Sunday, February 25, 2007

Visit STVT at 7 Days!

Please keep up with the
Stuck in Vermont vlog
at its new home, Seven Days!


Stuck in Vermont Moves to Seven Days!

OK, I know I should not count my chickens before my ship has hatched and all that jazz but can I just be really happy for just one second and crow merrily from the rooftops? YES! I can! This is my blathering blog and I can be as obnoxious as I please! Plug your ears if need be.

You know the fairytale Cinderella? The poor evil stepsisters (who are far easier to relate to than bland pretty Cinderella) try so hard to jam their enormous feet into the petite glass slipper, but it is to no avail. I think in some versions, they even cut off their toes to crunch their bloody feet into the dainty little shoe.

Well, that has been me for a long time now, trying to jam my foot into a slipper that didn't fit. How heavenly is it to put on a shoe and have it feel just right? That is how working for Seven Days feels, like a comfortable old shoe. Only, that sounds all wrong. But you get my drift.

Stuck in Vermont has a new home and it is at Seven Days. The move is courtesy of Online Editor/Blogger extraordinaire Cathy, beautiful site design for STVT by Don (ooh, red and black, how classy-n-punk!), most excellent logo design by Scott and fabulous song in the opening credits by The Smittens.

I am so excited and have more ideas for vlogs than I can keep straight in my head. VT is full of interesting people, happenings and stories and I can't wait to sink my teeth into them! CHOMP, chew, chew, swallow!

Be on the look out for vlogs about the VDay Blizzard, Oscars in VT, First 50, Mardi Gras and Keely and Du - and that is just this weekend! And please comment with any feedback/ideas you have! STVT is a work in progress but now that I am wearing shoes that fit, it is sure to be a fun ride! Wait, does that make me Cinderella? Eeek!

PS And while I am crowing, did you know the fabulously talented Seven Days writer/editor, Margot Harrison, is now doing movie reviews? Yes, yes, 'tis true that she is my sister and fellow deadbeat but that doesn't biase me as such. I know good writing when I read it:

Those fine performances give real heft to a tragic event late in the story. Like the adult fairy tale Pan’s Labyrinth, Terabithia presents fantasy as a way of surviving realities that are hard for anyone — let alone children — to face. Unlike Pan, Terabithia is probably not too disturbing for most young viewers. The “tearjerker” part of the movie is presented with such low-key realism that it may even hit adults hardest, while kids struggle to absorb what’s going on. (The scene that drops like a bomb in the novel passes very quickly on-screen.) - Margot Harrison, Seven Days

Wednesday, February 21, 2007

Stuck in Vermont 5: Sonic Youth

At long last, the Sonic Youth vlog detailing the post-show activities Sunday night at Higher Ground.

This show kicked some major VT ass. What could be more inspiring than seeing/hearing artists still rocking the shit out of life decades into their career? Hells yeah.

Thanks to Sonic Youth for coming to VT, to Higher Ground for bringing them here, to JDK for making their super cool, thought-inspiring posters and to all the psyched SY fans who talked to me after the show (many of whom were Canadian...hmmm).

This marks the first episode of Stuck in Vermont that "officially" falls under the grand auspices of Seven Days - the hottest paper in town if you ask me. It is a partnership I am super excited about and there is no where else STVT would rather live! So be on the look out for a Stuck in VT vlog/blog on the Seven Days site in the future and many more vlogs about local artists, events and shows!

That is the thing about VT, even when you are buried under a mountain of snow, it isn't so bad because there is so much to do while you are stuck, waiting for the snow to melt...

And on a legal note, a huge thanks to Sonic Youth for letting me use their killer song "Incinerate" off their hellah hot new album Rather Ripped and also to Geffen Records, Universal Music Enterprises and Silva Artist Management for filling out all the very complicated paperwork and giving me a much needed lesson in copyright laws.

And to the Jennifers at UMe and SAM for making this all happen - and in record time!! You are both getting VT care packages in the mail, mark my words, maple syrup and flannel. Oh yes, beware!

Wednesday, February 14, 2007

Stuck in Vermont, Episode 4

It was the day before Valentine's Day and I was lurking on upper Church St freezing my hands into popsicles and trying to get people to talk to me about what VDay means to them.

With dropping temperatures and an approaching storm, rushing people were not that excited to gab on a street corner in front of my camera. Still, a few kind souls obliged and here is the result with a very pretty song by The Smittens to boot:

Happy Valentine's Day from all of us who are Stuck in Vermont
(as of tomorrow, that may be literally true)!

Monday, February 12, 2007

Stuck in Vermont, Episode 3

Last Saturday, Meghan and I took a lovely drive to my hometown of Johnson, Vermont to attend the 5th Annual Johnson Winter Carnival. We were hoping to see some Snow Volleyball but alas, the event was cancelled.

Luckily, there were all sorts of other fun things to do such as ice skating, cake walking, snow sculpture gazing, bake sale buying and clog watching. To see more, watch my third Stuck in Vermont vlog!

