The Van Burens have a jam-packed New England run this weekend, starting with a very special Thursday night show at the glorious Riverwalk Cafe in Nashua, NH. We will be getting the dance party underway early and often, so make sure to catch us at 8pm!
Our drive to play a pal's wedding on Saturday coincided with national pride day, so our playlist turned from a girl-power Lilith Fair-fest to a queer-artists-only pride parade. We rolled in to the wedding blasting "It's Raining Men" and none of us could have been prouder.
Listen to the latest episode of Seriously Seagal, the podcast in which PBear, The Brown Man, and Mr. Smitty get seriously silly breaking down all of the works of Hollywood and martial arts legend sensei Steven Seagal. In this the fifth episode of season 2, the boys lose their minds trying to figure out one of the worst motion pictures the crew has seen, 2016's "The Asian Connection." The pod is so much better than the movie, which isn't saying much, but hey give it a listen!
Happy 100th birthday to our bandmate and inspiration Jack Kennedy! Jack is always touring with the VBs, regaling us with stories of Cold War politics, his WWII heroics, beating Tricky Dick in the 1960 nailbiter election, and his unquenchable poonhoundery. Come to a VB show and you'll see #35 in the back being by far the sexiest dude onstage with jaundice. We love you, Jack....here's to 100 more!
"You don't know it, but you are full of stars." - JFK
With Max behind the wheel the gang trekked up to Harlow's in Peterborough, NH with some great Max-themed tunes in our ears. We check out Max's boy Upgrade's most recent high quality hip-hop album and paid tribute to the late Chris Cornell with some Soundgarden, Audioslave, and Temple of the Dog. The Chris Isaak > Marc Cohn > Kid Rock & Sheryl Crow run was when PBear was toying with Max to drive him insane, but hey at least two of those songs are great! We rounded the playlist off with Max's girl Maggie Rogers going head to head with Dylan's girl Sylvan Esso and PBear's girl FKA Twigs. Give it a listen!
Many thanks to the real and spectacular crowds who came out to get truly inane with the VBs at Harlow's and the Dutch Treat this past weekend. Special thanks to the excellent End of Never for opening up the Harlow's gig and to our fabulous North Country friends for hosting our after-parties and the inevitable post-party crashes. Catch the VBs this weekend at Fury's in Dover, NH and our debut gig at the Skinny Pancake in Burlington, VT! Click for the FB events and more info:
There's been quite a bit of discussion in the VB band van lately about Bangers....what are they? What constitutes a banger? How should a banger make you feel? Who makes the most banging bangers? Can any genre claim a banger or is the label reserved for dance music? Jeff at the wheel, the crew started calling out tunes for banger consideration. Some passed the banger bar with room to spare (Toxic, Party in the USA, Tik Tok, anything involving Lil Wayne) while others didn't quite cut the muster (sorry, Cher). Some older tracks pleasantly surprised - listen to Ricky Martin's She Bangs and tell me how it's NOT a banger...impossible; it's right there in the song title - while other tunes we begrudgingly deemed a banger by default (sadly I Gotta Feeling by the Black Eyed Peas is a banger.) Listen to the playlist! What did we miss?
The Van Burens are gearing up for an insane Boston are run this weekend. Friday, we return to our "Second-Friday-of-the-Month" residency at the Middle East Corner Bar in the heart of Cambridge's Central Square for a raucous two-set affair that consistently devolves into the most fun time ever. Click here for event and details. 10pm.
Saturday will be a fantastical Jackie Chan's "Around the World in 80 Days"-style whirlwind, geographically located entirely in Somerville and temporally within the span of less than 24 hours. Yowza! First catch our two Somerville Porchfest shows - noon at the Community Grow Center on Vinal Ave, 4pm at the Schindlerdome on Willow Ave - for some great free live outdoor tunes! Then, we cap off the evening with a legit blowout when we join Emperor Norton's Stationary Marching Band at ONCE Somerville for their 10th Anniversary show. Get your tickets now because this is gonna be a biggun - two ENSMB sets sandwiching the VBs at the hottest live venue in Somerville! 830pm. Click here for event, tickets, and info!
We crazy for this one. The drive to Dartmouth college to play the tremendous, beautiful Great Gatsby party was a real hoot for the VBs, we were cracking our usual jokes and playing the hits, getting Riley ready for his first Gatsby while preparing Raj for his last (for a while). Gatsby is the VB's longest-running gig; we've probably played around 30 of these parties over the past decade, and in no way is that depressing. So spirits were high with McGee behind the wheel, and we listened to some.......interesting tunes. Things started off well with the new Grizzly Bear track and some other alt and indie explorations (an extended dip into the David Byrne-St. Vincent collabo, some new Gorillaz, etc.). The conversation veered to the films of hipster auteur Wes Anderson, so we listened to some classics from The Life Aquatic, The Royal Tennenbaums, and Rushmore. Things got weird when I discovered that VB fave actor/voice legend Keith David has a few tunes on Spotify (his recitation of the baby Jesus story is...passionate and educational). From there the playlist devolves. Alan Thicke sings the Crash Test Dummies early '90's hit "Mmmmm Mmmmm Mmmmm Mmmmm" and Steven Seagal joins Jimmy Cliff for the absolute banger John Crow. We cap the whole thing off with the best driving music: '90's Clapton.
