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September 2013

September 27, 2013

Radio Bean Is Expanding Again


Radio Bean (File photo by Matthew Thorsen, 2010)

This just in from North Winooski Avenue: Radio Bean is expanding yet again.

In a phone call this afternoon, Lee Anderson, owner of both the Bean and the coffee shop's adjoining restaurant, ¡Duino! (Duende), informs Seven Days that he will be taking over the lease in the space previously occupied by the recently closed Caribbean Buffet restaurant. He says he plans to have the new space open by January 1, 2014.

And just what does Anderson plan to do with the space? Expanded seating for the restaurant? More stage space for bands, perhaps? 

Nope. It's gonna be a lamp shop. 

Yes, you read that correctly. Anderson's new venture will be a lamp shop that sells locally made lamps and accessories and other vintage baubles. It will also include the "Kitty Corner," where Anderon's wife, soul singer Kat Wright, will sell her own handcrafted goods. And, yes, there will also be a bar, though Anderson says he views that aspect of the venture to be secondary to selling lamps. 

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Movies You Missed & More: Any Day Now

AnyDayNow_002This week in movies you missed: In 1979, a gay couple sets out to adopt a kid "nobody else wants," only to find out society isn't ready for a two-dad family.

What You Missed

Rudy (Alan Cumming) is a drag queen from Queens who makes his living lip-synching  to disco hits in an LA gay bar. Paul (Garret Dillahunt) works for the DA's office, wears three-piece suits and is still deep in the closet.

Their one-night stand turns into something more when Rudy seeks Paul's legal help to deal with a touchy situation. Rudy's junkie neighbor (Jamie Anne Allman) has been carted off to jail, and her neglected teenage son, Marco (Isaac Leyva), who has Down syndrome, won't stay put in a foster home. Rudy has formed a bond with Marco and doesn't want to see him slip through the cracks.

Paul opens his home to Rudy and Marco, and the three quickly become a family. But when the state becomes aware of the two men's relationship, they must defend their right to raise a child — with the odds stacked against them.

Continue reading "Movies You Missed & More: Any Day Now" »

Vermont Jewelry Artist Stacy Hopkins in International Exhibition

So many goings-on with Vermont artists, so little time to note them. I've been stockpiling news and announcements all week and now it's time to let them fly. Here's the first one.

Bronze-Odontolabis-Femoralis-pin-with-Citrine-Stacy Hopkins-AmusingoldWhite River Junction jeweler and Scavenger Gallery owner Stacy Hopkins was one of five designers chosen by Amusingold to show her work (pictured right) during the recent Milan Fashion Week., "the independent jewellery spy," has a series called the Jewelry House, in conjunction with Italian Vogue Jewelry. Hopkins' bronze and citrine work can be seen on it currently — about which the site has this to say: Dalla biologia alla gioielleria contemporanea. La vita animale in versione metal.

Right on. Hopkins' nature-inspired work can also be seen at her gallery, as well as in a house exhibit she'll share with fellow Upper Valley artists Ria Blass and Jenny Lynn Hall this Sunday, September 29, in Lyme, N.H. For more info about that, contact Hopkins at the gallery, 295-0808.



September 26, 2013

Joel Najman and His Beard Celebrate 30 Years on VPR


Joel Najman
Joel Najman (and his beard)

Joel Najman has been the host and producer of the weekly rock-and-roll-history program "My Place" on Vermont Public Radio for 30 years. That's a remarkable accomplishment, one for which he was recently honored by the Vermont Legislature with a resolution congratulating him on his three decades spinning the classic (and not so classic) songs that compose the rich tapestry of our collective musical past — and more importantly, unearthing the stories behind them.

Najman's show is as much a celebration of early rock and roll as it is a history lesson, and it is entertaining and educational in equal measures.

The anniversary love for Najman continues this Saturday, September 28, as his esteemed employers are throwing a celebratory sock hop called VPR A Go-Go, a 1960s-themed dance party at the Town Hall Theater in Middlebury.

The party will feature prizes for the best '60s hairdo, a Twister competition and go-go dancers. It will also, of course, feature the host with the most himself, Joel Najman, spinning the platters that matter. Oh, and Najman's beard. His totally awesome beard.

In anticipation of that party — and because we profiled Najman for his 25th anniversary — we recently got in touch with Najman's incredible Rip van Winkle and asked for its thoughts on 30 years behind the mic. Here's what Najman's typically silent partner had to say.   

SEVEN DAYS: 30 years. Wow. What are your thoughts about three decades in the biz?

JOEL NAJMAN'S BEARD: Well, it's certainly been a hairy ride. But I like to think there's been a lot of growth, too.

Continue reading "Joel Najman and His Beard Celebrate 30 Years on VPR" »

Return of the Champlain Mini Maker Faire

Screen Shot 2013-09-26 at 9.27.56 AMYou never know what you might find at the Champlain Mini Maker Faire — the second one takes place this Saturday and Sunday at the Coach Barn at Shelburne Farms. Last year's drew more than 1300 people who bought tickets to see a pumpkin-chuckin’ trebuchet, a remote-controlled quad-copter and a pumpkin-headed robot monster.

