Spencer Needham

Spencer Needham Joins BHW Production Crew

Words by Spencer Needham. Photo by James Lockridge.

I am in my junior year at UVM and pursuing a degree in Mathematics with a minor in music. From a young age I’ve had a passion for music. My mom got me guitar lessons for the first time when I was about 8 or 9 years old and I fell in love with the art form that is music. Growing up in central NJ, there were always shows in and outside of the Philadelphia and New York City area that I could get to pretty easily, so I was able to get a good dose of live music. It was only this year that I learned about about Big Heavy World and grew an interest so I decided I’d join the crew as a volunteer. Thus far, it’s been pretty cool to see the magnitude and types of work that go into running such an organization. I have grown an interest in the music industry over the past couple of years so it’s been a nice perspective in seeing how a non-profit organization runs. At Big Heavy World I am mainly helping out with the technical/engineering side of things by putting together and recording PSAs and by adding music to the digital music catalog at the radio station. I look forward to continuing to work with Big Heavy World and to promoting Vermont made music!”

BHW Receives Digital Edge Award

Big Heavy World Receives Free Press Media Digital Edge Award

Photo by Free Press Media.

Free Press Media honored Big Heavy World as the nonprofit winner of the Digital Edge Award, presenting it at the 105th Lake Champlain Regional Chamber of Commerce Annual Dinner at the Hilton Hotel on November 12. Big Heavy World Executive Director James Lockridge received the glass Digital Edge trophy on stage from Burlington Free Press Publisher Al Getler. The Digital Edge Award recognizes Vermonters and Vermont organizations that excel with digital marketing, web design, videography, social media, and other ‘digital work.’ Big Heavy World sends a heartfelt ‘Thank you!’ to the Free Press Media staff for making us their nonprofit winner, and to the Lake Champlain Regional Chamber of Commerce members and staff for their warm hospitality at the Annual Dinner! In the photo, left to right, Robert Dostis of Green Mountain Power; James Lockridge; Al Getler.

2015 Battle of the Bands

Burlington Battle of the Bands, Dec. 9th: Gneiss, LizRd Women, Loose at the Root, The Edd, The No-Nothings, and Townsend Revenue

Higher Ground presents Burlington Battle of the Bands, December 9th, 2015 at Higher Ground. The lineup features Gneiss, LizRd Women, Loose at the Root, The Edd, Melon, The Canteens, The No-Nothings, Double Happiness, and Townsend Revenue. All ages in the Higher Ground Showcase Lounge, 1214 Williston Road, South Burlington, VT. Doors open at 7:00pm; show begins at 7:30pm. Advance tix $5/$5 at the door. Tickets available at highergroundmusic.com or call toll free (877) 987-6487.

Listen for the winner Wednesday, December 16 on 105.9FM The Radiator and streaming at bigheavyworld.com, as host Brent Hallenbeck interviews them on ‘Rocket Shop,’ Big Heavy World’s local music radio hour!

Gneiss, http://gneissmusic.com/
LizRd Women, https://www.facebook.com/LizRdWomen/
Loose at the Root, http://www.looseattheroot.com/
The Edd, https://www.reverbnation.com/theedd
The Canteens
The No-Nothings, https://www.facebook.com/thenonothingsmusic/info/?tab=page_info
Double Happiness
Townsend Revenue, https://townsendrevenue.bandcamp.com/


Gneiss is composed of four working professionals transcending the daily grind through the sounds of funk, blues and classic rock. Lead vocalist and guitarist Johnny Meli, pianist Naomi Galimidi, bassist Jesse Cowan, and drummer Jake Blodgett have been making music together in northern Vermont since late 2008. Through lyrically blended mixed vocal leads, and verses that are iconic and identifiable, Gneiss has developed a familiar yet unique sound that’s as textured as the rock for which it’s named.

LizRd Women

A year ago, LizRd Women was a musical comedy duo with a lot of the same appeal as a pug; its near-objective ugliness was endearing, cute, and difficult to understand. Buzzfeed ran articles titled, “Watch LizRd Women Try to Climb Stairs,” “This Little Boy and LizRd Women are the cutest best friends,” and “8 Harmless Ways to Spook LizRd Women.” Since then, the group has become a full-fledged four-piece “slacker emo” band based out of Champlain College. They play real songs, and almost all of them are about Satan. They made no money busking in Nashville.