Best of all, we got to see the RimRock Cloggers performing with Clean Fill on the Johnson Elementary School gymnasium stage. It was a mix of seasoned performers such as Amanda Preston, Kayla MacDonald, Shoshie and Aliza Silverstein and some younger students having a good time and learning from the masters.

The fiddle plucking was infectious and it was hard to stand still with all that upbeat clogging going on. Neglecting my cameraman duties, I felt the overwhelming urge to tap my feet or clap along. I spoke to the girls after the show and Shoshie said that they wanted to give the feeling of hanging out on a friend's back porch and relaxing with casual clogging, fiddle playing and family members. That is a back porch I would like to spend some time on.

Even more fun, I ran into an old friend of mine from Johnson Elementary School, Amy Gilbert. She didn't recognize me at first and claimed my skin was a lot darker (did California make me Mexican?). Of course, the first question out of Amy's mouth after she recognized me was, "Do you have kids?" I looked at my video camera and said, "Sort of."

I also got to see the amazing Molly Hatfield, my bestest friend from Hyde Park's Lamoille Union High School - but only for a brief moment. I missed the chance to see her 10 year old daughter Olive who I last saw at the wee age of 2 years old. Molly and her family are blue-blooded Vermonters who built their own house, kill their own meat and live off the land. You'll be seeing them in a Stuck in Vermont vlog real soon. In the meantime, here is Episode 3:

Sunday, February 11, 2007

Stuck in Vermont, Episode 2

Finally, another installment of my new vlog, Stuck in Vermont. Two weekends ago I spent a morning chatting with local author, cab driver, comedian and philosopher Jernigan Pontiac.

In addition to being highly entertained by his droll humor and getting a great tour of the area from a cab's-eye-view, I had an excellent time talking to Jernigan about life, art and people. It is not often that you find such a genuine, interesting, thoughtful soul and even rarer still when you get to have an on-camera chat with them.

It killed me to whittle my hour of footage down to 4 minutes (literally, it killed me, I am still in mourning) but at long last, here is the final bite-sized product, Stuck in Vermont, Episode 2, The Hackie.

I may have to follow this vlog up with Jernigan's tour of the area not to mention more Jernigan gems about writing and life and massive amounts of silliness. Seriously, this guy needs his own TV show. So beware another Hackie Episode 2.1 or some such thing.

The most awesome music is by C-Funk also known as Adam Cooper Wood and Chris Cheney. Remember to read the bi-weekly Hackie column in Seven Days and to buy the Hackie books here! Spread the word folks, a little dose of Hackie each day keeps the winter doldrums at bay!

Thursday, February 1, 2007

Stuck in Vermont: Episode 1

Last Friday night, the Helen Day Art Center in Stowe was bustling with activity as many fashionable folk in black streamed into its doors for a much anticipated gallery opening. Fine Toon: The Art of VT Cartoonists is an excellent exhibit with pieces by 13 artists with VT ties.

The show’s central connection, of course, is Vermont: The featured artists live here either full- or part-time, or they were born here and moved elsewhere. Most of them are in the first camp — a remarkable fact, given the state’s diminutive size. Then again, the number of artists in Vermont may soon surpass that of cows, if it hasn’t already. Seven Days, Pamela Polston

I like those odds. Although artists provide a very different sort of milk, no less nourishing as Friday night proved.

There were gigantic strawberries dipped in warm chocolate, assorted gourmet cheese platters and a hip art crowd buzzing around the artwork like honey bees. The gallery has a lot to celebrate with a new Executive Director, Nathan Suter, and a new Exhibitions Director, Idoline Duke. Without a doubt, the Helen Day was the happening place to be Friday night!

I shot my very first Stuck in Vermont vlog at this fine event and was lucky enough to talk to James Kochalka - Vermont-based, internationally famous cartoonist/rock superstar!

I was nervous but he was very nice and is not really an elf after all - unless his ears are retractable!? James told us about a brain parasite in humans which is contracted from cats and makes us neurotic. But don't bother throwing out your cat, once you got the parasite, it is there for life. I have yet to research this news but that does explain a lot.

Plus, it turns out that the famous Spandy, who is featured in many of Kochalka's cartoons, is really not all that special after all - perhaps that is what makes her so special?! I am a card-carrying member of the Spandy Fan Club.

The Stuck in Vermont vlog will focus on local artists, musicians and outsiders (all of whom are stuck here for one reason or another) and bring more attention to all the hip-n-hot VT art happenings and goings on 'round town. It'll be 100% VT-based 'cause there is plenty in this little state to keep me busy vlogging about.

I plan to make 'em short and sweet but it remains to be seen if I will be able to keep them under 3 minutes. This one clocks in at 3:30. There might be some longer vids with extra footage for those interested since there is lots of good material (imho).

Without futher ado, here is the first installment of, Stuck in Vermont whose wonderful theme song is courtesy of local indie darlings, The Smittens. Ain't it nice to be stuck in Vermont?: