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Monday, February 26, 2018

Paper Castles Debut New Song, Announce New Album 'Acceptionalism'

Posted By on Mon, Feb 26, 2018 at 4:55 PM

  • Courtesy of Kayhl Cooper
  • Paper Castles
Burlington slacker rockers Paper Castles just released their first new material since 2013's Vague Era. "First Blush," the debut single from the quartet's upcoming third album, Acceptionalism,;comes with an accompanying music video courtesy of Noise Ordinance's Kayhl Cooper.

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Abenakis Gather for Traditional Snow Snake Game in West Barnet

Posted By on Mon, Feb 26, 2018 at 9:01 AM

Winners of 2018 Snow Snake Games, left to right: Nate Chenevert, Gavin MacNeille, Rhonda Besaw and Bryan Blanchett - KYMELYA SARI
  • Kymelya Sari
  • Winners of 2018 Snow Snake Games, left to right: Nate Chenevert, Gavin MacNeille, Rhonda Besaw and Bryan Blanchett
Last Saturday, about two dozen people gathered in West Barnet to play the traditional Native American winter game of snow snake. The games also coincided with the official opening of the Nulhegan Abenaki Cultural Center.

"This is an ancient Native game," explained Donald Stevens, chief of the Nulhegan band of the Abenaki nation. "You slide a stick down the track. Whoever goes the farthest wins."

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Thursday, February 22, 2018

Generator to Present Big Thinkers in 'Reckless Ideas' Series

Posted By on Thu, Feb 22, 2018 at 8:00 AM

  • Vermont Complex Systems Center
  • Josh Bongard
The Generator Maker Space in Burlington's South End is launching a new speaker series that follows the previous Big Maker Series.

"Reckless Ideas" is the brainchild of Generator director Chris Thompson and Juniper Lovato, outreach director for the Vermont Complex Systems Center. That part of the University of Vermont's College of Engineering and Mathematical Sciences deals with trans-disciplinary ideas.

"I met Juniper a few months ago when she was just getting ready to move to Vermont with her husband, Laurent [Hébert-Dufresne]," Thompson writes in an email. "We were talking over coffee at Muddy Waters about all the incredible people doing intriguing, original work around Burlington who she had to meet. Within about half an hour, we had decided that we had to collaborate on a speaker series as an excuse to bring them together."

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Tuesday, February 20, 2018

Tibetans Honor Longtime Activist at New Year Festivities

Posted By on Tue, Feb 20, 2018 at 4:15 PM

Grace Spring (center, first row) with representatives from International Campaign for Tibet and Tibetan Association of Vermont, and her daughter, Cassandra Corcoran (far right) - TSETEN ANAK
  • Tseten Anak
  • Grace Spring (center, first row) with representatives from International Campaign for Tibet and Tibetan Association of Vermont, and her daughter, Cassandra Corcoran (far right)
Last Saturday, about 150 people gathered at Faith United Methodist Church in South Burlington to honor  Grace Spring, an artist and a longtime activist and Tibetan supporter. The award ceremony was held in conjunction with Losar — the Tibetan New Year — celebrations.

Spring, 84, is arguably best known for staging a vigil every Friday outside the Chinese embassy in Washington, D.C., for more than two decades to protest Chinese rule in Tibet. She moved to Middlebury last April, said her daughter, Cassandra Corcoran.

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Friday, February 16, 2018

Museum of Everyday Life Announces New Season, Invites Participation

Posted By on Fri, Feb 16, 2018 at 3:02 PM

The Museum of Everyday Life in Glover - COURTESY OF THE MUSEUM OF EVERYDAY LIFE
  • Courtesy of the Museum of Everyday Life
  • The Museum of Everyday Life in Glover
Each spring since 2011, a humble barn in the Northeast Kingdom comes to life — not with buds and blooms, but with a riot of ordinary things. Under the direction of artist and veteran Bread & Puppet performer Clare Dolan, Glover's experimental Museum of Everyday Life dedicates itself every year to a quirky and spirited exhibition that sprouts from a mundane but thematically potent object.

Last year's exhibit was on bells and whistles; the year before that, mirrors. Other previous exhibits have focused on such prosaic items as pencils and dust. Dolan has just announced the theme for the coming season at MoEL: locks and keys.

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Waking Windows Announces Initial 2018 Lineup

Posted By on Fri, Feb 16, 2018 at 12:43 PM

  • Brian Jenkins Photography
  • Waking Windows
Brace yourselves: Waking Windows has just announced its initial 2018 lineup. The three-day music festival in downtown Winooski runs Friday through Sunday, May 4 through 6,  and features over 150 bands, artists, comedians and DJs. The first wave of confirmed acts is just as dynamite as you'd expect.

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Thursday, February 15, 2018

NPR Premieres Caroline Rose's New Album 'Loner'

Posted By on Thu, Feb 15, 2018 at 2:19 PM

  • Courtesy of Caroline Rose
  • Caroline Rose
The wait is over: You can finally listen to former Burlington singer-songwriter Caroline Rose's long-awaited sophomore album, Loner, in full. National Public Radio offers a first listen to the new record, which marks a stylistic shift from Rose's folksy beginnings to her current pop-rock sound. The release follows of a string of singles and music videos, as well as high-profile coverage from outlets such as Consequence of Sound, Stereogum and Noisey.

