Sound Proof catalog pages

Matthew Thorsen’s ‘Sound Proof: VT Music Images 1990-2000′ Hardcover Photo Book Now Available

A gorgeous, archival quality hardcopy edition of the ‘Sound Proof: Vermont Music Images 1990-2000′ exhibit of Matthew Thorsen’s documentary band portraits is now available at and can be previewed with a digital flip book.

‘Sound Proof’ is an exhibit of black and white photography by Matthew Thorsen, the go-to photographer for Burlington-area bands during the 1990s. Thorsen took hundreds of portrait, newspaper and magazine photos, chronicling the local music scene of the era. The photographs of Sound Proof were taken at a time when Thorsen was still working with film. These chemical prints have become an artful reminder of a receding era and a valuable historic record of Vermont’s musical heritage. The Sound Proof exhibit was produced by Big Heavy World with Matthew Thorsen and presented throughout Vermont by Seven Days, with generous support from Creative Habitat, the Vermont Arts Council and National Endowment for the Arts.


Shelagh Shapiro

Radiator Programmer Publishes ‘Shape of the Sky’; Sales to Benefit Big Heavy World

Shape of the Sky’ is Radiator programmer Shelagh Shapiro’s new book, releasing September 15 with publisher Wind Ridge Books of Vermont (congratulations, Shelagh!)

“Shape of the Sky tells the story of Resolute, Vermont—population 613—a town trying to raise much-needed money by hosting a rock festival. Days before the music is due to begin, a fan is found dead in the woods. State trooper Chris Kozlowski’s world turns upside down as the case returns him to dark memories of a sister who disappeared when he was a boy. An account of one community’s experience with fifteen minutes of fame, Shape of the Sky weaves tales of friendship, family, love, and loss through the viewpoints of townspeople, a police officer, fans, and a rock star.”

Shelagh and Wind Ridge Books of Vermont are donating 10% of Net Profits to Big Heavy World!

Here are upcoming events relating to the book:

  • 9/14: Speaking at Temple Sinai’s Sisterhood Brunch, 9:30am, So. Burlington, VT.
  • 9/18: Book Launch Party at Karma Birdhouse Art Gallery, 7pm. You’re Invited!
  • 9/20: Book Reading at the Burlington Book Festival, 12pm.
  • October: Book Reading and Signing at the South Burlington Community Library and Bear Pond Books in Montpelier, VT.

Shape of the Sky (cover)

You can order a copy of ‘Shape of the Sky’ at

For more information, contact Wind Ridge Books of Vermont, (802) 985-3091,

Punk Block Rock Party

Art Hop Saturday 9/6: Punk Block Rock Party w/Dog Hospice; As We Were; The Lentils; Get A Grip; Uppercut; Black Rabbit


Burlington’s underground rises to share some of the music they luv! Big Heavy World, Friends & FamilyGet Stoked! Records, and Stickshift Records welcome everyone to launch their Hopping from a community potluck BBQ with live music from across Vermont, at the King Street gateway to the South End Arts District. Saturday, 9/6, 4-8pm, 56 King Street. It’s free, alcohol-free, all-ages, and around the corner from the South End Art Hop. Bring noms to grill or share and meet new friends and fellow Art Hoppers!

The bands:
Dog Hospice (Bennington)
As We Were (Burlington)
The Lentils (Brattleboro)
Get A Grip (Rutland)
Uppercut (Burlington)
Black Rabbit (Burlington)

Congrats to SEABA for 22 years of the South End Art Hop!!!

Waylon Speed/ Rough Francis

Rock The Boat 2014

All Words and Photos By Morgan Laurie-Day

This marks the second year of Rock The Boat featuring Burlington based artists Waylon Speed and Rough Francis. I had a blast rockin out while cruising the calm waters of Lake Champlain as the sun set. Friends, family and fans gathered round the stage at the back of the boat to dance, drink and cut loose.

Check out pics in the gallery. See you next year!

