Live Culture | Seven Days | Vermont's Independent Voice

Tuesday, November 26, 2019

Comedian Anya Volz Returns to Vermont to Host 'Thirst Trap'

Posted By on Tue, Nov 26, 2019 at 1:56 PM

  • Mindy Tucker
  • Anya Volz
Comedian Anya Volz's big break rather literally came at the 2015 Vermont's Funniest Comedian contest at the Vermont Comedy Club — or, more specifically, a few nights before. Just prior to the annual local standup competition, Volz broke her leg. It would have been understandable — and probably her doctor's advice — for the comic to sit out the contest. But she chose to compete anyway.

"I was like, 'Oh my God. Am I really gonna do this really intense competition when I really should be in bed on pain meds?'" Volz recalls.

Performing on crutches for three straight nights, and forgoing painkillers in order to keep her mind clear, Volz took second place that year. That result led to regular feature appearances supporting nationally touring acts at the then-brand-new Burlington comedy club. Volz also curated her own regular standup showcase at VCC, called Welcome to Girlington.

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Monday, November 18, 2019

A Champlain Student's 'Ok Boomer' Song Went Viral on TikTok. Can He Turn It Into a Career?

Posted By on Mon, Nov 18, 2019 at 3:37 PM

  • Facebook profile photo
  • Peter Kuli
It’s been a weird few weeks for Peter Kuli. The 19-year-old Champlain College sophomore has been caught up in a massive social media wave that has sprung from the video-sharing app TikTok to the pages of the New York Times, from high schooler Instagrams to the New Zealand Parliament. It all boils down to two words: “ok boomer.”

In early October, Kuli made a song on his laptop. It was a remix of clips made by his friend Jonathan Williams, a college student in California, including lyrics mocking baby boomers (“You think I respect your opinion when your hairline looks that disrespectful?”) and a clip of Williams yelling, “Ok, boomer!” Those same lyrics became the song’s title.

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Monday, November 11, 2019

Cartoonist Jason Lutes Wins Vermont Book Award

Posted By on Mon, Nov 11, 2019 at 10:51 AM

Jason Lutes accepting the Vermont Book Award - COURTESY OF JAY ERICSON
  • Courtesy of Jay Ericson
  • Jason Lutes accepting the Vermont Book Award
At a gala ceremony on Saturday night in Montpelier, the fifth annual Vermont Book Award was presented to Hartland cartoonist Jason Lutes for his 2018 graphic novel Berlin. It's the first graphic work to win the award, which is administered by the Vermont College of Fine Arts.

The $5,000 literary prize isn't the first award that Lutes, a Center for Cartoon Studies faculty member, has won for his work. In summer 2018, he received the prestigious Inkpot Award at Comic-Con International in San Diego, as Pamela Polston noted in a 2018 Seven Days cover story. She described the three-volume Berlin, which combines history and fiction to chronicle the rise of German fascism between the world wars, as "an astonishing accomplishment that represents a grand vision and more than 20 years' work."

“I felt grateful and honored for having my book nominated for the VBA, but the last thing I expected was to actually win," Lutes wrote in an email. "To work in solitude on a project for 22 years, and then to receive a standing ovation for that work from a roomful of strangers, was an unimaginable and deeply humbling experience. I could barely keep it together at the podium. It was a night I will never forget."

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Thursday, October 24, 2019

Daniel Bernard Roumain Begins 24-Hour Protest Performance

Posted By on Thu, Oct 24, 2019 at 4:53 PM

Daniel Bernard Roumain performing with members of the New Economistas on Church Street - MARGARET GRAYSON
  • Margaret Grayson
  • Daniel Bernard Roumain performing with members of the New Economistas on Church Street
As the clock above Burlington City Hall rang out at 2 p.m., a woman in purple velour pants was dancing a jig under a slight drizzle of rain. The dancer was Paula Higa, and she was accompanying violinist and composer Daniel Bernard Roumain, known by his initials DBR, as he entered the second hour of his 24-hour protest performance on Church Street.

As DBR’s plucking of violin strings turned into dramatic, scratchy notes, Higa moved to dance behind him. Both violinist and dancer sank toward the ground as the song concluded.

DBR and local musicians and artists will perform continuously until 12 p.m. on Friday in protest of Trump administration policies on issues including immigration. More than 30 other groups or individuals had signed up to join DBR as of this afternoon.

The performance was organized and sponsored by the Flynn Center for the Performing Arts and Burlington City Arts. DBR is in the middle of a residency with the Flynn Center, the University of Vermont’s Lane Series and the Vermont Symphony Orchestra.

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Thursday, September 26, 2019

Middlebury Gallery's Nip Slip Results in Instagram Ban

Posted By on Thu, Sep 26, 2019 at 9:19 PM

  • Olivia Oh @byoliviaoh
The director of a photography gallery in Middlebury said the gallery's Instagram account was banned after posting a photo of a nude woman's breasts on September 5.

