By Dan Bolles
on Fri, Feb 3, 2017 at 11:16 AM
Courtesy of Bandcamp
Today, Friday, February 3, online music distributor Bandcamp is donating 100 percent of its share of proceeds to the American Civil Liberties Union. The move is a response to President Trump's executive order temporarily banning immigrants and refugees from certain Muslim-majority countries.
By Dan Bolles
on Thu, Feb 2, 2017 at 12:11 PM
Last month, National Public Radio began taking entries for its annual Tiny Desk Contest. As per usual, a number of Vermont acts submitted this year, in hopes of landing a coveted Tiny Desk Concert appearance and a national tour with NPR and Lagunitas.
Among these is local songwriter and current Honky Tonk Tuesday ringleader Eric George. His submission for his song "And When I Sing," was recently featured on the contest's Tumblr page, which is a clearinghouse for videos that have "caught the eyes and ears" of the contest's curators.
Eric George, of Burlington, Vt., has a clear appreciation for the jaunty, big-hearted folk of Woody Guthrie. On the wall behind him, you can see a poster bearing a well-known Guthrie quote:
'I hate a song that makes you think that you are not any good. I hate a song that makes you think that you are just born to lose … I am out to sing songs that will prove to you that this is your world.'
“And When I Sing” is very much on Guthrie’s side of that divide. With a swaying performance on his 12-string and spiritual accompaniment by a spotted pup, George has shared a slice of stirring self-affirmation and bracing goodwill.
We'd say that's just about spot on. Take a look and listen to George's video below. And check back soon, as we'll be posting other local TDC submissions as we find them. (If you're a local artist and you submitted to TDC, let us know!)
Burlington's post-grunge rockers Phantom Suns have shared a new song and video, "Disposable." The track comes from their forthcoming album, to be released later this year. Phantom Suns recently dropped the album's first track, "Probably Wrong," which you can hear on Bandcamp.
I hope 2017 is the year that unites the growing number of excellent bedroom producers in Vermont into a self-sustaining movement. There is a distinctive, laid-back and transcendental personality to much of the experimentation and development going on. Let's recognize and celebrate it as an exciting new style emerging from our community. Between renowned Burlington-based audio plug-in company Soundtoys and Champlain College's fostering of digital arts, there's got to be a big wave of slick electronic music on the horizon.
Hey, pals. Remember my first post for the Live Culture blog? I wrote about an obscure musical artifact from 2013 titled Sequoiahedron, by Brattleboro's Chance McNiff. In the post, I predicted that McNiff had some new sounds in his reserve and expressed the hope that 2017 would see them presented to the public. To my delight, just one week into the new year, McNiff sent me a Bandcamp link to a new collection of modular synth compositions. The collection, titled thoughts count, is a hypnotic exploration of vaguely psycho-tropical ambience and rhythm with minimalist execution.
The mind is a time machine, y'all! I'm about to wax poetic about the local tunes that I fell in love with this past year. We have some real boundary pushers hiding out here and the quest for the perfect tune led me to some exciting auditory zones. This year made me really stoked on what's possible to accomplish as a D.I.Y. musician in the modern age. In no particular order or hierarchy, here are some of my favorite musical memories of 2016.
By Dan Bolles
on Fri, Dec 30, 2016 at 6:30 AM
R to L: Dwight Ritcher, Nicole Nelson, Kelly Ravin, Kat Wright, Brett Hughes, Francesca Blanchard, Marie Claire Johnson, Stephanie Lynn Heaghney
As 2016 draws to a close, this week we're recapping some of our favorite local singles of the year. The final selection of the year is Woody Guthrie's "This Land Is Your Land," arranged by Brett Hughes & Kat Wright in tribute to Bernie Sanders.
Anthill Collective's mural behind ArtsRiot in Burlington
Before we take a deep breath and dive into 2017, it seems a good time to look back on the year from which we are about to graduate: 2016. This is by no means a comprehensive list, but a sampling of events, exhibits and happenings in local arts and culture. It gives us one more chance to wax nostalgic on where we've been and what we wrote about over the past 12 months.
OK, this didn't happen in Vermont, but it's relevant. Remember when Sen. Bernie Sanders ran for president? As a reflection of his popularity, a Sanders-themed art show titled “The Art of a Political Revolution” — which included Vermont artists — launched in Los Angeles.
Vermont Shakespeare Company greeted the year by announcing a name change — to Vermont Shakespeare Festival. The new moniker symbolized another step toward the nonprofit's dream of presenting a full-blown, well, Shakespeare festival. Meantime, the company went on to present several events throughout the year, including its timely production of Julius Caesar in the summer.