Loose at the Root

Loose at the Root was started in a dimly lit basement in the cold winter months in Burlington VT. What started as unguided jamming quickly turned into structured songs written to make people dance. The band comes from all over the north east with influences ranging from The Red Hot Chili Peppers to LCD Soundsystem. Their energetic shows are full of psychedelic riffs and mesmerizing bass grooves to get the crowd moving.


The Edd

The Edd is a group of four musicians based out of Burlington, VT. Over the past five years they have been sharing their “progressive space rock” with the east coast, playing shows with acts such as Papadosio, Dopapod, and Consider the Source. Their music is a combination of highly improvised sections, exploration of sound and extremely tight, often complexly structured original songs. They demonstrate mastery of unusual sounds, scales and time signatures, giving them a distinct sound in the “jamband” scene. The result is nothing short of spectacular weird music that captures and moves audiences of all preferences. Live Shows are always high energy, a guaranteed good time and the best way to truly experience The Edd!


A torrent of music energy, Melon delivers an array of multifaceted cover songs arranged with original and improvisational jams. While Melon, a group of UVM students, cannot be placed within a single genre, the seven-piece band intertwines funk, hip-hop, rock, reggae, and metal influences into their repertoire. Melon has been slinging grooves to the Burlington underground party scene since the fall of 2015.

The Canteens

The Canteens blend classical strings with soulful vocals and thumping rhythms to make a sound that is powerful, unique, and honest.

The No-Nothings

Pop-punk fromBurlington, VT.

Double Happiness

Growing up together outside of Boston, Owens and Waggener were friends throughout high school, and met Henry when they moved to Burlington VT. The band works as a collaborative as well as covering the music of Waggener’s solo albums. The group founded Fake Sinatra Records, an organization helping musicians make tapes and release music for as inexpensive as possible for the artists.

Townsend Revenue

Townsend revenue is a for your entertainment and our entertainment band from Essex, Vermont. Townsend has been playing together for about 4 years and do it for the music! As they say, “We are music, yes!”

Big Heavy World Receives IBM Grant to Advance Network

Big Heavy World sends a big ‘Thank you!’ to IBM for a $2,000 grant to improve our network infrastructure. As a tech-heavy music office with the ambition of grabbing onto and using emerging technology to create opportunities for local music, we always need support to get the work done. This grant was given in recognition of the volunteer service of IBM employee Robert Colquhoun. You rocked our world, IBM!

Tyler Herrity

Tyler Herrity 11 November 2015 on Rocket Shop

Tyler Herrity


Tyler Herrity, joined host Brent Hallenbeck on ‘Rocket Shop‘, Big Heavy World’s local music radio hour on 105.9FM The Radiator.

Tyler’s band, Townsend Revenue will be play as part of Burlington Battle of the Bands at Higher Ground in South Burlington on December 9.

Hear more from Tyler solo under his pseudonym Martha X or with Townsend Revenue

Listen to a replay here or via Rocket Shop Radio Hour on iTunes or Subscribe on Android


Vermont Joins International ‘Music Cities’ Family, Represented at First U.S. Conference

Photos by Leslie Kossoff.

Big Heavy World’s Executive Director, James Lockridge, got to jump into a mix of people who are responsible for music offices and music community-building from across the world, joining a panel at the Music Cities Convention in Washington, D.C. on October 25. It was the United States debut of the conference, founded in Brighton, England by Sound Diplomacy, a research and marketing thought leader that places music and music business strategy in city, urban and development plans. Dani Grant, founder of SpokesBUZZ in Fort Collins, CO, coordinated the ‘Small Communities, Development and the Global Movement’ panel that included Jim. Travel to the convention was made possible in part by the Vermont Arts Council and the National Endowment for the Arts. In the photo above, left to right: James Lockridge; Karin Wolf, Head of Arts, City of Madison, WI; Ben Berthelot, Visitors Bureau, City of Lafayette, LA; Lisa Richards Toney, Interim Executive Director, DC Commission on the Arts and Humanities. Photo by Leslie Kossoff.