James Barker of PhotoPlace Gallery said the photograph, a fine-art shot by Olivia Oh of New York City, was posted by gallery manager Megan Owen, who he said failed to notice its content. That same day, the Instagram account @photoplacegallery was shut down, and PhotoPlace staff have been unable to access it since.

According to Barker, attempts to contact Instagram have gone unanswered. He noted that PhotoPlace had never received any warning or disciplinary action from Instagram before. 

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Tuesday, September 3, 2019

Second Down: Buffalo Bills Hire Former Dartmouth Football Coach Callie Brownson

Posted By on Tue, Sep 3, 2019 at 12:15 PM

Callie Brownson - FILE: SARAH PRIESTAP
  • File: Sarah Priestap
  • Callie Brownson
On most Sunday afternoons during football season, a certain subset of NFL fans routinely descends upon Ruben James, the college-y sports bar and dance club on Main Street in Burlington. Unofficially, RJ's is the city's "Bills bar," where Buffalo Bills die-hards gather to root on — and in recent years, largely lament — the downtrodden AFC East club.

It's been a rough couple of decades for Bills fans since the early-1990s glory days of Jim Kelly, Thurman Thomas and Marv Levy, when the team ruled the AFC and made it to four consecutive Super Bowls. But in early September, at least, hope springs eternal for NFL fans. And as a new season begins this week, there's reason for guarded optimism in Buffalo — and by extension, at RJ's.

When fans tune in to watch the Bills play the division rival New York Jets this Sunday, much of the intrigue will center on Buffalo's nimble, rocket-armed, second-year QB Josh Allen and a feisty defense. But locals might also recognize a familiar face roaming the Buffalo sidelines.

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Tuesday, August 27, 2019

Slideshow: Scenes From the Alt-Imate Tour at the Champlain Valley Fair

Posted By on Tue, Aug 27, 2019 at 4:53 PM

On Friday, August 23, the Champlain Valley Fair kicked off with power chords and ’90s nostalgia. Under the banner of the Alt-Imate Tour, alternative rock bands Bush, Live and Our Lady Peace united for one of the area's biggest concerts of the year. Take a look.

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Thursday, August 22, 2019

Allan Nicholls, Big Heart, to Record Community-Sourced Music Video

Posted By on Thu, Aug 22, 2019 at 1:01 PM

Big Heart, from left: Tyler Mast, Clint Bierman, Allan Nicholls, Peter Day, Ryan Clausen - COURTESY OF ALLAN NICHOLLS
  • Courtesy of Allan Nicholls
  • Big Heart, from left: Tyler Mast, Clint Bierman, Allan Nicholls, Peter Day, Ryan Clausen
Allan Nicholls wants to save the world. Or at least inspire a positive attitude adjustment. So the songwriter's new band, Big Heart, is launching a unique collaborative video recording project that aims to lift spirits, one smartphone camera at a time.

This Friday, August 23, at noon, Big Heart — which also includes the Grift's Clint Bierman and Peter Day, as well as veteran local players Tyler Mast (Bearquarium) and Ryan Clausen (Haley Jane and the Primates) — will debut their new song "This Much Is True" on the steps of Middlebury's Town Hall Theater.

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Tuesday, August 20, 2019

Sail Away: Community Sailing Center Launches Free Program

Posted By on Tue, Aug 20, 2019 at 5:00 PM

  • Courtesy of the Community Sailing Center
  • Sailors in a CSC boat
An old chestnut in sailing circles is that the best two days of a sailor's life are the day he or she buys a boat … and the day he/she sells it. For landlubbers, the joke is that, while sailing can be a blissful pastime, it's also a notoriously expensive and consuming hobby.

This week, the Community Sailing Center in Burlington announced a new initiative that will take away much of the hassle and virtually all of the expense of sailing for those looking to get out on the water.

Beginning in September, the CSC will offer weekend sailboat rentals gratis through its new Free Sailing Program, which is believed to be the first of its kind in the United States.

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Friday, August 16, 2019

WTF: Who Mowed a Giant Peace Sign in a Field Next to Mount Philo?

Posted By on Fri, Aug 16, 2019 at 6:37 PM

David Diaz's giant peace sign - PHOTO COURTESY OF DAVID DIAZ
  • Photo courtesy of David Diaz
  • David Diaz's giant peace sign
Hikers reaching the summit of Mount Philo State Park in Charlotte have yet another thing to look for amid an already breathtaking view of the landscape. Visible to the west, at the southwestern corner of State Park Road and Mount Philo Road, is a massive peace sign mowed into a hayfield. The symbol, which measures 500 feet in diameter, covers nearly six acres and is visible only from above, seems to have been created deliberately for the benefit of visitors atop the 968-foot mountain. Who created it and why?

Chalk it up to David Diaz, an ophthalmologist from Shelburne who had a vision, as it were, for commemorating the 50th anniversary of the Woodstock music festival, which was held August 15 to 18, 1969.

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