Butler Park at SXSW

Call to Artists: Big Heavy World to Showcase Vermont Bands at SXSW

Photo: Tye Truitt.

SXSW (“South By Southwest”) is America’s best-known music festival, hosted in Austin, Texas from March 17 through 22. Over 25,000 industry representatives and musicians from all over the world attend, plus nearly 3,000 media members and thousands of music lovers. With thanks to SXSW, Big Heavy World will be hosting a showcase of Vermont bands and musicians, bringing Vermont’s music to the heart of it!

Big Heavy World has dedicated almost 20 years to helping Vermont musicians find success, on their own terms, with independence and pride in their uniqueness. The SXSW showcase is a chance for Vermont bands to experience this in the extreme.

What you need to know: Vermont showcase participants will be chosen from artists who have been accepted to perform at SXSW and have joined the ‘AMP VT’ Vermont Alliance of Musicians & Presenters:

1) Apply to perform at SXSW before October 10 at (There is a fee).

2) Let us know you want to be considered for the showcase on the AMP VT sign-up page at (No cost to jump in there – it’s an inclusive social group that gets first word of Big Heavy World projects. It’s also a mainline to BHW HQ for influencing our work to build resources for Vermont’s music community).

3) Standby! SXSW will let us know which Vermont-based artists are accepted to perform at the music festival. Big Heavy World will pull together a panel of trusted personalities from the music and media industries to program four bands into the showcase lineup, aiming to represent Vermont’s talent and diversity.

From the SXSW web site: “SXSW hosts acts in every stage of their development, including music legends such as Dave Grohl, Stevie Nicks, Prince, Bruce Springsteen, LL Cool J, Lou Reed, Iggy Pop and Depeche Mode. Join the ranks of Yeah Yeah Yeahs, Mumford and Sons, Florence and The Machine, Alabama Shakes, Kendrick Lamar, The Strokes and so many more, by benefiting from career changing exposure and publicity provided by the amazing mix of influential participants who attend SXSW every year.”

SXSW is the country’s biggest music party – it’s an adrenaline boost, and a chance to make some next steps with your band’s adventure in the music industry. From the perspective of Vermont’s brand-builders and cultural heritage tourism players, it’s an unexplored territory that can help Vermont’s music become a brighter beacon to the state.

Vermont bands step up to SXSW 2015! Remember, the deadline for applying to perform is October 10!

Call to Artists: Vermont Jukebox Project Welcomes Upbeat VT Songs

Since 2005 Big Heavy World has been getting Vermont music heard by millions of visitors to the state as they pass through welcome centers on the Interstate highways where the digital Jukeboxes are installed. We’re updating the project to include welcoming, upbeat, family-friendly music by Vermont artists. If you’re a Vermont-based musician with a song that fits this description, get your music to us and we’ll get it in the mix! Instrumentals or songs with vocals are welcome! For more information email The project is made possible with support from the Vermont Department of Buildings & General Services and the Lake Champlain Regional Chamber of Commerce.

Spreading Light Music Festival Poster

Spreading Light Music Festival, 9/6: DuPont Brothers; Adam Ezra Group

The Spreading Light Music Festival is Saturday, September 6 at Battery Park in Burlington. Featuring the Adam Ezra Group and The DuPont Brothers. It’s a family friendly music festival helping to prevent suicide, depression, and mental illnesses. Big Heavy World and The Radiator are proud supporters of this effort to change the perception of mental health and encourage people to seek help as soon as it is needed. The festival is 2-5pm; bring a chair or blanket; find ticket information and more info at


All proceeds support Active Minds, a 501(c)3 non-profit, which aims to change the conversation about mental health on college campuses. Active Minds supports student-run mental health awareness, education, and advocacy groups on college campuses nationwide.

