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Live Culture: Vermont Arts News and Views


June 05, 2013

Green Mountain Monteverdi Ensemble of Vermont Plays Doubles

GMMEVGood things come in threes, it's said. Bad things do, too, but never mind. The Green Mountain Monteverdi Ensemble of Vermont (pictured here) cheekily goes for triple redundancy in its name — can you spot them? — and for a trio of performances this week around the state. But in its program, GMMEV goes for pairs.

That is, pairs of composers of Baroque-era sacred choral and vocal music who set the same text to different music. "Double-Takes" includes in most cases one setting for a duet or other small ensemble and another for a larger group, director Stephen Falbel explains. He promises it will "make for a fascinating evening of juxtapositions of styles and ensembles."

On that program are three motets by Johann Sebastian Bach and works by Schütz, Schein, Scheidt, Franck and Johann Christoph Bach — cousin of the more famous Bach.

"Double-Takes" features eight singers, many of whom have performed with Vermont's esteemed professional vocal ensemble Counterpoint: sopranos Lindsey Warren and Cathleen Stadecker; altos Carolyn Dickinson and Linda Radtke; tenors Adam Hall and Paul Reynolds (replaced by Counterpoint director Nathaniel Lew in the Burlington concert); and basses Falbel and Brett Murphy.

Continue reading "Green Mountain Monteverdi Ensemble of Vermont Plays Doubles" »

June 03, 2013

Burlington Discover Jazz Fest, 17 Syllables at a Time

Reuben-Jackson-2013-500x375Many of you probably already knew that Reuben Jackson, host of Vermont Public Radio's "Friday Night Jazz" program, is not only a jazz geek; he's a poet. And if you don't know, writing poetry is hard. Writing really short poetry is even harder.

That's why I'm getting a kick out of Jackson's haiku coverage of the concerts he's seeing during the jazz festival.

Remember haiku from high school English class? Seventeen syllables. A spare and elegant description of ... whatever. Japanese poets of yore generally focused on nature, and somehow managed to say something deep.

Jackson is more concerned with conveying the moment. Despite being under the weather, he gamely went to see Bobby McFerrin at the Flynn Center on Saturday night. He writes on a VPR blog

What would the stern but loving church-going elders of my Georgia and Washington, D.C., youth have thought of Bobby Mc Ferrin's tender, swinging (and kaleidoscopic) performance of spirituals?

Not even a formidable head cold would prevent me from finding out. 

Continue reading "Burlington Discover Jazz Fest, 17 Syllables at a Time" »

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?)

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.

May 23, 2013

Democracy Now: Vote for Your Favorite Local Band to Play Grand Point North


As mentioned in this week's Soundbites column, we're running a contest to fill one last slot at this year's Grand Point North Festival, set for Burlington's Waterfront Park on September 14 and 15. The contest is open to any local musician, band or DJ.

The nomination period in which fans, or even bands themselves, can suggest bands they'd like to see is now underway. The caveat is that at least one band member has to currently reside in Vermont. And no, just because Neko Case lives here doesn't mean you can nominate the New Pornographers. (Well, I guess you could. But they probably won't show up if they win, so use a little common sense, m'kay?) 

Once all the nominees are in, we'll pare that list down to a select final few and put it to a vote to see who will be joining Grace and company onstage. For all the details and to start nominating acts, go here.

This is democracy in action, folks. So vote early and often. But don't take our word for it. Let's ask Puff Daddy how he feels about the importance of voting. Puffy?



May 21, 2013

Tom Ayres Takes Helm of First Night Burlington

213First Night Burlington has annnounced it's hired a new executive director, Tom Ayres. Once public relations director at the Flynn Center for the Performing Arts, Ayres is returning to the area's arts scene. He had positions at a Portland, Maine, performing-arts organization, the Champlain Valley Area Health Education Center and the Humane Society of Chittenden County in between.

Before his brief sojourn in Maine, Ayres was also a popular DJ at WRUV, spinning primarily roots and Americana music.

The animals may be sad to see their pet-loving CEO go, but Ayres sounds pretty happy to make the move.

"I am delighted to reconnect with Vermont's vibrant and ever-evolving arts community," he said in a press release issued today. "I look forward to leading our organization into its next evolution."

Ayres replaces former director Jennifer Crowell, who relocated to western Massachusetts.

First Night Burlington, a substance-free celebration of the arts and New Year's Eve, will turn 31 on December 31, 2013, with music and other performances at venues throughout the city.



May 20, 2013

Tonight! "Johnny Jam" Celebrates Life of Former Burlington Musician John Carleton

JohnWhen John Carleton died last February, the victim of a traffic accident, he left a legacy in his former home state of Vermont. A drummer who played with numerous groups around Burlington throughout the 1980s and ’90s, he touched a lot of lives with his powerful playing. He also will be recalled for having an audacious sense of humor and adventure.

Carleton will be remembered — and may very well be there in spirit — tonight at Club Metronome when old musical pals throw a John F. Carleton Memorial Jam, aka "Johnny Jam," in his honor. The "house band" will include Aaron Hersey, Martin Guigui, Russ Lawton, Joe Moore and Guy Burlage — and whoever else shows up to play.

Hersey, a bassist, shared this sentiment with Seven Days:


"We were all blindsided by the sudden loss of John Carleton to a traffic accident (of all things) this past February. John and I were the best of friends, more like brothers, through our twenties and early thirties: roommates, band mates, and running partners; one never more than arms' length from the other for the better part of a decade.

"As young wild ones often are, he was a bit of a handful at times, I suppose we all were, but when push came to shove, that boy was true blue and always had my back.

"I've been listening back to our old recordings and, man, nobody but nobody could lay it down like Johnny Boy. Equal parts Gene Krupa, John Bonham and Phil Collins; everything he played had a big-band swing and blues sensibility that seemed so obvious, yet it was all his own, 100 percent authentic and straight from the heart. Honestly, it's weird getting used to the idea that that drum groove is gone.

"So some of the old buddies are getting together at Club Metronome on May 20 to sing and play, have a beer or two, tell some Carly stories from back in the day, and try to lay some grooves in there the way he would have done for any of us. It's sure to be a great night.

"Come on down, we'd love to see you there!

Tonight, doors at 7 p.m., Club Metronome in Burlington, $5.


May 14, 2013

Grand Point North Lineup Announced!

GPN_PhilAndelmanPhotog med

Earlier today, Grace Potter and her merry band of insomniacs, the Nocturnals, released the lineup for the third annual Grand Point North festival, slated for Burlington's Waterfront Park on September 14 and 15.

Here are the national acts: Gov't Mule, Trombone Shorty & Orleans Avenue, Charles Bradley and His Extraordinaires, City & Color, the Felice Brothers and Shovels & Rope.

But wait, there's more!

Part of what makes GPN (the fest) so great is that GPN (the band) make a point to include a healthy sampling of local acts. This year is no exception. The locavore options this year include Josh Panda & the Hot Damned, Scott Tournet & Ver La Luz, Belle Pines (an offshoot of Brett Hughes and Honky Tonk Tuesday regulars), Alpenglow, Rough Francis, Kat Wright & the Indomitable Soul Band, Natalie Prass featuring Benny Yurco and Paper Castles.

But wait, there's even freakin' more!

This year, Seven Days is teaming up with GPN and Higher Ground Presents for a contest in which fans can vote their favorite local band onto the bill. Stay tuned for details on that.

Tickets for Grand Point North go on sale this Friday, May 17, at And while you're waiting, here's a slick video for GPN's single, "Stars."



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