Music Cities Convention is the world’s first conference focusing on the relationship between city planning, strategy, development, and the music industry.


Photo by Leslie Kossoff, http://www.lkphotos.com

“From venue and community space development to education, employment, event provision, licensing, regulation and demographics, city tourism, soft power and brand development, music industries impact a number of issues prevalent in city planning, strategy, regulatory and legislative aspects. Music Cities Convention brings together the top minds from municipalities, regions, academics, consultancies and the music industry to discuss, debate and introduce new thinking, action and structure to develop more vibrant, global cities.”

Jim got to present about Big Heavy World’s volunteer-run model for preserving and promoting Vermont-made music, the mission of bringing distant VT musicians into contact with one another to strengthen social capital, and the challenges faced that are unique to our rural state and the City of Burlington. Big Heavy World reflected the tech-heavy, entrepreneurial grassroots spirit Vermonters are capable of and nicely complemented the other organizational models shared by cities and regions from around the world.


Sarah Slaton, Director of Artist Development at SpokesBUZZ, moderates the ‘Small Communities, Development and the Global Movement’ panel. Photo by Leslie Kossoff, http://www.lkphotos.com

Jim brought Vermont into a family of music community builders gathered for nine ‘TED’ style presentations, four executive panels, and several high-intensity networking sessions. Flavors ranged from the post-Katrina rebirth of New Orleans’ music to the Federal Agency of Transportation’s reflection on how transportation validly intersects with the music industry. Strategies for development of community and industry were brought by delegates from countries like Mexico, Sweden, Ireland, Germany, Norway, Australia and Canada and cities like Austin, Denver, Boston, Washington, D.C., Toronto, Lafayette, LA, Madison, WI, and more.

Priorities and programs were shared as models. Vermont joined a worldwide family of people working to show how valuable music is to their communities, economically and socially, and accomplishing this diverse work with the support of governments up to the highest levels.

With very special thanks to all involved, look for bridges to be built between Vermont and our new Music City friends, and for Big Heavy World to bring Vermont’s music industry stakeholders together to gain a larger understanding of what’s possible for our own awe-inspiring music community.


Grammy-nominated interdisciplinary artist Kokayi, a music emissary with the U.S. State Department and Grammy Board Vice President, brought a thoughtful artist’sperspective to the first panel of the conference. Photo by Leslie Kossoff, http://www.lkphotos.com

James Kochalka Superstar

‘Sound Proof’ Band Portrait Excerpts at Flynn Center Exhibit: Matthew Thorsen to Show Photos and Art at Amy E. Tarrant Gallery Dec. 4-Feb. 27

Press Release by Big Heavy World and The Flynn Center. Photos by Matthew Thorsen.

A selection of photographs by Matthew Thorsen featuring black & white band portraits taken of Vermont artists during the 1990s will be exhibited with a larger selection of his work at the Amy E. Tarrant Gallery of the Flynn Center.

Photos from the touring ‘Sound Proof’ exhibit of band portraits will be included in the larger “Matthew Thorsen Photography” exhibit that runs from December 4, 2015 through February 27, 2016. A public reception is scheduled for Friday, December 4, 5:30pm-8pm. The Amy E. Tarrant Gallery is located within the Flynn Center at 153 Main Street, Burlington, VT. Thorsen will give an artist talk/slide show on Saturday, January 16 at 1:30 pm.

The Sound Proof exhibit was curated by Big Heavy World, a volunteer-staffed independent, nonprofit music office serving Vermont. More information about Sound Proof can be found at http://www.bigheavyworld.com/soundproof/



From the Flynn Center web site:

Matthew Thorsen is a uniquely talented, award-winning photographer. Thorsen began his journey in photography at an early age as he founded and presided over his high school photo club. After leaving UVM as a photography student and concurrently winning Kodak’s largest photo contest, he and his camera packed up and traversed Asia, “photographing endlessly,” where Thorsen says he began to understand how to work with light. From there, he has amassed a library of images that run the gamut from the majestic to the macabre.

