This summer I was incredibly lucky to be part of an experiment officially known as “Summer Band” (also referred to as “Meat Buffet”). After hearing a mediocre band play at a Brattleboro venue in early June, I suggested to Rob and Noah, friends of mine in Vermont, that we start our own band (how hard could it be?).  Miraculously, we followed through.  We practiced five or six times during the summer, had a great time together, and threw an end-of-summer concert for friends and family. Summer Band was led by Rob and fellow guitarist and radio genius Jeremy, who brought their guitars, amps, and rusty (but much-needed) musical know-how to the group. The band was filled out by Noah, our drummer/spoonman, and me, in the unlikely role of lead singer (and songwriter). Despite my lack of talent, experience, or any real qualifications, my love of singing reached a new level, and supported by a great audience, we performed four original songs and four covers at our August concert.

UPDATE!!! Live concert videos, pictures, and the lyrics to our four original songs have been added below!


The picture is a little dark to really see what’s going on, but the music should come through fine. See if you can hear Dustin commenting to Lacey in the background after my screaming bit in Green Mountain Menace (“Does he talk to you like that?”), or Sebastian encouraging his daddy during “Oh My Baby.” Enjoy!

Our cover of “In the Garage” by Weezer cut off a bit early, but not before Rob’s face-melting solo!

Our most laid-back song, “Oh My Baby” might fall somewhere between blues and bluegrass?

Our selection included a couple (slightly) mellower songs, so Rob and Jeremy wrote some mean music and I added freakish lyrics about Vermont to complete “Green Mountain Menace / Keeping it Wyld.” In practice, we usually just referred to this as “the crazy song.”

My favorite of all our songs, we ran out of video memory after the first two lines of “Lean To!!” Still, I’m posting this snippet for sentimental reasons…

And in case you just can’t get enough Summer Band, watch the intros at the beginning of the concert. It took us awhile to get “American Girl” off the ground (or maybe it never quite made it), but we had fun in the meantime warming up our audience.


Summer Band Poster

Thanks, Dustin, for the sweet poster! Shown here posted on the barn wall where we played.

Ladybugs - The Opening Act!

We were lucky to have a fantastic opening act, “The Ladybugs,” introduced here by drummer/boy wonder Sebastian.

Summer Band Tuning Up

Summer Band tuning up…

Summer Band Lead Singer

The band jams while the lead singer looks on.

Summer Band Rocks Out

Summer Band Rocking Out.



Walked all day in the pouring rain,
Now I can’t wait to get back again.
To my squared-off room with a sweet little view,
To my gorgeous, yawning wood lean to.

Busted flat, and we had to pull off,
Couldn’t afford that motel cost.
But that’s alright ‘cause I got somethin’ better,
And it don’t even cost half the cheddar.

Lean to, lean to,
Keep me dry don’t make me blue.
Lean to, lean to,
Give me the bugs but none o’ that dew.

Chili for dinner mighta been a mistake,
I’m feared that my sleeping bag is gonna bake.
But if I wake up I’ll just wave it right out,
Yeah my three-sided shelter is what it’s about.


Now I lay back with a smile on my face,
‘Cause I know I am in the right place.
See Bob loves Betty and Jim loves Sue,
And my girl’s name is goin’ in this lean-to (that’s you Lacey).



Now Dad might not be great with a baseball bat,
But he knows how to rock an ugly old hat.
And mom’s not quite the type to burst into a song,
But on our hippie farm she sure mows a mean lawn.
(She mows a mean lawn, she mows a mean lawn, she mows the lawn…)

So throw “Free to Be” on the stereo,
Knock out some Cheerios and let yourself go.
Zip on those pajamas and then get in the mood,
For some National Geographic on the black and white tube.
(On the black and white tube, on the black and white tube, on the tube…)

I think somebody’s ringin’ the dinner bell,
So many folks around it’s kinda hard to tell.
Crumbs on the table? Just our country charm.
Like building sweet forts on our hippie farm.
(On our hippie farm, on our hippie farm, down on the farm…)


Ronald Reagan? Don’t you know he’s Jabba the Hut,
And Neosporin’s what you got to slap on that cut.
Time to play war, just don’t let the grownups see.
Especially when the youngest gets capped in the knee.
(Capped in the knee, capped in the knee, in the knee…)



Oh, my baby, she went downtown.
She went to take a good look around.
Oh, my baby, she went downtown.
Now I’m all alone.

Oh, my baby, she went uptown.
She made me smile and then she made me frown.
Oh, my baby, she went uptown.
Now she left me cryin’.

Oh, my baby, she’s all over town,
She been with Abe Smith and she been with Joe Brown,
Oh, my baby, she’s all over town,
Da da da da da da da da da da da.

Oh, my baby, she went crosstown.
She brought me up and then she let me down.
Oh, my baby, she’s all over town.
Whaddo I got to live for?

Oh, my baby, she up and left down,
She tiptoed out and she din’t make a sound.
Oh, my baby, she up and left town,
Well woe is, woe is me.



Through the mist a dark owl
Swooping down for the kill.
Coyote low in the grass
Gonna get that cow’s ass.
You think you in the country,
Man you don’t even know.
Welcome to Southern Vermont,
Welcome to nature’s death row.

Feel a talon at your neck
Now your stomach’s gettin’ sick.
Take an antler to the gut
Out-of-towner say what.
Step across my country road,
You better look both ways.
Get up in my Green Mountains,
That’s the end of your days.

On its crag a bright eagle
Gonna put an end to evil.
Off that endangered species chart
Ready to tear out your heart.
So many ways we’re comin’ atcha
Every man woman child;
In Vermont we never gatt cha,
‘Cause we keep this state wild.

2 thoughts on “Summer Band

  • August 27, 2007 at 12:08 pm

    i can’t wait to hear the summer band! i’m inspired to hear about your creativity ethan… i’ve been playing music some more here in austin and it’s great fun. i hope you all arrived safely! don’t forget to look up jacob blickenov.

  • September 9, 2007 at 11:03 am

    Dude Summer Band!?! I had no idea! Wish I could have made a show…Really would have liked to hear “Oh My Baby“ live. Those are all original lyrics?? Stellar!! Also, sweet flyer…Summer Band?!?! I love it!


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