WHAT: A family friendly music festival
WHERE: Burlington’s Battery Park
WHEN: Saturday, September 6th, 2014, 2:00 – 5:00 (Gates Open at 1:30 pm)
• Students: $5 in advance; $10 at the door (valid student id required)
• Adults: $10 in advance; $15 at the door
• Kids 12 and under: FREE
WHAT TO BRING: Blanket / chairs, all your friends and family!

“After Joe took his life, we felt helpless. In order to both keep Joe’s memory alive and to do something productive, we created the Spreading Light Music Festival to fight mental illness. For the 2nd Annual Spreading Light Music Festival, we are excited to have the University of Vermont (UVM), Saint Michael’s College (SMC) and Champlain College Active Minds Chapters join our team. We dedicate this festival to Joe and all those lost to depression and suicide. Come join us to enjoy a family friendly music festival while helping to prevent suicide, depression, and mental illnesses. Let’s change the perception of mental health and encourage people to seek help as soon as it is needed. – Spreading Light Music Festival Team (Loughner Family and the UVM, Saint Michael’s College & Champlain College Active Minds Chapters)”

Adam Ezra

Adam Ezra Group
The Adam Ezra Group (AEG) is not just a band; they are a force to be reckoned with musically, personally and socially. Selling records and tickets is important to AEG, but they are committed to changing the world with their songs and their actions along the way. Ezra and his band are activists and community leaders as much as they are musicians and songwriters. Ezra has spent time living out of a van, farming in Canada, volunteering for the relief effort in Kosovo,and practicing environmental geography in South Africa. Whether as a kitchen hand or carpenter, teacher, athlete, or traveler, Ezra crams it all into the music, always challenging our perspective and often teetering somewhere between the ballsy rocker and sensitive poet. Through their new non-profit organization, RallySound, AEG currently contributes 25% of their touring to benefit causes in communities across the country and worldwide.

• Band of the Year – 2013 New England Music Awards
• Album of the Year – Ragtop Angel – 2012 New England Music Awards
• Song of the Year – Takin’ Off – 2012 New England Music Awards

“They are one of the few bands out right now whose music is deep and real. It was an honor to tour with them.” – Michael Glabicki, Rusted Root

“Not since Springsteen and Bono have I seen a lead singer with his talent and charisma.” – Jack Casey, General Manager WERS radio in Boston

DuPont Brothers

The DuPont Brothers
The sound is Vermont made Folk-Americana

Two brothers reunite after years of geographical separation by a fortified collaboration in music. Blending the contemplative winters of the northeast with the solitary beauty of southwestern desert, Sam and Zack DuPont are now coconspirators in a shared passion that runs deep in their family. This Burlington Vermont made duo has hit the ground running since the formation of the group in March of 2013. The brothers have recently shared the stage with Grace Potter and the Nocturnals, Ben Sollee, Gin Wigmore, Chris Thomas King, Langhorne Slim, Howie Day and The Lone Bellow to name a few. Lush finger-style guitar work is complimented by elegant prose and a vocal blend that could only be matched by blood relation.

“Together the DuPont Brothers resonate at just the right frequency. There were moments that honestly gave me chills.” – Dan Bolles, Seven Days VT

“The Right Frequency: When Brothers Play Nice” – Fay Aiyana Grant, The Mountaineer

Call to Artists: So. VT Benefit Compilation in Progress

Words by Brendan Dangelo.

Below is an email Big Heavy World received from Brendan Dangelo of What Doth Life, in Southern Vermont. We’re passing it along for the sake of sharing the opportunity to participate in some good work being coordinated in the Windsor area, in support of a Southern Vermont member of the Vermont music family.

“Hello Pal of What Doth Life,

Perhaps you have been a part of one of our comps in the past, or played a show, or we reviewed you, or played you on our podcast. Any which way, you have been picked out to be a part of this mass email so that I can tell you about my best friend, Kiel Alarcon, guitarist for Derek & The Demons, The Jobz, etc etc. etc, host of the WDL Podcast, producer/ engineer, app builder, and general cowboy.

