, if I’m going to play songs in different tunings, I really need to develop some witty stage banter. Otherwise it’s just me looking like I’m silently drooling for a minute. Maybe I should ask the audience questions or something.  I don’t know. I just like to sing songs.

Set list:

  1. Redemption on Pearl
  2. Ordinary Day
  3. A Jerk’s Lament
  4. That Person Aside You
  5. Dogs at the Door
  6. You Know
  7. A Change is Gonna Come (Sam Cooke)
  8. The Pentophobe
  9. Gravity
  10. The Meanest Thing I’ll Ever Write
  11. We Get Over
  12. The Interrogator (enhanced)
  13. Internet Famous

Radio Bean 03.07.14

For some reason, singing at Radio Bean is easier than singing at home. Maybe it’s because I have a sound system with some reverb as opposed to my rather dry-sounding office. Maybe it’s because I don’t have to worry about waking the kids or disturbing the wife (who would never complain if I did) and I can really let loose. Maybe it’s just the extra energy I get from playing in front of a crowd. Whatever the reason, singing at Radio Bean is different, easier than singing at home, which is kind of weird.

And it’s weird when there are people in front of me who are having conversations with good friends and they need to speak up to hear each other and they want to enjoy my music but they also want to enjoy each other’s company.

And hell, standing up in front of people and playing guitar and singing songs that I’ve spent years and years crafting and practicing; reviewing every single word to make sure it’s the right one (or at least the most right one) to convey the right feeling or message is weird.

And sometimes the weirdness is overwhelming. And I can usually just push through the overwhelming weirdness, but tonight I couldn’t. I had to stop in the middle of a song, recognize the weird, and make my way slowly back into that space where singing in front of people is one the great joys of my life.

Weird, right?

But it turned out alright. At the end I felt good. A young woman asked me who wrote one of the songs I sang (it was me!), which is one of the highest compliments anyone can usually give me. Another said that she loved listening and was going to go find my music on iTunes. (She also couldn’t believe that my last name was Busker – her reality was a bit… enhanced, shall we say). And an old high school friend attended and said she will come again with friends.

So it was good. Weirdness be damned!

The Set List:

  1. For Milly – With Mostly Squalor
  2. Redemption on Pearl
  3. Feeling Good (Newley/Bricusse)
  4. Mind This Mind
  5. Gravity
  6. Rehearsing Our Goodbyes
  7. Stupid Lullaby
  8. All the Same to You
  9. Jesus in Chains
  10. While Watching the Window
  11. Ordinary Day
  12. That Person Aside You
  13. My Fear of Losing You

So thanks everyone for coming. Next show is at Radio Bean on April 1 where I will be your fool.

Radio Bean 02.01.14

The first show of 2014 and I couldn’t be more pleased with how it went… well I could be more pleased, but only because I’m a miserable bastard.

I kid, though. The crowd was wonderful – I think this is most attentive crowd I’ve ever seen and I even captured a few of the folks who were there to see the band that played before me. They were called Peg House – a drummer and a guitarist with some very tight harmonies and a very enthusiastic crowd.

Anyway, here’s tonight’s set list:

  1. Ordinary Day
  2. Dogs at the Door
  3. Redemption on Pearl
  4. Stupid Lullaby
  5. Jesus in Chains
  6. All the Same to You
  7. That Person Aside You
  8. A Jerk’s Lament
  9. Ain’t No Sunshine (Bill Withers cover)
  10. Mind This Mind
  11. Gravity
  12. My Fear of Losing You
  13. Internet Famous

As I said earlier, the crowd was great. A few people even got up and danced during “Ain’t No Sunshine”… Actually that was kind of weird for me, but my previous experience informs me that people dancing is generally a good thing.

Speaking of dance, I had The Buskerettes in full effect this evening, once again bringing the moves and making up for the fact that I have the looks of a baby troll. Radio Bean even captured a video. I would post a link to it, but it’s late and I’m lazy. I’ll share it on Facebook if you’re interested.

I really had a lovely evening and can’t wait to do it again on March 7.

Lastly, I’m pretty sure Joe Adler wore a coat and tie for me. He’ll probably deny it, but we know better.

Dance Songs, Vol. II+

So I’m releasing an album. It’s actually an old album that I’m re-releasing with 2 new tracks because it’s been over a year since I’ve officially released anything.

It’s called “Dance Songs, Vol. II+”

Here’s the cover art:

DanceSongsVolIIPlusAmazon copy

Here’s the track listing:

1. Ordinary Day
2. Isham 605
3. Jesus in Chains
4. All the Same to You
5. While Watching the Window
6. Stupid Lullaby

I’m told it will be available online on September 24. Which, coincidentally is also the date of a new Radio Bean show. I play at 8:30. It’s like kismet.

Another night at the Bean

Fun. That’s what it was this evening. Here’s the set List:

  1. You Know
  2. Dogs at the Door
  3. We Get Over
  4. Rehearsing Our Goodbyes
  5. Gravity
  6. Feeling Good
  7. A Jerk’s Lament
  8. Jesus In Chains
  9. Mind This Mind
  10. My Fear of Losing You

Tonight introduced the first ever use of the Animoog in my live shows. In rehearsal I’ve been putting it on my knee to play “You Know” but I failed to account for how smooth my suit is. The damn thing kept slipping off so I had to put it aside. I play it with my toes for “Dogs at the Door” and it went pretty well. Joe even got a picture:
Busker Toes

I capo’d the wrong fret for “Jesus in Chains” and ended up singing it half a step lower than normal but it turned out alright. And then I really needed some water halfway through “Mind This Mind”, but the show must go on, right? Overall I felt good about the evening.

After my set I ran into a lovely woman at the bar who really enjoyed it. It’s always nice to get good feedback from someone you don’t know. Makes you think you might not totally suck.