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Tuesday, September 29, 2015

History of America in 101 Objects Author Speaks at Norwich University

Posted By on Tue, Sep 29, 2015 at 3:03 PM

Abraham Lincoln's top hat, one of the Smithsonian's 101 historically important American objects - SMITHSONIAN INSTITUTION
  • Smithsonian Institution
  • Abraham Lincoln's top hat, one of the Smithsonian's 101 historically important American objects
In his book The Smithsonian’s History of America in 101 Objects, cultural anthropologist Richard Kurin takes what could be a gimmicky concept and turns it into a compelling work of public history. This week at Norwich University in Northfield, he'll give a talk that touches on many of those iconic, historic objects.

Kurin, whose free lecture is at 1 p.m. on Friday, October 2, holds the most excellent title of Under Secretary for History, Art, and Culture at the Smithsonian Institution, and therefore had unprecedented access to the items about which he wrote his book. It’s difficult to say if selecting 101 items from a collection of more than 138 million was an enviable task or a back-breaking one. Probably a little of both.

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Monday, September 28, 2015

What I'm Watching: "The Prisoner"

Posted By on Mon, Sep 28, 2015 at 10:50 AM

Patrick McGoohan as Number Six in "The Prisoner" - EVERYMAN FILMS / ITC
  • Everyman Films / ITC
  • Patrick McGoohan as Number Six in "The Prisoner"
Back in high school, my dorky friends and I were thrilled to discover “The Prisoner,” the cerebral British series from the late 1960s. It touched all the bases that were most important to us: It’s smart, British (we were all devout Anglophiles, thanks to Monty Python), cynical, clever, mysterious and fascinating. The compelling quality of its production values and “look” was a welcome bonus.

We were so devoted to the show that, on one occasion, we watched its entire 17-episode run (which we’d seen at least twice already) in a single marathon session — from 10 a.m. one day to 3 a.m. the next. I think our brains were properly fried by the end, but in a good way.

I’d been meaning to rewatch the series (in more digestible chunks), having not seen it in more than a decade, so I was pleasantly surprised when my wife suggested we do just that. I bought the A&E DVDs of the show’s full run many years ago, so they’re always at the ready.

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Sunday, September 27, 2015

Poet Kerrin McCadden Wins First Vermont Book Award

Posted By on Sun, Sep 27, 2015 at 3:12 PM

VCFA president Thomas Greene presents the Vermont Book Award to Kerrin McCadden - COURTESY OF VCFA
  • Courtesy of VCFA
  • VCFA president Thomas Greene presents the Vermont Book Award to Kerrin McCadden
Vermont College of Fine Arts announced this morning that the winner of its first-ever Vermont Book Award is Kerrin McCadden of Plainfield for her Landscape With Plywood Silhouettes: Poems. McCadden received the $5,000 award last night at a gala on VCFA's Montpelier campus.

Among the subjects of McCadden's inventive poems are toy gorillas, crumbling beach houses and selfies. In Seven Days, reviewer Julia Shipley wrote about Plywood Silhouettes — which also received the 2013 New Issues Poetry Prize — "In a world where digital avatars and silky-voiced Siris compete for our hearts, McCadden explores with gentle humor and candor humans' complex relationships with one another." (Read the full review and a poem here. And find links to our reviews of the other nominated books here.)

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Friday, September 25, 2015

Vermont International Film Festival to Host Living in Oblivion Director

Posted By on Fri, Sep 25, 2015 at 1:36 PM

Tom DiCillo - COURTESY OF VERMONT FILM FOUNDATION
  • Courtesy of Vermont Film Foundation
  • Tom DiCillo
For movie fans of a certain age, seeing Tom DiCillo's Living in Oblivion was a rite of passage. Released in 1995, it's a low-budget indie film that satirizes low-budget indie filmmaking, with Steve Buscemi as the director on the verge of a nervous breakdown, Dermot Mulroney as the prima donna cinematographer, Catherine Keener as the depressed lead actress and James LeGros as the narcissistic leading man.

And who could forget the first credited appearance of Peter Dinklage, as the actor who appears in the film-within-a-film's "Twin Peaks"-esque dream sequence and then critiques its clichés in a scathing rant: "I don't even have dreams with dwarves in them!"

Keener and LeGros in Living in Oblivion
  • Keener and LeGros in Living in Oblivion
Living in Oblivion is 20 years old this year, and DiCillo will celebrate the anniversary in Burlington as a guest of the Vermont International Film Foundation, whose annual festival runs from October 23 through November 1 at Main Street Landing Performing Arts Center in Burlington.

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Vermont Couple Make DIY Music Video to Sell Their Inn

Posted By on Fri, Sep 25, 2015 at 12:33 PM

Graham Hewison and Maxine Longmuir have owned the Sugartree Bed & Breakfast in Warren since 2004. But when the UK transplants decided to put their inn on the market two years ago, they got virtually no nibbles going the traditional route of working with commercial realtors. And, with a glut of similar properties in Vermont currently on the market, the Brits knew they had to get creative. 

Finally, Hewison says, the couple decided to "take the bull by the horns" and market the inn themselves. Hewison, a former professional session musician in London, and Longmuir, who ran sports marketing and sponsorship departments for large European companies, decided to write, record, film and edit their own music video to promote the inn's many selling points. Now, they're singing a completely different tune — literally.