Around a year ago, in July, Kiel and I set out to hike Mt Ascutney located on the eastern side of our small town of Windsor, VT.  We got a late start and headed up around 4 PM.  We decided to avoid the trail, because that’s not where the cool stuff is. When you get out into the middle of what you don’t know, the climb is strange and pre-historic.  We made it to the top in a little bit under two hours. Kiel didn’t bring a water bottle. Over 3,000 feet and Kiel did not take a drink of water, but I wasn’t surprised. Kiel had spent the year previous biking from Windsor VT to Hanover NH (around 50 miles a day) to and from work.  Kiel even got recognized for racking up more miles than anyone else in a National Bike Day Challenge (check that out here). Kiel was in the best health I’d ever seen him, and he is a badass.

Three days after our hike and Kiel was riding to work on his bike. As he crested a hill he started feeling exceptionally dizzy.  He fell over and a passerby called an ambulance. Kiel went to the hospital and it was thought that perhaps this was stress induced. He went home, but still did not feel well. His body was numb.  He went to another hospital and had a second opinion. After tests, it was found out the Kiel had a centimeter sized tumor on his spine.  The tumor ruptured and the bleeding out is what caused the numbness that went over Kiel’s body.  Kiel remained in the hospital.  It was decided that surgery was the best choice, but it would be complex and complicated; dealing with the electric motherboard of the spine there are a whole lot of chances for things to go poorly.  What would happen after the surgery? Would Kiel be able to walk again?

The day he went to surgery, there was a long collective holding of breath. Kiel, his family and friends didn’t know what things would be like on the other side. A lot of faith was put into the hands of doctors and surgeons. And that collective breath had to be held long and hard, for the surgery ran 12 hours.  Halfway through the day, I started getting manic phone calls from Tim, a pal (and drummer in the WDL collective).  He had driven past Kiel’s parents house. It was on fire. The street was lined with ambulances and fire trucks.  A faulty light fixture in the basement caused the basement to burn up and flames and smoke reached all the way to the top of the house. Thankfully, no people or animals were injured in the fire. It was insane. Kiel is surgery and his parents house on fire on the same day.

The next day as Kiel emerged from the haze of surgery, it was apparent that the road to recovery would be long. Kiel was unable to move his feet. Perhaps some of this would be changed as the healing went down. Kiel spent a few weeks in the hospital and then moved to a facility in Boston to do rehabilitation.  It was over three months of rehabilitation and Kiel is able to walk, but has nerve issues and numbness in the bottom half of his body.  He has complications from his blood pressure (due to being too healthy). To this day, he is still working towards recovery.  Early this summer, he was happy to be able to return to work and with some flexibility from his employer was able to split time working from home and in the office.

Things were going well, until recently Kiel’s job found out funding had not been secured. Kiel was recently informed that his position would be ending.  Kiel is continuing his search for a new job, but expects to have expenses during the upcoming months and is unsure how long it will be.

TL:DR “My life sure has sucked the past year. ” – Kiel

I am hoping that those of you that know Kiel, may have interacted with him through WhatDothLife or are just generous folks might be interested in submitting a song for a benefit comp we’re going to put out for Kiel in October. It will be posted on bandcamp with all donations going to Kiel.  If you know others that might be interested in supporting Kiel, please feel free to share this and email me at

Kiel has also mentioned that he will be putting a compilation together of music that he has been a part of, too.  When this is out, I will share it.  Thanks for reading a very long email. Hope you are all doing nice stuff.

— Brendan”


Photos: Drowningman (Reunion!); As We Were; Zero Circle at Signal Kitchen

Photos by James Lockridge.

Relived some of the musical white heat of the ‘Nineties tonight at the Drowningman reunion at Signal Kitchen. Here’s pics, with some of As We Were and Zero Circle, sharing the stage. Special thanks to Maxx Vick of As We Were and Simon Brody of Drowningman for making the photos possible.






As We Were

As We Were


Zero Circle

Zero Circle.