Collective creates new local concert spaces

Something’s afoot below the homes  of Burlington.

UVM students can experience live music without having to leave the comfort of their apartments, as basements offer an alternative venue for local bands.

These shows can be planned or a complete surprise.  First-year Nora Johnson said she “didn’t know that there was going to be a band” at a party she attended, but said it made the night more exciting.   

For sophomore Cameron Youngblood, basement concerts are like an added bonus to a house party. Youngblood said the success of the show often depends on the size of the basement.

“I went to a basement concert two nights ago, actually,” he said. “It was a very tiny basement. There was not enough room for a band in that basement,” especially when 150 people showed up, he added.   

These basement concerts are sometimes the work of the Almost There booking collective.

unnamedThe Almost There team arose a year ago out of their subterranean lair with a mission to bring accessible acts to the city, coordinator Mason Dixon said.

Almost The
re’s primary haunt is H&H, also known as Anime High School. H&H shows focus on “shoegaze” indie rock, psych-garage rock and other obscure pursuits.

Dixon said the nature of the venue allows for more experimentation and creativity. “We always know we can get more DIY experiments here in the basement,” he said.  

Dixon said his most memorable show was indie rock group Hovvdy from Texas.

“I booked them myself,” he said. “[They] played an acoustic show in the living room, I was sitting right in front of them on the floor.”

While basement shows may feature local student groups, Almost There has the ability to bring in acts from across the country.

Other notable groups exhibited by Almost There include the Georgia-based punk group Muuy Biien and the fuzz-punk band Mannequin Pussy.

The Almost There team has noticed an upswing in underground activity, Dixon said, which they hope will lead to more artistic tumult in Burlington.

The next H&H basement caper will be at 11:30 p.m. Oct. 27. Almost There is teaming up with Signal Kitchen to host Show Me The Body, a New York hardcore three-piece.

Check out Almost There on Facebook to find more information on upcoming events and basement ruckus a short adventure from campus.