THE VACANT LOTS
Gig Seeker Pro

THE VACANT LOTS

Burlington, Vermont, United States | INDIE

Burlington, Vermont, United States | INDIE
Band Rock Alternative

Calendar

This band has not uploaded any videos
This band has not uploaded any videos

Music

Press


"THE VACANT LOTS : HYPNOTIZED"

Who the hell are The Vacant Lots ?
Vermont’s best thing next to a famous ice-cream make and, more crucially, a combo of music warriors who stand halfway between the county of psychedelia and the untamed lands of old school rock.

Guitarist and vocalist Jared Artaud and his partner in crime Brian MacFadyen have released their third effort Hypnotized, a bunch of dreamy songs embedded with drone.
Accurately named, the record will catch you wander around in space while howling Artaud sings about life, love, hate, destruction and divine intervention…
More contemplative than their previous albums, Hypnotized nonetheless turns out to be more profound in its topics and also more significant in its metaphors. Its visual and sinuous charm will take you far beyond the shores of New England.
If you don’t pay attention to the lyrics content, you may think that the tunes are a tad similar. They actually happen to be a pattern of clever variations with a leitmotive that gradually insinuate themselves inside you.
Those who are fond of unpolished minimalist material will definitely give The Vacant Lots the light of day.
“Love” unleashes an outburst of frenzy in a pretty mellow song, reaching another level of intensity and making the highlights of their tunes unpredictable.
Butch Artaud & Fadyen Kid know the score and shine the most when they let out their raw energy. Just listen to “Man” and its compelling appeal echoed by the final two treasure tracks “When The Lord Comes” and “Revolution”.

Fluctuating between vehemence and daydreaming seems to be the key, let’s stay tuned for the band’s next adventures in sound…

Hypnotized was released on Ancient Hills Music.
- Reverberation Blog


"The Vacant Lots Are Hot"

I’ve been stalking The Vacant Lots for the past week or so. In case you don’t know them, they’re a Burlington duo – Jared Artaud on guitar and effects and Brian MacFadyen on drums - and they make dark, brooding music that’s right up my alley. My interest in their music was piqued when I became Facebook “friends” with Jared (like anyone on Facebook I have way more virtual friends than I have real-life friends) and saw all the bands he listed as his favorites, ranging from one of my early favorites, the late ’70s New York guitar-heaven band Television, to one of my current favorites, the loud-and-pounding New York band A Place to Bury Strangers. The Vacant Lots have played with Dean and Britta, the duo of Dean Wareham and Britta Phillips that grew out of one of my favorite ’90s bands, Luna, and Wareham’s previous band, the similarly excellent Galaxie 500. What cemented my interest in The Vacant Lots was another Facebook moment: I was at home, having just put on the Spacemen 3 album “Recurring,” and went to the computer to check Facebook and saw that Jared had just posted a song from that very same album. That was too coincidental – I knew I had to get serious about checking this band out.

The Vacant Lots’ new album, “Hypnotized,” is in steady rotation in my car CD player right now, and while it’s good, I’m not sure it captures the power of their live performances. I saw them a week ago at Club Metronome and again last night at Higher Ground opening for The Fiery Furnaces. They have a great air of mystery about them on stage: Jared has a Joey Ramone vibe going with his dark glasses and long dark hair, and they play a rotating series of stock-footage films of random dancers and other non-sequitur scenes that makes their shows a visual as well as auditory experience. Brian was the drummer at the Metronome show and Frank Zamiello (formerly of The Jazz Guys) filled in last night at Higher Ground, and both kept the beat going strong behind Jared’s droning but propulsive guitar work that’s accompanied by his under-the-radar vocals occasionally punctuated by shocking gutteral screams. Musically they remind me most of Suicide, an early New York punk duo as dark as the name suggests, and “Reptile House”-era hypnotic goth by The Sisters of Mercy. Great stuff – not everybody’s cup o’ tea, I readily acknowledge, but very cool nonetheless. You can catch them next July 10 at FlynnSpace as part of a benefit for the latest film project involving Norwich filmmaker Nora Jacobson. - Burlington Free Press


"SEVEN DAYS - THE VACANT LOTS, HYPNOTIZED"

Shortly after the record-setting New Year’s blizzard this year, The Vacant Lots [1]’ front man Jared Artaud sent Seven Days an email saying that he had been wandering the streets of a seemingly deserted Queen City in the very early hours of morning during the storm. “It felt nice to see Burlington differently,” he wrote. “A new lens and something else in the air. Mounds of snow like a vast desert. Stumbling upon visions.” He wrote also that the band was working on material for a new album, their third in little more than a year.

Recorded over two days and mixed the third day, that new record, Hypnotized, suggests the local duo has undergone something of a transformation. So did the note accompanying the handwritten lyrics sheet included with my copy of the album: “Dan, I am undergoing a transformation.” Ahem. All cheekiness aside, Artaud is correct, at least where his music is concerned. The new album from The Vacant Lots boasts previously unseen depth of both sound and vision.

Our peek through the looking glass begins with “Confusion.” Already one of the trippiest local bands around, TVL kick out the psychedelic jams with jangling guitar and hazy sitar drones — presumably via Raagini Tanpura or a similar effects box. That heady sound comes to define the record, lending Hypnotized a swarming, ethereal quality. But it is also indicative of TVL’s general shift toward a fuller, more dynamic sonic palette.

