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Live Culture: Vermont Arts News and Views

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May 2013

May 31, 2013

Movies You Missed & More: A Royal Affair

Royal-affairThis week in movies you missed: "Hannibal" has been renewed! And, in its honor, I'm keeping right on with Mads Mikkelsen Month here at Movies You Missed.

Fear not, this Oscar-nominated Danish costume drama involves neither cannibalism nor sharp objects ... till the end, anyway. But it does demonstrate, like the show, that you might want to think twice about making this guy your trusted personal physician and the keeper of your mental health.

What You Missed

Much like Marie Antoinette, Princess Caroline Matilda (Alicia Vikander, Kitty in the recent Anna Karenina) didn't lead the carefree life you might expect of 18th-century royalty. Born in England, she was married off in 1766, at the age of 15, to her cousin, King Christian VII of Denmark (Mikkel Boe Følsgaard). He was mentally ill and more interested in courtesans than in his bride.

No wonder, perhaps, that Caroline began an affair with the king's doctor, Johann Friedrich Struensee (Mikkelsen).

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Random Acts of Beauty: South Burlington Man Transforms Field With Sculpture

ROCK10An unlikely art project has appeared on a South Burlington farm: piles of stone that look simultaneously contemporary and ancient. But they weren't created by prehistoric residents, and they didn't create themselves.

The accidental artist behind these sculptures is Jacques-Paul Marton, 56, who lives in nearby Stonehedge and routinely walks his dog, Cooper, through the fields of the farm (behind Wheelock Surplus Barn) at Spear and Swift streets that's owned by the University of Vermont. And everyone else who routinely walks or jogs there has had the pleasure of watching these creations — Marton calls them cairns — take shape.

Marton, a custodian at UVM's Davis Center, says he started building them last January.

"They didn't plant corn this year, so I started taking out my dog in the pasture and noticed these odd little piles of rocks," he says. "I just started piling them up — it happened on a lark."

Continue reading "Random Acts of Beauty: South Burlington Man Transforms Field With Sculpture" »

May 30, 2013

Burlington Discover Jazz Festival Lets in the Light

BDJFThe sky is Maxfield Parrish blue. The street is Edward Hopper deserted. But the Marketplace won't be lonesome for long. That light says the Burlington Discover Jazz Festival is near.

My friend Anne Linton of Winooski put this cool photo on Facebook and gave me permission to share it here.

’Nuf said. Let the music begin! (And the rain hold off! Please?)

Hotel Vermont Offers More Than Temporary Lodging: It's Arty, Too

HotelArtEveryone who's seen it is raving about Hotel Vermont. And for good reason: It's beautiful. Besides what appear to be comfy beds, all the usual amenities and a more-than-a-sliver lake view, Burlington's brand-new boutique hotel has a handsome, contemporary look both inside and out. And much has already been made of how the place marries an almost austere, minimalist aesthetic to Vermonty touches such as homegrown wood and stone, Johnson Woolen Mills blankies and loads of local spirits at the bar.

Just as cool is the presence of the suitably spare-but-handsome artwork of Duncan Johnson. Not only is the West Hartford artist's piece the highlight of the lobby — pictured here behind the registration desk — it is also used on the website and in the marketing and advertising graphics for the hotel.

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New Tunes: "Time Lords," Heloise & the Savoir Faire

Heloise16While most of the spotlight will shine on the opening festivities of the Burlington Discover Jazz Festival this Friday, May 31, there is at least one other notable music event happening within the jazzed-up confines of the Queen City.

Heloise and the Savoir Faire recently released their long-awaited, and long-delayed, new album, Diamond Dust. For the past few months, Heloise herself has been touring the country in support of the record, including a stop at the Women Who Rock showcase at Coachella in April.

On Friday, the disco-rock diva comes home, with a release party at the newly minted art space Satellite Arts, an offshoot of the S.P.A.C.E. Gallery, located behind hot new joint Feldman's Bagels on Pine Street in Burlington. Also scheduled to perform are Principal Dean, tooth ache., Appalled Eagles and DJ Disco Phantom.

We'll have a review of the new record in next week's issue. In the meantime, here's the video of the lead single from Diamond Dust, "Time Lords."


May 28, 2013

Tellin' It Like It Is: A Letter to Aaron Neville

Aaron_Neville_show_pageOh, Aaron — it's been four days and I still can't stop thinking about your concert last Friday night at the Flynn. You still sing like an angel. A freaking huge, badass, tattooed angel. You still have that sexy swagger. Your band was killer. And I loved, loved, loved Charles on that saxophone.

There were a lot of terrific moments in the two-hour show. Like, when you sang Leonard Cohen. Dude, you could have done two hours of nothing but Leonard Cohen and I would have been happy. You and Leonard were made for each other, so to speak.

