Live Culture | Seven Days | Vermont's Independent Voice

Sunday, January 12, 2020

Noted Sportswriters to Speak at 'A Night of Hall of Fame Hoops'

Posted By on Sun, Jan 12, 2020 at 1:23 PM

  • Courtesy of Jack McCallum
  • Jack McCallum
If you were to put together a dream team of some of the most accomplished and influential basketball journalists of the last 40 or 50 years, you might start with Bob Ryan. The semi-retired Boston Globe columnist is as respected a basketball writer as there is on the planet, and as recognizable a figure in Boston sports as any non-player. That's due to his decades of coverage dating back to the late 1960s, when he started as a Celtics beat writer.

After Ryan, you might tab his onetime Globe colleague Jackie MacMullan, now a senior writer for ESPN. She's authored or coauthored some of the seminal books on the NBA's golden age, including 2009's When the Game Was Ours with Larry Bird and Magic Johnson. And since she played Division 1 hoops for the University of New Hampshire Wildcats, Jackie Mac would be an asset if and when a pickup game broke out.

Middlebury's Alexander Wolff would be a natural choice, too. He's a longtime Sports Illustrated writer and author of the 2016 book The Audacity of Hoop: Basketball and the Age of Obama.

And speaking of SI writers, the captain of this little dream team would almost have to be Jack McCallum. After all, he wrote the book on the real Dream Team.

'Dream Team' by Jack McCallum
  • 'Dream Team' by Jack McCallum
McCallum, 71, is a former SI senior writer who started at the magazine in 1981. He's the author of Dream Team: How Michael, Magic, Larry, Charles and the Greatest Team of All Time Conquered the World and Changed the Game of Basketball Forever, a 2012 book about the 1992 U.S. men's Olympic basketball team.

He's also the author of, among numerous other books, :07 Seconds or Less — My Season on the Bench With the Runnin' and Gunnin' Phoenix Suns, for which he embedded himself with the Suns for the entire 2005-06 NBA season.

Presently, McCallum is teaching a sports journalism course at Middlebury College for its winter semester, the second year in a row he's taught that class at the school. McCallum's son Jamie, also an author, is an associate professor of sociology at the college — though the sportswriter says it was actually another Middlebury prof who suggested he teach the class.

As part of that intensive course, on Wednesday, January 15, McCallum moderates 'A Night of Hall of Fame Hoops,' a panel discussion with Ryan, MacMullan and Wolff at the McCardell Bicentennial Hall at Middlebury College. (BTW, if you wanted to round out our dream team's starting five, you could include sportscaster Curt Gowdy. Each panelist, including McCallum, is a recipient of the Curt Gowdy Media Award from the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame, hence the evening's title.)

Ahead of the event, which is is free and open to the public, Seven Days spoke with McCallum by phone.

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Wednesday, December 18, 2019

Jimmy T Thurston, 'Vermont's Grandfather of Rock and Roll,' Dies at 78

Posted By on Wed, Dec 18, 2019 at 9:06 PM

  • Courtesy of Jamie Lee Thurston
  • Jimmy T Thurston
On Friday, December 6, Jimmy T Thurston played a show at the Old Post with his longtime band, the Cobras. In true Jimmy T style, it was a rowdy and raucous night at the South Burlington roadhouse.

"I heard it was crazy good," said Thurston's son, country singer Jamie Lee Thurston. "The whole place was standing up, guitar player ripping solos. I heard it was great."

Though no one knew it at the time, it was also Jimmy T's last show. The Vermont rocker, known to many as "Vermont's Grandfather of Rock and Roll," died on Sunday, December 15. He was 78.

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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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