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Thursday, September 24, 2015

On Screen This Week: Wolves, Serpents and Skis

Posted By on Thu, Sep 24, 2015 at 2:58 PM

The boys of The Wolfpack - KOTVA FILMS / VERISIMILITUDE
  • Kotva Films / Verisimilitude
  • The boys of The Wolfpack
Whether your tastes are in eyeball-slicing avant-garde films or slope-shredding ski spectaculars, local screens have you covered this week.

Thursday, September 24


At Burlington’s Main Street Landing Film House, Burlington Film Society and the Vermont International Film Foundation presents one of the year’s most acclaimed and talked-about documentaries. The Wolfpack, which tells the story of a group of homeschooled, home-bound brothers who were essentially raised by the movies they watched, has been stunning audiences and critics all over the world.

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Zen Lounge Hosts a Toast to Club Toast

Posted By on Thu, Sep 24, 2015 at 11:59 AM

Wide Wail from "Sound Proof" - MATTHEW THORSEN
  • Matthew Thorsen
  • Wide Wail from "Sound Proof"
If you're a local music fan of certain vintage, the Burlington rock scene of the mid-to-late1990s likely holds a special place in your heart. Bands such as Guppyboy, the Pants, Wide Wail, Zola Turn, Envy, Chin Ho!, the Fags and Eef — to name but a few — ruled as royalty in the Queen City with fuzzed-out guitars and floppy hair. And their castle keep was a dingy lower Church Street rock venue called Club Toast.

Club Toast was a mainstay in the local music scene for years, until it closed on New Year's Eve 1998. As with the fabled downtown hotspot Hunt's a generation before it, the nostalgia surrounding Toast has since assumed near-mythic proportions. And with good reason. Owners Dennis and Justin Wygmans stacked the the second-floor nightclub with a remarkable array of big-name national talent. And locals were featured just as prominently on the ubiquitous schedule flyers that cluttered local poster boards and shop counters all over town.

Since Toast closed, a string of nightclubs has occupied the upstairs space above Rasputin's, including Lift, Second Floor and Club Millennium. Catering more to the dance crowd than rockers, none of those spots ever quite captured the magic of Toast — nor, it should be noted, did they particularly try. But this Saturday, September 26, the current tenant, Zen Lounge, owned by longtime BTV resident Robbie Zapatski, is paying tribute to the history in those walls with a night dedicated to remembering Club Toast: A Toast to Club Toast.

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Tuesday, September 22, 2015

Burlington Sculptor Kate Pond Unearths Québec Capsule

Posted By on Tue, Sep 22, 2015 at 10:32 AM

Children look at their artworks to be buried under "Zig Zag" in 1994 - COURTESY OF KATE POND
  • Courtesy of Kate Pond
  • Children look at their artworks to be buried under "Zig Zag" in 1994
The arrival of autumn, a bittersweet season, makes many Vermonters particularly conscious of the passage of time. And Burlington sculptor Kate Pond will augment that awareness on Wednesday, September 23, the first day of fall. She will preside over the unearthing of objects buried 21 years ago underneath a sculpture designed with the equinox in mind.

The event takes place in Stanstead, a Québec town near the Vermont border. Pond chose it as the site for “Zig Zag,” a steel triangle with an off-kilter base, because the 45-degree latitude border marks the midpoint between the equator and the North Pole. And, as is the case with the four other pieces that make up her World Sculpture Project, geographic location is integral to Pond’s aim of incorporating Earth-sun-star alignments into her art.

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Friday, September 18, 2015

Style Patrol: Who That?

Posted By on Fri, Sep 18, 2015 at 4:54 PM

dreamstime_s_35291493.jpg
Seven Days recently received the following as a submission to our popular "WTF" column:

WTF is up with so many people, including talking heads, politicians, college types and tradespeople, speaking and writing "that" instead of "who" when referring to people?
Because "WTF" is generally devoted to the solution of local mysteries, I decided to take this one on in Style Patrol, instead.

Our grammar-minded reader appears to be referring to sentences like these:

Egbert is the first boy that I kissed.

They are the couple that gave me a ride to Hinesburg.

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Tuesday, September 15, 2015

Winners of the South End Art Hop 2015 Juried Show

Posted By on Tue, Sep 15, 2015 at 2:31 PM

"Bill at Conant" by Eleanor Lanahan - COURTESY OF SEABA
  • Courtesy of SEABA
  • "Bill at Conant" by Eleanor Lanahan
It's a good thing the effigy of Mayor Miro Weinberger wasn't in the juried show at this year's Art Hop. Or, for that matter, the "Miroville" installation across Pine Street from the South End Arts and Business Association office. The mayor, assailed by many artists in the city's arts district for a perceived pro-development stance, took some heat at the Hop. But at SEABA, which puts on biggest arts festival in the state, four other individuals came away with accolades.

The juried show is a highlight of the annual Art Hop. This year more than 110 artists submitted works; 28 were accepted by juror Kathleen Cullen, a curator, art adviser and dealer from New York City.

And the winners are…
FIRST PLACE: Eleanor Lanahan, for her astonishingly detailed gouache work "Bill at Conant." Shown above, the piece depicts artist Bill Davison at work in a space he rents at Conant Metal & Light.

Coincidentally, Lanahan's partner, John Douglas, took first prize at last year's Hop for his evocative photograph, "River Mouth."

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