Choose Your Own Indie Adventure: Travel across the country to find Rebecca Frank, win a rock show bounty this Friday @ Middle East


There’s a pretty big show coming up this Friday night at the Middle East in Cambridge, and a few weeks ago on the V:List we dubbed it something like the first-annual Melodyfestapalooza Music & Arts Festival.

As we wrote back then: “On tap for this late-summer evening in scenic Central Square is the cruising-altitude guitar-rock groove of the Field Effect; the heavy-feather ghost-gaze of Velah; the Susan Constant’s polished pogo-pop; and the snow-globe balladry of the Deep North.

As an added bonus, we’re also offering up an exclusive Vanyaland prize-pack, featuring two guest list slots to the show and a t-shirt and CD or vinyl from each of the participating bands. Clothing, music, and guest list.



Follow the Boston-rock Oregon Trail below as this indie adventure births clues and lyrical hints, then email your final answer to the riddle to michael@vanyaland.com by noon Friday to be entered to win. We’ll select a name from the correct entries and announce it via Facebook. Good luck, and be careful of the Field Effect’s Nick Grieco — he has come down with dysentery.


STEP 1: Wake up — you are hearing “Voices” in your head. Listen to what they say. But the elusive and mysterious Rebecca Frank, singer of the Deep North, is lying — she will disappear, she has disappeared, and she has been allegedly spotted in the city relating to second clue.

STEP 2: It’s a dark day in the land of Velah, with clouds overhead that soon give way to midnight, and you suddenly find yourself in this Northwestern city that is home to K Records. “All the love you give/Is not enough to live/Under the easy silence of heavy snow” is lipstick-scrawled on the men’s room restroom mirror down at the Brotherhood Lounge dive bar. You realize this is another clue, as Jen Johnson stares back at you through the words and behind the mirror. But can you trust it? It’s clear that Ms. Frank could be “Locked Up.” But where?

STEP 3: “We’ll be kicking down doors and running towards the night,” sings Paul Sennott of the Susan Constant in the song above, escaping blackened cities and hiding somewhere back east. But at what point? And were you just tricked into Olympia? As you leave the Brotherhood Lounge, the “Voices” start up again, though this time it is male persuasion: “It’s funny how all this seems to get pushed to the horizon/Deferred until the night comes and grabs onto both of us/Come on over/Come with me/Come on down to Tennessee.” You travel east.

STEP 4: Within seconds of arriving in the Volunteer State by way of a shady government mule, you are certain you are in the wrong place. The Smoky Mountains echo out the call of the damned, and the parking lots of Cracker Barrels hold no true answer. You can turn back.

But you choose not to, and you look further east, by instinct, off to Jamestown, seeking further answers in the musical power-pop riddle that is the Susan Constant. But life is no vessel, and human passion is certainly no ship on the rough seas of life in fading efforts to reclaim what was once lost.

You touch water. You are as discouraged as a harbor in January.

You hear another voice, and this time the bearded man sounds like he’s wearing a hoodie in the middle of summer. While he is not to be trusted, he offers up the following, imploring you to view his “stupid grin as I’m driving over state lines.” You hitchhike east and land in the next state over with the Susan Constant’s moniker origins fresh on your mind. Just remember to “Slow Down, Stay Willing.” There be dragons out here.

STEP 5: The East Coast provides a safe haven, a refuge for scoundrels, and one last corridor opens up as Jamestown provides a compass to travel to the Atlantic’s Deep North of the United States. Ms Frank must be there, the voices tell you. “So let’s go/Anywhere but home/I don’t know these roads/My dear/But I don’t really care/We’re invincible.” You race towards Canada, but know better than to go all the way.

STEP 6: She is found, in Ogunquit, a sleepy town in the Pine State’s lovely York County. You ask her where she’s been? “That’s when you turn to me and say, ‘I feel like I’m in heaven.'”

You ignore that Doug Orey’s voice came out of her body. You are happy.

CONCLUSION: Not counting travel, how many states did you touch base in during your efforts to save Rebecca Frank? And which states were they? Submit your answer to michael@vanyaland.com by noon Friday. And go see a doctor.

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