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December 2013

December 13, 2013

Movies You Missed & More: Crystal Fairy & the Magical Cactus and 2012

Screen Shot 2013-12-13 at 12.02.04 AMThis week in movies you missed: Michael Cera plays against type in the indie movie with the year's best title, hands down (though Netflix just calls it Crystal Fairy).

What You Missed

Once upon a time, there was a young woman named Crystal Fairy (Gaby Hoffmann) who led a charmed life of doodling in her journal and accruing good karma with random acts of kindness. Then she took a trip to Chile, where she met her nemesis, the Pollo Loco.

Actually, his real name was Jamie (Cera), and he was an American tourist like Crystal Fairy. When they met at a party, he told her he was on a mission to consume as many hallucinogens as possible, specifically a cactus fabled to grow in a small rural town.

Crystal Fairy was totally down with ascending to a higher plane of consciousness, especially in 2012, the end of the material world as we know it. So when Jamie suggested she meet up in the boonies with him and his three Chilean friends (Juan Andrés Silva, José Miguel Silva and Agustín Silva), she did just that.

Only then Jamie did a 180 and started acting like a control-freak douche-nozzle. He ordered his three friends around, he pretended he'd never invited Crystal Fairy on the trip, and he pursued his magical cactus with the aggressive humorlessness of a businessman demanding the right amount of foam on his latte.

That's when he got his nickname — and Crystal Fairy set out to teach him how somebody really seeks enlightenment.

Continue reading "Movies You Missed & More: Crystal Fairy & the Magical Cactus and 2012" »

December 12, 2013

Vermont Architecture in the News: Green Building, Top Interiors

Slide1-635x411Recording studios aim for the best possible sound, but who said they can't also be pretty — and green?

Not Ryall Porter Sheridan Architects. The New York-based group was just awarded the 2013 Award of Merit from the Vermont chapter of the American Institute of Architects for its design of Guilford Sound. The sustainably built, energy-efficient facility is owned by Dave Snyder.

The place was chosen, according to a press release, for its relationship to both the land and to other buildings on the property, including a renovated 19th-century farmhouse and a building that houses a wood-fired boiler.

Also this week, Burlington's TruexCullins Interiors was given the 2014 Interior Design Award for New England by the Network of Executive Women in Hospitality. It's a good trick to get an award from the future. But then, 2014 isn't all that far away.

Founded in LA nearly three decades ago, the nonprofit NEWH is dedicated to "fostering and celebrating women leaders in hospitality design," according to a press release. Closer to home, principal Kim Deetjen and her team can lay claim to the renovation of Topnotch Resort & Spa in Stowe and the interior of Hotel Vermont in Burlington. The latter, by the way, was included in the top 10 new hotels of 2013 by TripAdvisor. 

You can watch Deetjen talk about her design inspirations here


December 10, 2013

Douglass, Citro and Glass Strike a (Stiff) Pose for the Holidays

G-josh-sears-photoYou wouldn't expect Burlington musicians Gregory Douglass, Monique Citro or Joshua Glass to line up at Sears for their holiday band photos. And they didn't. They just pretended to. 

"While we didn’t have any ugly Christmas sweaters to seal the deal, we did the best we could with what we had to work with," writes Douglass in a recent e-newsletter.

Still, you can do a lot with matching sweaters and ties. Not to mention ironic, vapid expressions.

But never mind the awkward band photos; if you're on Douglass' mailing list, you can also get a free monthly download. This month, it's the classic "O Holy Night" from his 2010 release Merry

Happy holidays!



December 09, 2013

Dispatch 120913 From 'Overheard on Church Street'


Yeah, it’s like this in every place. Fucking crazy. Not for nothing, but if I were a terrorist, this is where I’d be.
—   Two men in line at Starbucks
Black Friday? Yeah, right. Ain’t nothing black in Vermont.
—   Two young men
One intrepid Burlington resident has been compiling random heard-on-the-street comments in a tumblr blog aptly called Overheard on Church Street since 2010. Now, every Monday, the blogger is sharing a couple of snippets with Live Culture. You can read more at the OOCS archive. Submissions are also welcome.

December 06, 2013

Video: "Africa (I'm Coming Back to You)" by A2VT

528915_437987979560510_1757840490_nA2VT are at it again. Almost exactly one year after showing their adopted Onion City home some love with the video "Winooski, My Town," the trio of African refugees turned "urban global" rappers cast a longing gaze toward their native soil with a lively new vid, "Africa (I'm Coming back to You)."

Directed and produced by Casey Clark, the new video was shot at various locations along the Burlington waterfront and features some nifty dance moves courtesy of the Roxy Dance Studio, a solo dancer by the name of Mimosa — she's the young lady on the rocks — and, as always, A2VT themselves. 


Movies You Missed & More: Stories We Tell

Screen Shot 2013-12-06 at 12.58.54 PMThis week in movies you missed: A movie star airs her family's dirty laundry on film.

