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Monday, August 29, 2016

New Local Documentary Profiles Rutland Basketball Racism

Posted By on Mon, Aug 29, 2016 at 4:03 PM

Divided by Diversity film poster. - COURTESY OF DUANE CARLETON
  • Courtesy of Duane Carleton
  • Divided by Diversity film poster.
In 2010, five high school basketball players from the Bronx were accepted at Rutland’s Mount St. Joseph Academy, a small Catholic school beset by flagging attendance numbers and a sports program with a recent history of athletic futility. For the student-athletes, the move four hours north from the bleak Edenwald housing project was both a blessing and a curse.

According to an intertitle in Divided by Diversity, a new documentary from local musician and filmmaker Duane Carleton, between 2009 and 2012, the entire state of Vermont had less than half the murders, less than a quarter the robberies and only a third more assaults than Edenwald during the same period.

But what the Bronx natives, all of whom were black, hadn’t bargained for was a barrage of racism, both veiled and overt. As the Mount St. Joseph team became increasingly accomplished on the hardwood, ugly racial barbs on social media escalated to outright hostility at games. At one game, fans started a racist “KFC” chant; at another, two people showed up in gorilla and banana costumes.

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Thursday, August 25, 2016

Madaila Release New Track, 'Nurture'

Posted By on Thu, Aug 25, 2016 at 11:10 AM

  • Courtesy of Madaila
  • Madaila
Red alert! Local heartbreakers and rump shakers Madaila have dropped a new single! It's called "Nurture," and you should stop what you're doing right now and listen to it.

The track is the second single from the band's forthcoming album, Traces, which is due out in October. Written by Madaila front man Mark Daly, the track was recorded at their home base, Future Fields in Burlington.

According to Daly, "[The track] plays a prominent role in the progression of the record, [and] kicks off the second half of the album. [It] points in the direction that the LP is headed, both lyrically and in terms of its musical structure and mood."

OK, then. If "Nurture" is indeed a portent of  Traces, Madaila is likely to take us on a complex musical odyssey about personal identity and renewal. And, you know, probably some rump shaking, too.

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Tuesday, August 23, 2016

New Mural at Burlington Skate Park Honors Namesake A-Dog

Posted By on Tue, Aug 23, 2016 at 5:23 PM

Detail of mural for skate park - COURTESY OF JOZIE FURCHGOTT SOURDIFFE
  • Courtesy of Jozie Furchgott Sourdiffe
  • Detail of mural for skate park
DJ Andy "A-Dog" Williams died of leukemia in December 2013. Since then, Burlington's music, art and skateboarding communities have continued to demonstrate just how beloved he was, how expansive his influence. The city's new skate park was named in his memory. The Friends for A-Dog Foundation, a devoted group of volunteers, has organized annual tribute parties, produced tribute albums and, perhaps most importantly, kept up bone-marrow registration efforts.

Perhaps no one feels A-Dog's loss more keenly than his longtime partner, artist Jozie Furchgott Sourdiffe, 29. This Saturday, August 27 — A-Dog Day — at the skate park, she'll unveil her unique tribute to Williams: a mural whose brilliant colors and imagery celebrate life and love.

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Saturday, August 20, 2016

Extra Innings: All the Bill Lee That's Unfit to Print

Posted By on Sat, Aug 20, 2016 at 8:00 AM

Cover, 'Spaceman: Baseball Odyssey' - BRETT RAPKIN
  • Brett Rapkin
  • Cover, 'Spaceman: Baseball Odyssey'
In reporting this week's cover story on former Red Sox pitcher turned gubernatorial hopeful Bill Lee, I uncovered far more on the Spaceman than could have fit in three cover stories. What follows are some of the anecdotes that, for one reason or another, didn't make the final cut.  

Boston Globe columnist Bob Ryan on what Lee's career could have been had Yankees third baseman Graig Nettles not ruined the Spaceman's shoulder in a 1976 brawl:

“This is what Lee could have been if doesn’t get hurt and he continued on that path,” said Ryan. “Mark Buehrle. They’re the same pitcher.”
Buehrle isn’t exactly a sexy name, and his unassuming demeanor is far cry from the Spaceman's. But it’s nonetheless high praise. Buehrle was a five-time all star who won 214 games over his 16-year career. He was as durable as they come, an innings eater who topped 200 innings in all but his first and final seasons — he finished the 2015 season, his last, with 198.2 innings pitched. Buehrle was one the better lefties of his generation and among the league's most dependable starters, period.

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Tuesday, August 16, 2016

A Reporter Tries Out Cupping, With Props to Michael Phelps

Posted By on Tue, Aug 16, 2016 at 3:30 PM

How cupping works - DREAMSTIME
  • Dreamstime
  • How cupping works
Michael Phelps may have earned his 23rd round medal at Rio recently, but it was the round marks on his back — and on the body parts of fellow Olympians — that have earned raised eyebrows at the 2016 Games. The New York Times compared Phelps to a Dalmatian; the Dallas Morning News described the crimson circles “as if a school of large catfish had latched onto his skin underwater and left him with hickeys.”

By now, everyone knows that the purple dots are a result of cupping. And according to the Washington Post, it was big with top-level athletes long before Phelps brought it to our attention. Far from a new trend, it's actually an ancient form of alternative medicine that uses suction to improve blood flow, reduce soreness and speed healing. For Olympians who bounce from event to event like Ping Pong balls, cupping can be a quick way to recuperate for the next bout.