Drummer Brian MacFadyen is especially notable in this regard. His playing, always bombastic, is now refined. He still attacks with furious intensity. But his percussive melees boast added precision, giving Artaud’s serpentine guitarwork some backbone. On “Love” his vibraphone work lends a chilling immediacy.

Artaud remains a brooding and often cryptic writer in the vein of Messrs. Ginsberg, Burroughs and Kerouac. But he seems particularly enamored with contrast — a fact perhaps evidenced by the album’s cover, a reverse image of TVL’s self-titled debut. Unlike previous efforts, which matched a grimy, apathetic lyrical bent with equally filthy, detached soundscapes, here the songwriter contrasts dark, searching prose with deceptively bright arrangements.

This contradiction is often striking, adding more potency to the band’s swirling sonic storm. Particularly on cuts such as “Man,” “Abyss” and “When the Lord Comes,” the tempestuous interplay between MacFadyen and Artaud’s shimmering musical designs and the latter’s haunting vocal work is fascinating.

Album closer “Revolution” is a gruesome, 21-minute epic. While not for the faint of heart — or the short on time — it reduces the material to its most basic elements: pulsing percussion, dizzying guitar and visceral, almost unintelligible howls. It is seductive and hedonistic and, of course, hypnotizing.

Hypnotized by The Vacant Lots is available at Burlington Records and online music retailers such as iTunes.
- Seven Days


"Sightings: The Vacant Lots"

I couldn’t get enough of Burlington, VT duo The Vacant Lots when I stumbled upon their MySpace a few months ago, but now I’m a little afraid to return. As though the gods were trying to tell me that listening to their music involved taking a certain risk — or even putting myself in danger — I encounter a Malware warning every time I click the link. This wouldn’t seem significant if their raga-tinged psych anthems didn’t seem to be shrouded in the sinister magnetism of a mystery narcotic that is best left untouched, but I guess this is why I keep going back for more.

Though it’s only two-notes tall and minimal as all hell, the twangy guitar hook on “Confusion” is what gets me every time; we know that we’re just sailing along, that the waters are still and the earth is flat, but somehow we feel transfixed by all this stasis. No matter how many times we hear it, it still sounds ridiculously fresh. As it wrestles with a continuous drone that you may or may not even hear, it seems to be taking us somewhere — simultaneously down into a watery grave and up to the heavens, back to the elemental ’60s and forward into oblivion. And somehow this nothingness forms the foundation of a pop song.

I happen to have once been acquainted with frontman and guitarist Jared Artaud– in another town, under a different name– and the one tidbit of information I will share about this guy is that for some reason, he was always trying to everyone he met on to the Velvet Underground. As though we hadn’t all be listening to them since middle school. As though they didn’t already constitute about 60% percent of what we understood and loved about rock music, the weird and unusual places where rock music could go. We laughed at him for this, but perhaps he was simply in the habit of discovering them for the first time every day.

The Vacant Lots, “Confusion” (Hypnotized, Ancient Hills Music)
- VISITATION RITES


"ALTERED ZONES - The Vacant Lots: "Confusion""

Burlington, VT duo The Vacant Lots and their raga-tinged psych anthems are shrouded in the sinister magnetism of a mystery narcotic best left untouched. Though it's only two notes tall and basic as all hell, the twangy guitar hook on "Confusion" is what gets me every time; we know that we're just sailing along, that the waters are still and the earth is flat, but somehow all this stasis leaves us shaking in the knees. The song's harmonic backbone is a continuous drone, and what passes for a vocal line here is nothing but a single note. Have Jared Artaud and Brian MacFayden landed us at the crossroads of pop and minimalism, or are they reminding us that the two are really one and the same? - ALTERED ZONES


Discography

High & Low 7" (Reverberation Appreciation Society, 2012)
Confusion 7" (Mexican Summer, 2011)

Photos

Bio

The Vacant Lots released their first 7” single ‘Confusion / Cadillac’ on Mexican Summer in 2011.

Pitchfork commented on ‘Confusion’, “It’s executed so efficiently, with just the right doses of studied apathy and simmering tension, that it’s difficult not to return to it’s ceaselessly repetitive groove again and again.”

Mexican Summer describes them as “musicians as well as scientists, having built a time machine that will transport your headspace directly to the Sunset Strip in 1967.”

“High & Low” b/w “Let Me Out” is the second official single by The Vacant Lots. Released by Austin Psych Fest’s label, The Reverberation Appreciation Society on August 13th, 2012.

Formed by Jared Artaud and Brian MacFadyen, the duo takes as much inspiration from Bo Diddley and The Stooges as it does from Andy Warhol and Arthur Rimbaud.

They have developed their own sound, producing an immense, unrelenting, sonic assault with just two people, combining a minimalist aesthetic of rock n roll with hypnotic guitar riffs, Native American influenced drumming, electronic drones, poetry-driven lyrics and live visual projections.

The Vacant Lots have previously toured with Sonic Boom’s Spectrum, Dean Wareham plays Galaxie 500, and most recently performed at Austin Psych Fest with The Black Angels and The Brian Jonestown Massacre.

The Vacant Lots are currently mixing their debut album.