So why did I feel, in the end, a tad disappointed? Here's why:

Continue reading "Tellin' It Like It Is: A Letter to Aaron Neville" »

The Precipice Lineup Unveiled

Poster1Last year's inaugural incarnation of the Precipice, a three-day music festival held at Burlington's Intervale was a 2012 midsummer highlight. Though somewhat haphazardly curated by Radio Bean's Lee Anderson and Joe Adler — it went from brainstorm to reality in about three weeks — the almost completely locavore fest showcased eclectic Vermont music in a welcoming, relaxed atmosphere that was, well, kind of like hanging at the Bean, but outdoors.

With a full year to contemplate the Precipice 2.0, Anderson and company appear to have upped their game. This year's festival is slated for July 26-28 and has been moved from the Intervale to the field behind Burlington College on North Avenue. The Intervale was pleasant, but a little cramped for four stages. Some room to stretch out will be a welcome development.

And then there's the music lineup, which features, well, pretty much everybody in town. Check it out…

Superhuman Happiness, Barika, Kat Wright & the Indomitable Soul Band, Ryan Power, Rough Francis, Eames Brothers Band, Waylon Speed, Michael Chorney & Hollar General, the Lynguistic Civilians, Rusty Belle, Steady Betty, the Skamaphrodites, Swale, Blue Button, Appalled Eagles, Paper Castles, Errands, Loveful Heights, Maryse Smith, Grup Anwar, Dirty Blondes, Lendway, the Dupont Brothers, Joe Adler & the Rangers Of Danger, Vedora, Brett Hughes & Kat Wright, Oobleck, Duke Aeroplane & The Wrong Numbers, Wave Of The Future, Fat Paul, Atlas Joint, Andy Lugo, the Burlington Bread Boys, the Lucky Jukebox Brigade, Modern Times Theater, Hana Zara, Alanna Grace Flynn, the Peasant Dramatic, Amanda Ruth

And there is apparently much more to come, so stay tuned. Oh, and tickets are onsale now, right here.

Movies You Missed & More: Valhalla Rising

Screen Shot 2013-05-24 at 9.19.21 AMThis week in movies you missed: It's a rainy day. It's a rainy weekend. How about a good ol' rousing Viking movie?

... except this one's more trippy than rousing, to be honest. Prepare for the weird.

Nicolas Winding Refn, director of Drive, screened his new movie (again with Ryan Gosling) at the Cannes Film Festival this past week. Spectators booed, and critics largely panned it as a laconic spectacle of meaningless violence. (More info from Vulture here.)

So what better time for us to watch one of Winding Refn's past laconic spectacles of meaningless violence, which is still a lot more interesting than most directors' movies? Valhalla Rising skipped our theaters in 2010 and is now available on Netflix Instant and various other services.

What You Missed

So, it's 1000 AD or thereabouts, Scotland I guess, and this dude with one eye (Mads Mikkelsen) has been a slave for, like, ever. He can kill anybody with his bare hands, usually in a few seconds flat, and the Vikings are really into no-frills gladiatorial combat, so his skills see regular use.

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May 24, 2013

Barre Cultural Alliance Pools Its Many Resources, Presents Story-Based Celebration

History4What do socialist presidential candidate Eugene Debs, anarchist Emma Goldman, dance troupe Pilobolus and South African singers Ladysmith Black Mambazo have in common? Go ahead, think on that.

Give up? The answer is this: All have appeared on the stage of the Barre Opera House. Granted, the first two and last two were decades apart, but that just illustrates the long cultural history that Vermont's Granite City has had. And that's not even to speak of the colorful, artistically and politically rich past fostered by the granite industry itself.

But we will speak of that, because the Old Labor Hall — once the site of immigrant stoneworkers' intense socialist gatherings — last year joined the Barre Opera House and two other local institutions as charter members of the Barre Cultural Alliance.

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7 Questions for Janna Zittrer of Montréal Shopping Tours

IMG_1483What Vermonter has not gone to Montréal in hopes of clothes shopping, and then didn't have a clue where to start? OK, me. But I'm willing to bet plenty of others could use some help, too.

Janna Zittrer offers exactly that. The 29-year-old lifestyle journalist launched Montréal Shopping Tours just over a year ago. The "shopper-in-chief" is a native of the city and bilingual, though raised anglophone. Her passion for fashion came early in life when, she says, "my lack of artistic ability inspired me to convey my creativity through my clothes."

But it was in journalism school that she discovered she could combine her love of writing and fashion. Since then, Zittrer has written for numerous print and online publications, has appeared on "ET Canada" as a fashion expert, and has been a trend presenter at stores such as Banana Republic.

With her knowledge of and connections at boutiques in Montréal, Zittrer hit upon the idea of helping others "shop like a fashion editor." Since April 2012, she's been leading customized shopping expeditions, for approximately four hours each and a maximum of six clients at a time. She fine-tunes the trips according to themes such as active wear or special-occasion outfits. Her clients span ages from twenties through sixties.

Zittrer discussed dressing and age, body image, shopping with guys, and who's the most fashionable: Vermonters or Quebecers. Read on.

Continue reading "7 Questions for Janna Zittrer of Montréal Shopping Tours" »

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