This exhibition includes a broad selection of Thorsen’s interests including personal family photos, some of Vermont’s most newsworthy individuals, and selections from his acclaimed Sound Proof multimedia exhibit of rock performance and artist photos. To date, over 6,000 of his photographs have been published in various media. Thorsen’s work has also been featured in over 50 gallery exhibits including the National Geographic Hall of Discoveries in Washington, D.C., Epcot Center at Disneyworld, Times Square in New York, and Vermont’s capitol building in Montpelier, and the Governor’s Gallery (Vermont), to name a few.

Contact Flynn Marketing at 802-652-4500, marketing@flynncenter.org or visit http://www.flynncenter.org/performances-events/amy-e-tarrant-gallery/archives/amy-e.-tarrant-gallery-matthew-thorsen-photography.html for more information.

The 2015-2016 Exhibition Season is generously supported by Amy E. Tarrant. This exhibit is also supported in part by the Vermont Arts Council and the Vermont Community Foundation.

Kate Tamarkin

Kate Tamarkin, Vermont Symphony Orchestra.

Voices in Vain

Voices in Vain 11 November 2015 on Rocket Shop

The Gentlemen of Voice in Vain — Patrick Boccio – Bass, Scott Mullin – Drums, Dyllan Durham – Guitar, Jeremy Urtz – Vocals, Lucas Tabshey – Guitar (they may not be sitting in that order in the picture)

Bio by voices in vain. PHOTO BY JAMES LOCKRIDGE.

Voices in Vain, shared their massive metal with host Brent Hallenbeck on ‘Rocket Shop‘, Big Heavy World’s local music radio hour on 105.9FM The Radiator.

Voices in Vain will be play as part of Slammin Saturday at Higher Ground in South Burlington on November 28. This is a benefit concert for Big Heavy World so a big Thank You for participating!

Hear more from Voices in Vain and download their EP at voicesinvain.bandcamp.com

“Voices in Vain started as a small side project between long time friends Jeremy Urtz and Lucas Tabshey. They started recording demos for fun in a dorm room at Lyndon State College.

Early in their collegiate career, they met Scott Mullin, Dyllan Durham, and Patrick Boccio through different classes and social situations. After several collaborative attempts with each individual, as well as others, these five came together in the fall of 2014.

After being involved in the creation of the Metal scene in their local community, ViV went on to record their debut EP with Julian Mazzola (Aminals – “Dead Air,” Lions Lions – “Changing the Definition” and many more.) The band embarked on an EP release tour in late August 2014, in which they met success at each show, earning new fans and selling plenty of merchandise.

Ultimately, Voices in Vain is made up of five down-to-earth guys looking to make enjoyable music spreading Social, Global, Economic, and Self-awareness. They want to be different and indescribable, something that is rare in an oversaturated scene. Make sure to check out their 2015 EP and keep your eyes open for future tour dates as well as their debut album.”

Listen to a replay here or via Rocket Shop Radio Hour on iTunes or Subscribe on Android

Brian McCarthy

Brian McCarthy 4 November 2015 on Rocket Shop

Brian McCarthy and his Ensemble


Saxophonist Brian McCarthy, was interviewed by Brent Hallenbeck remote from the St. Michael’s College McCarthy Arts Center on ‘Rocket Shop‘, Big Heavy World’s local music radio hour on 105.9FM The Radiator, as his chamber jazz ensemble practiced for a Flynn Theater performance.

Hear more from Brian at brianmccarthy.bandcamp.com/ or iTunes

We had some technical challenges with the remote recording of the show but you can listen to some of it here or via Rocket Shop Radio Hour on iTunes or Subscribe on Android (Sorry it took so long to get this one up but we had to do far more scrubbing and fixing than usual.)

Charlie Watkins

New Crew: Charlie Watkins Joins Industry Research/Outreach Team

Words by Charlie Watkins. Photo by James Lockridge

“I have lived in Burlington, VT for four years and am currently a senior at Champlain College. Born and raised in Wilton, CT I have always had a passion for music, sports and everything entertainment. Combining this with my Business Administration and Marketing Minor which I am set to graduate with in the Spring of 2016, Big Heavy World has been the perfect place to intern. Helping out with different projects — from social media to PSAs to attending live music events benefiting Big Heavy World — I have already gotten a taste of a lot of what goes on at this great organization. I plan on continuing to expand and grow with Big Heavy World in order to take full advantage of the opportunities they have provided through this internship.”