After hours of watching Rio 2016 swimming, the only soreness I felt was in my eyeballs, and maybe in my heart. (Hubba-hubba, Ryan Lochte!) Still, as an athlete myself, I was curious to experiment with the practice. Would it relieve my chronically stiff muscles, the result of too little stretching? Would I emerge like a spotted salamander?

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Friday, August 12, 2016

Swale Release Powerful New Video, a Cover of Sinéad O'Connor's 'Black Boys on Mopeds'

Posted By on Fri, Aug 12, 2016 at 4:45 PM

Burlington's Swale have dropped a new video in solidarity with Black Lives Matter. A thoroughly researched photo montage, created by Swale guitarist Eric Olsen, shows every black woman and man killed by police between January 1, 2015, and August 1 of this year. The faces come and go at a terrifying pace, underscoring how the victims' lives were tragically cut short. The video features a newly recorded cover of Sinéad O'Connor's "Black Boys on Mopeds," tracked in recent sessions for the band's next album. 

As the blog Cover Me Songs reports, Olsen was inspired to create the video after the deaths of Alton Sterling and Philando Castile. "I hadn't seen any sort of aggregator of fatalities at the hands of police, so I started researching that," Olsen explains. "Collecting the data on all these people took some time, and by the time I was done, more people had been killed. So I added more."

The original song comes from O'Connor's 1990 album I Do Not Want What I Haven't Got, where it was a reflection on the killing of young black man Colin Roach. In 1983, Roach was killed inside a London police station, sparking a fury of protest and investigation.

Though the song was not written in connection with Black Lives Matter, it highlights the obvious and appalling trend of police brutality toward black people across cultures and time periods. The new video stands vigil and forces us to confront the insidiousness of racism and hatred, one face at a time.

Swale - "Black Boys on Mopeds" (Sinéad O'Connor cover) from Swale on Vimeo.

Swale's cover of "Black Boys on Mopeds" is available for download on their Soundcloud page.

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Thursday, August 11, 2016

Give a Twig and Send Us Your Tree Photos!

Posted By on Thu, Aug 11, 2016 at 5:02 PM

Update, August 19, 2016: Wow, you really delivered on these tree photos. Thanks, everyone, for your submissions and keep an eye out for our tree feature in September!

Hey, photographers — pro, amateur, Instagrammers — got any photos of trees? We’re collecting them for a print and online project and would love to see yours!

Submit your photo using the form below by Friday, August 19, at noon and you’ll be entered in a drawing for gift certificates to local restaurants. Plus, your photo may be selected for publication in a September issue of Seven Days!

This form is now closed

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Special Collections: Jennifer Brinkman Wants You to Bring Her a Keychain

Posted By on Thu, Aug 11, 2016 at 12:43 PM

Jennifer Brinkman - RACHEL JONES
  • Rachel Jones
  • Jennifer Brinkman
Burlington resident Jennifer Brinkman describes herself as a "bread and buttered" Vermonter. She grew up in Colchester, and both her mother and daughter attended Vergennes Union High School. Travel is not particularly appealing to her, though she does visit family outside of Tampa, Fla., with relative frequency.

I meet Brinkman at North End institution T. Rugg's Tavern — my first time there — to see and chat about her collection of keychains. For someone with so little interest in travel, she has keychains from locations flung across the U.S. and a smattering of international ones, too. She empties these from a metallic pink cosmetic case onto the plastic patio table in front of her, looking like an ace poker player who just won the whole pot.  

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Monday, August 8, 2016

Montpelier's Savoy Theater to Get New Owner

Posted By on Mon, Aug 8, 2016 at 9:00 AM

James O'Hanlon at the Savoy Theater - TRISTAN VON DUNTZ
  • Tristan Von Duntz
  • James O'Hanlon at the Savoy Theater
The Savoy, Montpelier's 35-year-old art house cinema, will change hands this month. And the soon-to-be owner says he's committed to preserving the "unique experience" the theater offers.

Current owner Terrence Youk purchased the theater in December 2009 from long-timers Rick Winston and Andrea Serota. Youk renovated the theater, turned the basement into a second screening room, and closed the companion business Downstairs Video.  (The Savoy has preserved more than 1,000 classic DVDs from the stock as an "archive," lending them out to patrons who pay membership dues.)

Now Youk has new plans, including spending six months in India, where his wife will be a Fulbright scholar. He's selling the theater to James O'Hanlon of Worcester, in whom he has "every confidence that he will continue the mission of the Savoy of bringing central Vermont the finest in independent and foreign film," Youk wrote in an email.

O'Hanlon, who has been the Savoy's projectionist for the past two years, will take over ownership later this month, he said in a phone interview. While he's "not going to touch" the Savoy's programming of first-run independent films, he hopes to find new ways to connect the theater to its community.

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Tuesday, August 2, 2016

Major Gift Paves Way for New Gallery at the Hyde Collection

Posted By on Tue, Aug 2, 2016 at 4:59 PM

"Liz (F. & S.7)," lithograph by Andy Warhol - COURTESY OF THE HYDE COLLECTION
  • Courtesy of the Hyde Collection
  • "Liz (F. & S.7)," lithograph by Andy Warhol
The Hyde Collection in Glens Falls, N.Y., announced today that it has received an institutional gift valued at $11 million in funds and artworks. The donation by Schenectady architect and collector Werner Feibes, 86, will be used to open the new Feibes & Schmitt Gallery, named for Feibes and his late husband and business partner, James Schmitt.

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