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Stuck in Vermont: 100% homegrown Vermont vlog about art, music, obsessions and outsiders

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April 2007

April 25, 2007

Mail Art [22]

   

Mail_5 Studio Place Arts is having three art openings on each of its floors this Friday, April 27th in Barre Vermont. One of the floors will be devoted to items that have been shipped through the post, thereby transforming themselves into mail art.

Gabrielle Dietzel and Delia Robinson have been sending mail art for decades. When they were neighbors, they sent each other strange things in the mail which they never spoke of: dog toys, children's shoes, a french press lid.

The trick is to mail the object WITHOUT an envelope or box. It only becomes "art" if it travels through the post without protective covering.  But be careful!! Once you begin the rebellious and thrilling act of mailing flip flops, chess games, birds' nests and half eaten muffins, it can become both addictive and competitive!

Mail_3 The Mail Art Show opening this Friday at SPA will include many objects that Delia and Gabrielle have sent to each other as well as many items mailed from all over the world.

Lovely tunes by Colin Clary and the Magogs, The Shape of this Town and Hearts with Little Strings from "Her Life of Crime."


 

WRUV's Exposure [21]

Wruv_10_booth Dedicated students and community members make up the volunteer team who run WRUV, UVM's college radio station.

Every Wednesday from 8-10pm, local VT bands play on a show called Exposure which has been running in one form or another since the 80s. Exposure is currently helmed by Jeremy Ayers and Scottum Rosenblum and attracts a wide variety of musicians.

On Wednesday, April 18th, 7 member strong, local indie pop band, The Hero Cycle played some delectable songs from their recently released LP "Lakes and Ponds."

Wruv_9_band WRUV is currently located in the basement of Billings Student Center and will be moving to UVM's brand new building in the near future.

***  Please note: Exposure needs interns so if you live in the area, drop them a line!

Also, The Hero Cycle is hitting the road so come and see them at a show near you (dates listed on MySpace)!


Delicious indie pop stylings courtesy of The Hero Cycle off their new album, Lakes and Ponds on the Aussie label Hidden Shoal Recordings.

 

PS On a technical note, please note the improved compression (a work in progress mind you) and the tighter editing - thanks Art Bell!

April 17, 2007

Step It Up [20]

Step_it_up_4 On Saturday, April 14th, National Day of Climate Action, Step It Up 2007 included hundreds of events across the country asking Congress to take action and save the environment before it is too late. 

The basic message was the same everywhere, "Step it up, Congress! Cut Carbon 80% by 2050." 

Here in Burlington we had many Step It Up events and down at the Waterfront, a cheerful crowd gathered to hear Bernie Sanders speak and eat free Ben and Jerry's ice cream.  The weather was dismal but spirits remained high.

Bernie spoke about the important role youth will play in our future and I talked to a group of UVM students who were volunteering at the event.  Seth, a forestry student, said that he lies awake at night worrying about the future. 

Step_it_up_7 Can't say as I blame him.  Still, the volunteers dedication and youthful energy gave me hope, a little sliver of it. 

Thanks to all the amazing organizers, volunteers and sponsors who made Step It Up a reality!

Avi and Celia (MySpace) entertained the crowd at the Waterfront (despite the chilly temps which made guitar accuracy difficult) and bits of "Can't Feel It" off their new album Off the Floor are woven in.

PS I made this vlog as a b'day present for my 73 yr old mother who spent her birthday, April 14th, attending rallies across town.  What a lady!

Stuck in Vermont 19: Latin Day

Latin_day_2 The 31st Annual Vermont Latin Day was held at UVM's Patrick Gym on Friday the 13th, also known as The Ides of April to the ancient Romans. 

Did you know that the Ides is approximately mid-month and that Romans kept track of their schedules by referencing either the Ides (13th or 15th day of the month), Nones (5th or 7th day of the month) or Kalends (1st day of the month)?  Just one of the many tid bits I learned at Latin Day!

Hundreds of excited spear-carrying, toga-clad Vermont high school students converged Friday to celebrate Latin Day, test their trivia, perform skits, compete for prizes, and revel in their love of ancient history. 

Is Latin a dead language?  Hard to believe after this whirlwind event - you be the judge. 

Latin_day_5 To quote a particularly self-possessed scholar, "It's just one of the only places I feel like I can truly fit in."

Skits entitled and performed by:

1) Bellows Free Academy, St. Albans – Joshua Knox
Famous Romans at Their Villas

2) Burlington High School – Noralee Cartier
Athenian Idol ( = Athena's and Poseidon's contest over patronage of Athens)

3) CVU – Leanne Morton
Even Shepherds Get the Blues (= parody of Latin pastoral poetry)

4) Essex High School – Anne Broussard
Waiting for Zeus: An Existential Tragi-comedy in 1 and 1/2 Acts (parody
of Beckett)

5) Hanover High School - Don Buck and Brian Glenny
Demeter and Persephone

6) Harwood Union High School – Ben Eldredge
Cadmus and the Dragon’s Teeth

7) Lamoille Union High School – Meghan Holland
The Man Who Ate Himself (= myth of Erysichthon)

Latin_day_4 8) Lyndon Institute – Becky Sahlin
Keepin’ It Rural: Horace’s Fable of the Country Mouse and City Mouse

9) Mt. Abe – Karl Ritval
Project Big Belly (= Hesiod's story of Kronos eating his children)

10) Mt. Mansfield High School – Bob Slayton
The Green Acres of Cincinnatus (= a farmer-statesman comes back to save
the Republic)

11) Montpelier High School – Mary Redmond
Narcissus and Echo

12) Riverside School – Jean Luc Gauville
Triptolemus (= myth about the gift of agriculture to humans)

13) Spaulding High School – Kristie LeBlanc
Pirates of the Mediterranean (= Bacchus captured by pirates)

Tell No One's (MySpace) fitting sing, "A Knife My Romans" off their new album, Just Breath and Resist.