“Makers” are essentially enthusiasts — people who create something for the joy of creating rather than for profit. Maker faires are opportunities for them to get together, share ideas and noodle around with technology.

The events have been cropping up all over the world since 2006, when MAKE magazine publisher Dale Dougherty held the first gathering in San Mateo, Calif. 

The line-up for this year's Champlain Mini Maker Faire — it's a little smaller than some of the others, hence the "mini" moniker — includes Bina48, one of the world's most social and sentient robots, as well as the team behind the Generator, a new 6000-square-foot "maker space" slated to open later this fall in Burlington. 

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September 25, 2013

Getting Buzzed and Shot by a Drone at the 2013 South End Art Hop

Art Hop From Above from VCAM Vermont on Vimeo.

Hey, South End artists and art lovers: Anyone happen to notice a buzzing sound at the 2013 South End Art Hop earlier this month? No, it wasn't the late-season mosquitoes or all that free supermarket wine, but a new drone owned and operated by the Burlington-based nonprofit Vermont Community Access Media (VCAM). Clearly, drones aren't just for police surveillance and taking out high-value Taliban targets anymore.

Matt Goudey, VCAM's video technology coordinator, recently purchased a "DJI Quadcopter" for the organization. As the name suggests, the $650 model-plane-size chopper has four propellers and is operated with a remote control. This one is also outfitted with a wide-angle digital video camera for capturing aerial footage.

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September 24, 2013

Montpelier's Savoy Theater Announces "Drastic Cuts"

IMG_0686Do people under 50 still go to movie theaters?

Do they shell out for anything but kids' flicks (if they have kids) and 3-D superhero spectacles? Is the pull of Netflix and the laptop just too strong?

Do younger people stay home because TV does "adult drama" better than movies these days? (If theater owners could show next Sunday's "Breaking Bad" finale on their big screens, I'd be there in a heartbeat and buy a huge popcorn.)

Or is the problem that, since it's all digital now, people don't want to pay $10 to watch a bigger version of their TV screen?

Maybe it's one of those factors, or all of them, or none of them, that makes it hard to run an art-house these days. But those were the questions running through my mind as I read the latest grim press release from the Savoy Theater in Montpelier, titled "Drastic Cuts at the Savoy Theater."

Read it for yourself:

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"Little Jerusalem" Doc Wins Vermont History Prize

VPTwinsAward b&wEach year since 2006, the Vermont Historical Society has presented the Richard O. Hathaway Award for "an outstanding contribution to the field of Vermont history." Past winners have included books, documentaries and plays. Last Saturday, the prize was presented to Vermont Public Television for its documentary "Little Jerusalem."

Dorothy Dickie (far left) produced the doc, which was nominated by VPT's chief content officer Kathryn Scott (second from left).

The film, which debuted late last year, is the first Hathaway winner to deal with Jewish themes, in this case the immigrant community that sprang up in Burlington's Old North End in the 1880s.

What cemented its win? According to VHS executive director Mark Hudson (second from right above), the professional quality of the movie impressed the selection committee. "It had a great story and richness in telling the story of the community and the individual lives that were represented in the story as well," he added by phone.

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September 20, 2013

The SCAR Project Comes to Vermont's Breast Cancer Conference

_DSC6695-EditIt takes guts to pose naked for a photograph. But it takes even more to face down stage-III breast cancer.

Hannah Marlow did both. The 33-year-old participated in the SCAR Project, a collection of large-scale photos of young breast-cancer survivors taken by New York City-based fashion photographer David Jay. Marlow will tell her story, and present her powerful portrait, at the 16th Annual Breast Cancer Conference presented by the Vermont Cancer Center in South Burlington on October 4.

Marlow was 29 when she found the lump in her breast. The upstate New York resident knew something wasn't right. But when she visited the hospital for a mammogram, doctors did an ultrasound instead and told her it was just a cyst.

She was still convinced something was wrong. So she made another appointment for three months later at Fletcher Allen Health Care. By then, the lump had grown to nearly the size of a golf ball, and her nipple had turned inward.

A few days after a biopsy, she got the call: She had stage-III breast cancer.

Continue reading "The SCAR Project Comes to Vermont's Breast Cancer Conference" »

Movies You Missed & More: This Must Be the Place

Screen Shot 2013-09-20 at 11.36.09 AMThis week in movies you missed: That one where Sean Penn looks exactly like Robert Smith of the Cure.

What You Missed

Cheyenne (Penn) is a middle-aged rock star living in Dublin with his firefighter wife (Frances McDormand). He's still famous enough that MTV begs him to appear at the Video Music Awards, but he hasn't played since a couple of teens were inspired by his music to commit suicide.

When he hears his estranged father is on his deathbed, Cheyenne returns home to New York. His dad is dead, but one of his cronies, an elderly Nazi hunter (Judd Hirsch), gives Cheyenne a mission: Hunt down the extremely elderly Nazi who tortured his dad at Auschwitz.

Continue reading "Movies You Missed & More: This Must Be the Place" »

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