Thing is, the star in question is Canadian — not to mention the talented director of Away From Her and Take This Waltz. So Sarah Polley's documentary is considerably more tasteful and thoughtful than my initial description makes it sound.

What You Missed

A young woman ushers an older man into a recording studio and asks him to read a lengthy narrative he's prepared. We soon learn this is Polley and her dad, British-born actor Michael Polley. Most of the other interviewees we see her settling in front of the camera are members or friends of her Toronto family, too.

These interviewees begin to talk — mostly about Diane Polley, the director's deceased mother. A gorgeous, vivacious, larger-than-life woman, Diane made headlines in the '60s, when she and Michael appeared together on stage. We see her in real Super 8 footage, and then recreated in fake Super 8 footage by actress Rebecca Jenkins. Meanwhile, the interviews begin to hint at a family secret to be revealed.

Continue reading "Movies You Missed & More: Stories We Tell" »

Leahy Honors Photographer Peter Miller in U.S. Senate

Buy-the-book~~element62Waterbury photographer Peter Miller has had many well-deserved accolades in his long career. His latest is another honor that few artists can claim: Vermont's senior senator, Patrick Leahy — no slouch behind the lens himself — read a tribute to Miller on November 20 on the Senate floor. 

Leahy's speech, printed here in full, says it all:

Mr. President, for generations, Vermonters have contributed to our national culture, through art, music, film and prose. Peter Miller is one such artist whose impressive work throughout his life as both a photographer and author has showcased Vermont and its residents and enriching us all.

As an amateur photographer, I have followed Peter's work for decades with admiration. From his early beginnings as a U.S. Army photographer to his travels across Europe with Yousuf Karsh, he has channeled his passion and energy into a remarkable art. Over the past 20 years, his unique ability to capture the Vermont spirit has been well documented and his consistent approach to producing authentic depictions of the Vermont way of life is unparalleled. He shuns the commercialization of art and instead creates his work solely to share and promote the values of our small and community-based State. This attitude was evident more than ever when, being honored as the Burlington Free Press' "Vermonter of the Year" in 2006 for his book "Vermont Gathering Places," he frankly said, "I don't shoot for galleries. I shoot for myself and the people I photograph."

Continue reading "Leahy Honors Photographer Peter Miller in U.S. Senate" »

December 05, 2013

New (Xmas!) Tunes: "Christmas Sled," the Mountain Says No

"Christmas Sled" by the Mountain Says No

It's a Christmas miracle! 

The Mountain Says No, the new band from Farm's Ben Maddox and Jedd Kettler — and featuring Andrew Frappier and Justus Gaston — have just released a terrific new holiday single, "Christmas Sled." The indie-rockin' jingle is now part of the quietly growing canon of original local holiday music — which includes the trio of cult classics by the Physics Club, Rue Mevlana's EP Dancing to Keep Warm, the single "Harvest" by Myra Flynn and Gregory Douglass, and of course, the Handel's "Messiah" of local Christmas songs: "Christmas Every Day" by Victor Rudolph Gittens

The low-key, mostly acoustic cut calls to mind John Lennon's "Happy Xmas (War is Over)." But in place of that song's sleigh-bell-ringin' climax, it features a cheeky nod to the Lemonheads' song "Rudderless" — "A sled without a rudder's like a sled without a rudder …" We approve, heartily.


December 03, 2013

Burlington Émigré Ben Aleshire Takes His Poetry to the French Quarter

Cover_story-1Ben Aleshire, the former Burlington "poet for hire" who could often be spotted at the downtown Farmers Market, moved to New Orleans last year. He's set up shop at a busy intersection in the French Quarter, selling poems to passersby, and has attracted the attention of that city's press.

The Gambit, New Orleans' alt-weekly, focuses on Aleshire and several other local poets for hire in a recent cover article. Here's a quote from it:

Both [Aleshire] and [fellow poet Tristan] Bennett say they can come up with meaningful work in 10 to 15 minutes. "When people stand there and hug me and weep and tell me they're going to frame it, I think the evidence is there," Aleshire says. "That keeps me doing it. It fuels me when people tell me that this is real."

Gambit photo of Ben Aleshire by Cheryl Gerber.

December 02, 2013

Dispatch 120213 From 'Overheard on Church Street'

Just another chocolate-chip-size taste of Burlington, from the Overheard on Church Street tumblr:

Oh hey, Bill. I didn’t even recognize you in that suit and all. What’re you, going to court or something?
— Woman to older man

What’re we, in fuckin California or Vermont?
— Two men

One intrepid Burlington resident has been compiling random heard-on-the-street comments in a tumblr blog aptly called Overheard on Church Street since 2010. Now, every Monday, the blogger is sharing a couple of snippets with Live Culture. You can read more at the OOCS archive. Submissions are also welcome.

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