And did I mention that I am still smiling, days after Latin Day took place?  If these high-energy kids are the future, then I think we will do ok.  In a way, this vlog goes hand in hand with the Step It Up vlog.  As paranoid as one can get about the future of our planet, intelligent, hard working students like these give me hope for a better tomorrow.

April 10, 2007

Stuck in Vermont 18: Machine Madness

   

Machine_madness_5 Montshire Museum of Science in Norwich held its 4th annual Machine Madness event this past Saturday.  Inventors and engineers of all ages brought their Rube Goldberg inspired machines to the museum and hooked them all up to one another for one massive chain reaction!  Will it work or will it need help?  Watch and see!

Once again, the perfect fit are songs by Greg Davis (MySpace), "Slightly Asleep," "Shoes and Socks" from Curling Pond Woods, Copyright 2007 BMI.  Can you tell what sounds are the machines and what sounds are part of the music?

Stuck in Vermont 17: Guys and Dolls

   

Guys_and_dolls_4 Lyric Theatre Company, one of New England's largest volunteer community theatre groups, presents "Guys and Dolls" April 12-15th  at the Flynn Center.  This is the third time Lyric has put on this sassy show and their 36 member-cast of veterans and newcomers range in age from 17 to 75 and hail from 14 Vermont communities. 

I talked to the colorful cast and crew about the show, their love of performing, how they got started, how many shows they have been in, and what Lyric means to them.  When I first moved to Vermont, I played Cha Cha in Lyric's "Grease" which featured many of the Guys and Dolls that I interviewed.  Rob was "my Eugene," Serena and Don (now married) were Rizzo and
Kenickie, Syndi was the director and Kate and Jenn were my 50s homegirls.  Memories...

Guys_and_dolls_5 You have to hand it to theatre folk, they do what they do out of love.  It isn't easy working full-time and spending your evenings singing and dancing for free but something inexplicable drives them and like 5 time Lyric show cast member Rob says, "I don't know, it's magic to me, just magic."

The vlog takes place at the Eagles Club in Burlington Vermont where Lyric spent the past couple of months rehearsing in their banquet hall (pay no attention to me when I call it the Elk's Club in the intro, typical doll behavior).

The classic songs (good luck getting them out of your head) are from "Guys and Dolls" and were composed by Frank Loesser
The book was adapted by Jo Swerling and Abe Burrows from The Idyll Of Miss Sarah Brown, a short story by Damon Runyon. It also borrows characters and plot elements from other Runyon stories, most notably "Pick the Winner."

April 03, 2007

Stuck in Vermont 16: Clark Derbes and Barnes

Stvt16_12_clark

I want to go back to 2nd grade again, is that so wrong?   I mean, look at all the fun the 2nd grade classes of Miss Deirdre and Mrs. King at Lawrence Barnes Elementary School in Burlington's Old North End are having! 

With the help of local artist Clark Derbes, the students are making mobiles inspired by their characters, letting their creativity run wild, experimenting with abstract art projects, dancing, rapping and singing, taking fun field trips to fancy schmancy art galleries and playing an important role in their community.  Where do I sign up?

Artist Clark Derbes bold and colorful show, "Life in the Slow Lane," decorated the walls of the Sanctuary Artsite at JDK Design in Burlington for most of the month of March.  Clark had already visited the 2nd grade classes at Barnes to collaborate with them on their mobiles.  This time it was the kids turn to visit Clark's art exhibit at JDK.

Stvt16_8

When you meet someone as youthful, creative and non self-critical as Clark, it is hard not to feel giddy.  The kids are drawn to his flexible face and vivacious personality.  As Angela McGregor of the Shelburne Farms' Sustainable Schools Project says of Clark, "He's got this crazy presence, too.  He's like an enormous kid!" 

We met up with the kids at Barnes and then bussed over to JDK where the 2nd graders asked Clark many questions, imagined what sounds his art might make, danced as though they were painting, got a tour of JDK, went wild running all over the skatepark in the basement and created a piece of abstract art on cardboard with Clark.

Stvt16_15

After three hours with these high energy kids, I was exhausted but also inspired.  Like Clark, they seem to run on pure adrenaline - they do not waste time second guessing themselves or their art. 

In an earlier Seven Days interview, Clark's artistic "manifesto" was, “To be fast and fearless with my mark making. Seeing the [Jean-Michel] Basquiat retrospective was huge for me — that guy was complete with his fearlessness and RAW with his art . . . Anxiety + weirdness makes good art.

A similar equation can be made for the day I spent with Clark and the Barnes 2nd graders on Wednesday, March 28th.  Clark + kids makes good art.

Stvt16_2_eva

Clark's JDK exhibit was recycled last week but you can see his art this month at Pursuit Gallery.  Opening reception is April 6th, Friday from 6-10pm (802.862.3883).  Thanks to Angela for organizing this fabulous event AND for letting me know about it and tag along!

Wonderful songs are "Dandelion Wine," "Distance" and "The Drone" by The Cush (MySpace) from New Appreciation for Sunshine.

 



 

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