Local acts highlight Burlington’s intimate venues

To an outsider, the Burlington music scene is an amalgam of jam and funk bands propelled by the success of Phish and Grace Potter and the Nocturnals. The two most popular venues, Higher Ground and Nectar’s, cater to the down-to-earth, roots music that accompanies Burlington’s mainstream culture.Yet, recently, other venues have diversified Burlington’s music scene by providing a wide assortment of genres to this music-hungry city.While it may be the tiniest of Burlington’s venues, Radio Bean, Burlington’s coziest coffee shop, offers local live music seven days a week.Although the Bean is most packed on weekend nights when local alternative rock stalwarts play, the hometown atmosphere offers a respite from a busy college lifestyle any day of the week.In such an intimate — and cost-free — setting, it is a wonder that bands that can commandeer larger venues would continue to play there.Yet, the Bean offers a welcoming, eclectic atmosphere complete with artsy photos donning the walls and plush couches in the corners.On the outskirts of Burlington, The Monkey House is the other integral venue to find high quality alternative music. A bar at face value, the dim, old-fashioned building is transformed into a rock club on weekend nights.In addition to hosting touring indie acts such as Beach House and Women, up-and-coming local acts hit the hardwood on a regular basis to an often lively, energetic crowd.Burlington also has its own microscopic version of hip Brooklyn in the shape of Tick Tick, a trendy screen printing company and concert promoter.Bringing bands that are making the trek from NYC to Montreal and need a stop in between, the shows are hosted at secret venues in the area.This past year, they hosted Kira Kira, an Icelandic experimental band, and indie pop band Clues, featuring Alden Penner of the Unicorns and Brendan Reed of Arcade Fire.With all of these choices, it can be difficult to learn about all of the latest shows and newest local bands.With the help of Web site Burlington Underground (burlingtonunderground.com), begun by UVM junior Ryan Orlove, a project that lists countless live shows every night, finding the latest tunes downtown is a simple as clicking a mouse.With a diverse music scene and an informative source to sift through the plentiful amount of shows, the scene is well populated with both performers and concertgoers.