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Tuesday, October 17, 2017

Nashville Producer (and Elvis' Bassist) Coming to St. Mike's

Posted By on Tue, Oct 17, 2017 at 6:30 AM

Norbert Putnam - COURTESY OF NORBERT PUTNAM
  • Courtesy of Norbert Putnam
  • Norbert Putnam
Norbert Putnam, a session musician and record producer, played bass guitar on 120 Elvis Presley tracks.  He was the bassist on J.J. Cale's 1971 classic "After Midnight" and produced Jimmy Buffett's 1977 hit "Margaritaville."

Putnam recorded Kris Kristofferson's first demos in Nashville and once discussed bass levels with a 13-year-old Michael Jackson. "Michael Jackson was a great genius," Putnam told Seven Days

Putnam, 75, is a repository of stories about music and the people who made it back in the day. He brings his tales to Vermont on Friday, October 20, for two events at the McCarthy Arts Center at St. Michael's College: an afternoon bass summit with Mike Gordon of Phish and an evening presentation/performance based on his book, Music Lessons: A Musical Memoir. Both events are free and open to the public.

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Tuesday, August 8, 2017

Buyer to Rescue, Restore Modernist House II in Hardwick

Posted By on Tue, Aug 8, 2017 at 11:21 AM

House II in Hardwick - COURTESY OF GEOFFREY GROSS, NYC
  • Courtesy of Geoffrey Gross, NYC
  • House II in Hardwick
Not many house hunters are in search of an experimental, white, modernist home built in 1969-70 that one listing described as a “live-in artwork.” But, after four years on the market, as Seven Days reported earlier this year, architect Peter Eisenman’s House II in Hardwick finally found its ideal caretakers.

The New England-based couple who purchased the iconic house would prefer to remain anonymous. Andrew Ferentinos, the architect they hired to make the house both truer to Eisenman’s original drawings and more livable, describes them this way: “They are the rare people who are deeply and passionately interested in architecture, and in being stewards of modern architecture.”

That’s fortuitous, for only pure love was going to save this building.

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Tuesday, June 6, 2017

The Peacham Congregational Church Seeks Selfies in Unique Fundraiser

Posted By on Tue, Jun 6, 2017 at 12:42 PM

Peacham Congregational Church - COURTESY OF PEACHAM CONGREGATIONAL CHURCH
  • Courtesy of Peacham Congregational Church
  • Peacham Congregational Church
Once upon  a time, before tourists took pictures of themselves, they took pictures of church steeples, autumn leaves and village greens — particularly in Vermont. Many of those images depict the Northeast Kingdom town of Peacham, an off-the-main-road slice of paradise that is said to be the most photographed town in New England.

Who's to argue? (Except maybe Craftsbury.)

"The church has been photographed a lot," local historian Johanna Branson said. "A lot, a lot, a lot."

Now the Peacham Congregational Church is seeking selfies — that is, asking photographers to submit images of the handsome white clapboard structure whose spire pierces the village sky,  and whose glory days are perhaps behind it. In the "Most Photographed" competition, money will be raised by people voting for their favorite picture at the July 16 Peacham Community Picnic, paying $1 each to cast a ballot.

The contest will raise money to help repair the building's clapboards and foundation, and to spruce up the paint job.

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Thursday, November 17, 2016

Abenaki Women Share Heritage With Champlain College Community

Posted By on Thu, Nov 17, 2016 at 7:56 AM

Lucy Cannon-Neel (far right) and Melody Brook (second from right) leading the drumming workshop - KYMELYA SARI
  • Kymelya Sari
  • Lucy Cannon-Neel (far right) and Melody Brook (second from right) leading the drumming workshop
Lucy Cannon-Neel travels all over the Green Mountain State to teach Abenaki history and culture to elementary school students. But on Wednesday, she found herself co-leading an Abenaki drumming workshop to a much older audience at Champlain College.

The workshop was the last in a series of events organized by Melody Brook, operations manager of residential life and adjunct professor with the Division of Education and Human Studies at Champlain College, to commemorate Native and Indigenous Heritage Month. Cannon-Neel, a registered nurse, is the chair of the Vermont Commission on Native American Affairs. Brook is the commission's vice-chair.

"We say the drum is the heartbeat of Mother Earth and it keeps everything equal, sound," said Cannon-Neel, when asked about the importance of drumming in Abenaki culture. Drumming can be done at any time, the Holland resident added.

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Friday, September 30, 2016

Burlington Artist Assembles a Pleistocene-Era Lion Skeleton

Posted By on Fri, Sep 30, 2016 at 12:05 PM

SADIE WILLIAMS
  • Sadie Williams
In a small, well-lit space deep inside Burlington's Soda Plant, artist Kyle Sikora settles the skull of an extinct female North American lion onto a blue, padded frame. The Conant Metal & Light employee disappears behind the massive skeleton, more than nine feet long, as he crouches down to adjust its 17-inch noggin.

Alan Stout of Rome, Georgia, owner of the skeleton, keeps a vigilant watch from the room's entrance as he simultaneously entertains this reporter. A retired food-safety official,Stout now operates an online business called Dinoland Plus. It offers "museum-quality reptile and mammal pieces for sale, fossil preparation [and] knowledge of animals in all time periods."

But this lion reconstruction won't be for sale. At least, not for a while.