The Van Burens are proud to announce we will be taking part in not one, not two, but THREE shows at Somerville Porchfest May 13. First up, we will be jamming at the Community Grow Center on Vinal Ave at noon. Click here for the FB event. Then we will be hosted by this handsome gent at his Somerville home....
.....for a 4pm show with Schindler's band Kong at 134 Willow Ave. Wow! Two shows! But wait, there's more!
We will be capping off the evening with THE premier Somerville Porchfest event when we join Emperor Norton's Stationary Marching Band for a blowout finale at ONCE Somerville. Holy Schnikes! Catch us once, twice, or thrice on a ludicrous Somerville run! Click here for the ONCE FB event and get your tix in advance!
It's a long drive from the VB's hometown of Quincy (the City of Presidents) up to the Pizza Stone in Chester, VT, so the band had plenty of time to get down with some phresh jams. McGee has been kicking the second-most-recent Childish Gambino record, and PBear is all about the latest Kendrick album, so those lead off the list. Then we dove into an exploration of 90's film soundtracks (Space Jam, Angus, Romeo + Juliet, Bulworth, Dumb and Dumber) and we made the shocking discovery that R. Kelly released a Christmas album last year (the song Mrs. Santa Claus is an instant classic). The incomparable Erykah Badu rounds out the playlist as our setbreak/post-show music. Check it out!
Check it! The Van Burens are back at the Pizza Stone, the home of Vermont's finest slices and best live music! Friday night we will be rolling the Stone with some great tunes and grooves with a side of delicious, delicious, delicious.....pizza. Come out and get some! Click the pic for event and more info. 8 pm.
The VBs had a couple relatively quick drives to and from the Middle East Corner Bar in Cambridge this past Friday night, so I included all of the three albums we sampled as we cruised in Ruby. Each of the VB Original Big Three picked an album: PBear threw on the new Kendrick, McGee chose the new-ish Dirty Projectors, and Pizza King went with the new-ish-ish Tune-Yards album. Listen to this great music an catch us back at the Corner Bar May 12!
The Van Burens are super psyched to return to the amazing Soup Stock Music Fest in Shelton, CT June 10-11 this summer. Soup Stock is an annual family-friendly soup-and-chili-based daytime festival that satisfies the ears and mouths of all attendees. The VBs will be playing Sunday afternoon as part of a weekend lineup that includes.....well, a bunch of great bands. Check out the poster and give it a click for more info and early bird tix! Grab your ladle and we will see you there!
Catch the funk family live!
Listen to the exclusive unearthed track!
After a killer show at the Rack at Sugarloaf and a luxurious hotel overnight, the Van Burens embarked on a Odysseus-level journey home. Our playlist for the return trip was substantially less frantic than on the way up. Jeff was at the wheel so Billy Joel and the Punch Brothers got some love, and MJ is always great to energize a long Sunday drive. Max shockingly requested Joshua Tree area U2, and Nicole kept us on a '50's kick. Listen straight through for the VB experience, or hit shuffle for funsies!
John Lennon, asked about his experience at the height of Beatlemania, explained that life for him was "a car and another car and a hotel and a car and a hotel...." While the VBs aren't exactly the Beatles (though we are, no doubt, bigger than Jesus) we too spend quite a bit of time on the road. How do we pass the hours getting all across New England and beyond in our Big Red Van Ruby? Aside from our constant maniacal giggling and the comedic bits we're always running at each other, we listen to a ton of music. This past weekend we had an extra-long drive to The Rack at Sugarloaf for our Reggaefest blow-out mega-show, so we all piled in (McGee, PBear, Pizza King, Big Bro Max, Nicole, Dylbot, and RyDawg) and listened to an enormous variety of music. Some new stuff, some old stuff, some guilty pleasure pop, some high-concept film scores, some tunes were brought up by our wide-ranging conversations, others we listened to many times as we were gonna play them that night in our set. Playing the playlist in order will be truer to the VB experience, but shuffle might be more satisfying. Do you like the tunes? Or not? Leave a comment!
The Van Burens are wicked stoked to return to the Rack at Sugarloaf - an amazing ski bar with an energetic atmosphere - for the mountain's 29th Annual Reggae Fest! There will be some excellent bands on Sugarloaf this weekend, and the Van Burens will be closing out Saturday with some reggae and our usual eclectic mix of funk, rock, pop, and whatever weirdness is floating through our tiny, sexy brains. Music kicks off at the Rack Saturday at 9, and you don't need a Reggaefest ticket to get in! Click here for the FB event.
The Van Buren Family Roadcast is back with a wild musico-comaedic podcastual variety show! Listen as the gang enjoy each other's company hosting audio sketches, playing games, getting weird, telling it like it is, and acting like guys who are in a band. Which they are.
Intro - (0:00)
Inside Joke Counter - (2:00)
Slice of Advice - (4:15)
Kosh' or Gauche? - (7:00)
The Vault - (14:15)
The Five Senses feat. Smitty and Spitzy - (15:30)
Madlibs w/ The Pizza King - (20:20)
Old Vegan - (28:10)
Catchphrase Carousel - (31:25)
Millennial Man feat. Laura Merli - (37:00)
Interview: Peter and Peter - (40:30)
P. Bear and the Brown Man - (55:30)
Inside Joke Payoff - (1:04:45)
Who Is the Beatest Bowl? - (1:06:45)
Shout-Outs - (1:07:30)
Outro - (1:08:45)