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Tuesday, February 13, 2018

Montréal Artists Create a New Mural for the Alchemist

Posted By on Tue, Feb 13, 2018 at 5:24 PM

Dan Buller, Ola Volo, Jason Bodkin and Jonathan Bergeron of EN MASSE - ERIK NELSON
  • Erik Nelson
  • Dan Buller, Ola Volo, Jason Bodkin and Jonathan Bergeron of EN MASSE
The Alchemist Brewery and Visitors Center got a new do this weekend. Four artists from the Montréal-based EN MASSE mural project lent their collaborative black-and-white stylings to the vaulted public entrance of the Stowe brewery.

Alchemist co-founder and brewer John Kimmich first encountered EN MASSE's work in Montréal, happening upon one of their murals in a parking garage. He immediately fell for its cacophony of themes unified by stark graphics.

EN MASSE, headed by Jason Botkin and Rupert Bottenberg, brings together (mostly) new artists for each project, whether a high-profile commission or a public, outdoor mural. The artists work collaboratively, each starting with a segment of wall and working outward so their designs mingle. The finished products are varied and unpredictable.

Since its inception in 2009, EN MASSE has worked with more than 250 artists around the world. And it's not the group's first time in Vermont. In 2012, EN MASSE artists, led by Bottenberg, painted a large cube, subsequently suspended from the ceiling, in a now-defunct Winooski gallery space facing the traffic circle.

The Alchemist's new piece — two pieces, technically, on opposite sides of the 768 square feet of ceiling space — was painted by Botkin, Ola Volo, Jonathan Bergeron and Dan Buller. It features a grinning face, a swan, an ornate rose, a rocketship and other items.
Mural by En Masse at the Alchemist Brewery and Visitors Center - ERIK NELSON
  • Erik Nelson
  • Mural by En Masse at the Alchemist Brewery and Visitors Center
Bodkin says the group doesn't usually go into a commission with a game plan, unless the client requests it. In this case, Kimmich just wanted them to do their thing. Bodkin notes that fun things happen when multiple artists work together. "It's an interesting process to watch people paint unscripted — it's contagious," he says.

It seems John and Jen Kimmich have the bug. Artwork has long been essential to the popular beer brand. Alchemist art director Jess Graham says the founders hope that the brewery will be "a feast for the eyes," and aim to continually add new works to their collection.

The mural joins a silo that Graham painted, work by artist Dan Blakeslee on the bright tanks, and sculptural, Dr. Seuss-like trees at the brewery's public entrance.

"The intention and vision [for the building] is [for it] to become full of sculpture and art," Graham says.

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Rick Steves Urges Vermont to 'Take the Next Step' in Weed Legalization

Posted By on Tue, Feb 13, 2018 at 4:13 PM

  • Courtesy of Rick Steves
  • Rick Steves
If you're only familiar with his travel show, "Rick Steves' Europe," you might not guess that the mild-mannered PBS personality is one of America's most prominent advocates for marijuana legalization.

Indeed, the affable TV host and guidebook author has made legal weed a personal crusade, personally donating hundreds of thousands of dollars of his own money to legalization efforts across the country, including in his home state of Washington.

But his push for legalization in the U.S. isn't rooted in a particular personal affinity for kind bud. Rather, his stance on marijuana stems from his extensive travels overseas and the "pragmatic harm reduction" approach that many European countries take towards the drug. For Steves, who sits on the advisory board of the National Organization for the Reform of Marijuana Laws (NORML), marijuana legalization is not a recreational issue, it's a matter of civil liberties.

This week, Steves' travels take him to Vermont. On Thursday, he'll appear at the Vermont Statehouse in Montpelier for a news conference with legislators advocating for Vermont to "take the next step" in its legalization process by taxing and regulating a commercial cannabis market. Earlier this year, the state legislature legalized possession of certain amounts of marijuana, but it is still illegal to sell or purchase weed.

On Friday, Steves will give a free lunchtime presentation at the Skinny Pancake on the waterfront in Burlington. The event is cohosted by Heady Vermont, which will livestream the talk on its Facebook page. Later that afternoon, Steves will take part in an interactive livestream hosted on the Marijuana Policy Project's Facebook page

Seven Days caught up with Steves by phone ahead of his Vermont visit.

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Cultural Mosaic: Tchatching Ngunga to Bring Rwandan Music to Vermont

Posted By on Tue, Feb 13, 2018 at 2:17 PM

Tchatching Ngunga - KYMELYA SARI
  • Kymelya Sari
  • Tchatching Ngunga
Tchatching ("Cha-ching") Ngunga has a message for Vermonters: "Very soon, they are gonna be discovering a new African culture."

Ngunga, who also goes by the name Richard, sings and composes traditional Rwandan songs. So far, he has performed mostly in Canada. "That's where I feel like my music is being valued because my community is there," he said.

But, as a Vermonter since 2011, he's ready to take his music to more audiences, Ngunga continued. "Somebody told me: 'No, music doesn't have a barrier. People just love any music,'" the Burlington resident said.

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