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Sunday, September 11, 2016

Vermont Historical Society Talks Freaks, Radicals and Hippies

Posted By on Sun, Sep 11, 2016 at 4:09 PM

Goddard College students, 1971 - COURTESY OF GODDARD COLLEGE ARCHIVES
  • Courtesy of Goddard College Archives
  • Goddard College students, 1971
Experiences and legacies of 1970s Vermonters were fondly — and sometimes movingly — examined at a Vermont Historical Society event on Saturday, September 10, called "Freaks, Radicals & Hippies: Counterculture in 1970s Vermont Symposium."

The daylong event at the Vermont College of Fine Arts in Montpelier, which featured keynote speaker Edward Berkowitz, a cultural history scholar, bore some resemblance to an educational program at a senior center. But the topics weren't the least bit bland. Most of the 125 attendees seated at round tables in the college's Alumni Hall were old enough to recall the riotous 1968 Democratic Party convention in Chicago, the 1969 Woodstock musical festival, the 1970 killings of antiwar demonstrators at Kent State University in Ohio and other tumultuous events of the era recounted by some of the speakers.

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Saturday, July 9, 2016

St. Albans National Guardsman Chosen as 2016 Soldier of the Year, Plans WWI Exhibit

Posted By on Sat, Jul 9, 2016 at 9:00 AM

click image FILE ILLUSTRATION BY ANDY WARNER
  • FIle illustration by Andy Warner
It's not every day that Seven Days has reason to update a story from its annual Cartoon Issue. Then again,  Capt. Zachariah "Zac" Fike's story, which was featured in the 2014 Cartoon Issue, is not like many others.

Fike, 35, is a full-time, active-duty member of the Vermont National Guard and the founder of Purple Hearts Reunited. The St. Albans-based nonprofit is committed to returning those military medals, which are awarded to combat veterans wounded or killed in action, to their rightful owners or the owners' next of kin.

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Tuesday, June 28, 2016

Revolutionary War Veteran to Receive Replacement Gravestone

Posted By on Tue, Jun 28, 2016 at 1:00 PM

Johnson Cemetery - KEN PICARD
  • Ken Picard
  • Johnson Cemetery
A veteran of the American Revolutionary War buried in Waterbury will get a new headstone courtesy of the Veterans Administration. That's thanks in part to Seven Days readers who inquired about the long-abandoned cemetery for a recent "WTF" column.

The May 25 article, "What's the Story With the Hidden Cemetery in Waterbury?" explained the origins of the Johnson Cemetery visible from I-89, as well as the desecration of the grave of Zachariah Bassett, a Revolutionary War soldier, sailor and prisoner of war.

In May 2011, Mark Backus, an amateur genealogist living in Bristol, went to visit the grave of Bassett, his fifth grand-uncle, only to discover that his 19th-century marble headstone had been snapped off at its base and stolen. Backus reported the theft to the Vermont State Police but the headstone was never recovered.

Shortly after the publication of that story,  a member of the Vermont Society of the Sons of the American Revolution contacted Seven Days to get in touch with Backus. The "male lineage society" and historic/patriotic nonprofit is dedicated to keeping alive the spirit and memory of those who fought in the American war for independence — including the 174 veterans of that war who are known to be buried in Vermont. 

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Saturday, March 26, 2016

Historian Thomas Crow Talks Pop Art and Counterculture

Posted By on Sat, Mar 26, 2016 at 4:24 PM

"LOVE," screenprint by Robert Indiana (multiplied by 6) - COURTESY OF FLEMING MUSEUM
  • Courtesy of Fleming Museum
  • "LOVE," screenprint by Robert Indiana (multiplied by 6)
In conjunction with current show "Pop Art Prints," renowned art historian, author and New York University professor Thomas Crow spoke at the Fleming Museum of Art on Wednesday, March 23. His talk was titled "Painting, Print, Poster, Album Cover: Pop Reproductions and the Counter-Culture" and focused on two images that have become ubiquitous since their creation in the 1960s. An incarnation of one of these is included in the exhibition: Robert Indiana's "Love" print. 

The second image was "Viva Che," a poster that Irish artist Jim Fitzpatrick completed in 1968, following the Argentine revolutionary's death in October 1967. Crow asserted that the image has "never been out of view since." Fitzpatrick adapted his iconic emblem, which Crow asserted as "indebted to Warhol," from the "Guerrillero Heroico" photo taken of Che by Alberto Korda in 1960.

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Friday, March 25, 2016

A Nazi Film With an Unusual Perspective on the Holocaust

Posted By on Fri, Mar 25, 2016 at 8:11 AM

Archival footage from What Our Fathers Did - WILDGAZE FILMS
  • Wildgaze Films
  • Archival footage from What Our Fathers Did
A college film professor of mine once remarked that if Nazis had never existed, Hollywood would have had to invent them. He was an eccentric guy and his lectures were pretty obtuse, but I understood his point: Nazis are so evil that they have filled the all-important Bad Guy role in countless films.

And it’s not just Hollywood that loves to hate Nazis. Films of the Holocaust subgenre have an excellent track record with critics and prize givers. Just this past year, the Hungarian film Son of Saul, an intense drama set in a concentration camp, won the Oscar and the Golden Globe for Best Foreign Language Film, as well as the Grand Prix at the 2015 Cannes Film Festival and other awards.

This particular cinematic well is a deep one, as evidenced by the upcoming Middlebury screening of What Our Fathers Did: A Nazi Legacy. The new documentary will play for a single screening at the Town Hall Theater on Sunday, April 3, 7 p.m., as part of the Middlebury New Filmmakers Festival Winter Screening series.

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