Get A Grip

Locals Join Offspring/Bad Religion Lineup on Waterfront; Big Heavy World Side Stage Announced

Words by Higher Ground. Photo of Get A Grip.

Higher Ground and Lake Champlain Maritime Festival are thrilled to announce four local punk rock bands to perform a once-in-a-lifetime concert event on Burlington’s waterfront. Legendary bands The Offspring, Bad Religion, and Pennywise, with The Vandals, helped extend an invitation to Vermont artists Get A Grip, As We WereBetter Things, and Poxy to perform on the Big Heavy World Side Stage at the Lake Champlain Maritime Festival concert at Waterfront Park on Friday, August 8.

Bad Religion

Bad Religion.

Alex Crothers, co-owner of Higher Ground, acknowledges that this concert could be a dream come true for local punk rock fans. “Vermont bands have always been strong contenders, with talent and drive, and earn their recognition honestly. It’s not always possible to provide opportunities like this, but we felt strongly that it was worth the effort and feel fortunate that Vermont bands will get to stand shoulder to shoulder with some of the world’s best bands.”

The Offspring

The Offspring.

THE OFFSPRING/PENNYWISE/BAD RELIGION
with The Vandals & Local VT Bands
Friday, August 8th, 2014
Waterfront Park, Burlington VT
Time: Gates: 5pm, Show: 6pm
Ages: All Ages
Tickets:
$45 in advance
$49 day of show

Purchase:
Online: highergroundmusic.com
Charge by phone: 888.512.SHOW
In person: Higher Ground Box Office
1214 Williston Rd.
S. Burlington, VT 05403

Pennywise

Pennywise.

About the Vermont Artists:
Get a Grip https://www.facebook.com/getagripvt
As We Were http://aswewere.bandcamp.com/album/survival-songs
Better Things http://betterthingsband.com/
Poxy http://egovt.bandcamp.com/

Better Things

Better Things.

As We Were

As We Were.

About the national artists:
The Offspring http://offspring.com/
Bad Religion http://www.badreligion.com/
Pennywise http://pennywisdom.com/
The Vandals http://vandals.com/

Felix, Peter, Jessica, and Emilie looking serious

Rocket Shop 7/16/2014: Green Mountain Chamber Music Festival

Words by Jackson Balling. Photos by James Lockridge.

Last Wednesday brought an interesting collective of musicians to the studio for Rocket Shop, specifically four college students from across the country who have spent the last month in Vermont participating in the Green Mountain Chamber Music Festival, which ran from June 22nd until July 19th. We were lucky enough to have been graced by a live performance of the mysteriously stunning, Edgar Allen Poe-like arrangement that they have spent their time here perfecting together. The byproduct of their rigorous training led me to become fascinated with what led them there, as well as the training itself, and this quartet was eager to show me into their completely different world.

Jessica, the twenty year old cellist from Seattle and natural leader of the group, shared her fascination with the cello which originated from her father, who also played the instrument. Her persistence led to her parents supporting her ambitions, which then led her here to Burlington, which she expressed an absolute adoration for in addition to the various coffee vendors of our city. Her story was followed by nineteen year old violist Peter from Aurora, Colorado originally picked up the instrument in 6th grade because he needed an extra elective, and yet now he found himself in Burlington for the second consecutive summer.

The other half of the group were both violinists and the oldest within the group, both twenty one years old. Felix from Houston was also inspired by his father to begin performing at the age of ten, and he never could’ve guessed that it would take him away from the sometimes unbearable heat of Houston and to the close-knit and noticeably cooler Burlington. Rounding out the quartet was Emilie from Boston, who picked up the violin in an “instrument petting zoo” at the age of six. Being from New England she praised Vermont and the great people who live here, saying that she felt at home here.

With their origins and introductions out of the way they still had time to discuss their training schedule. Beginning with breakfast every day at 7 AM, featuring four hours of individual practice time every day but Sunday, as well as an hour of group rehearsal, and ending each weekday with a concert or recreational activity depending on the day, the musicians were put through an absolutely deep training and yet still found time to street perform and explore the sights in Vermont and across the lake as well. Despite their fully packed schedule, the quartet expressed their love for the program and Burlington, excited to take their experiences and friendships into their certainly music-filled futures.

Felix, Peter, Jessica, and Emilie bearing their smiles and instruments.

Stickshift Fest Kelly Riel

Rocket Shop 7/9/2014: Stickshift Recordings

Words by Kiera Magnetti. Photo by James Lockridge.

Kelly Riel and Alyssa Caparas are the brilliant duo behind Stickshift Recordings, a feminist punk record label focused on building a more inclusive community for female musicians in Vermont.

“We work mainly with women, queer and trans-identified punk musicians,” says Riel. “We want there to be more voices heard in a scene that has always been predominantly male.”

Both Riel and Caparas have been involved in Burlington’s punk scene for some time. Riel is a musician herself and has experience with audio production. Caparas has worked extensively within the industry on various design and print jobs. Together they have encountered their fill of sexism and nonsense.

“We went to a ska show around here and were just surrounded by creepy, grope-y guys,” recalls Caparas. “We’ve been at shows where, if there’s a female in a band that’s playing, people will just stand there with their arms crossed or leave and go outside for a cigarette. But if it’s an all-male band they’ll get really into it. Or, friends of ours who are musicians have had people tell them things like, ‘you’re pretty good for a girl.’”

“There are a lot of uncomfortable things happening in these spaces,” adds Riel. “And we thought, ‘we don’t need this in the Burlington scene.’”

As a result, Riel and Caparas combined their skills to combat sexist, cissexist, anti-queer or racist sentiments within the scene. They have released two compilation albums featuring music by female punk bands, and are releasing a third, titled Weapons of Construction, during their upcoming “Stickshift Fest.” There will be a limited number of CDs and download cards at the show, and the following day the album will be available on their Bandcamp page.

“A lot of what we do is paid for out of pocket,” says Caparas. “Any money we make from shows or compilations goes right back into the project.”

Stickshift Fest is a “DIY Feminist Punk Extravaganza” that will take place on Saturday, August 2nd at The Monkey House in Winooski, VT.

“The bands playing are a mix of local and out of town,” says Riel. “They will be majority women, majority queer women, and there will be a large trans presence as well.”

The Facebook page for the event declares “Stickshift Fest will be a pro-queer, pro-trans, feminist, positive space. No hate and no bullshit, just people coming together to make a more positive, inclusive, and rocking scene.”

Check out the Stickshift Fest event page at https://www.facebook.com/events/376111255861497/ and learn more about Stickshift Recordings at https://www.facebook.com/StickshiftRecordings.

Rocket Shop 7/9/14 Dave Keller

Rocket Shop 7/9/2014: Dave Keller

Words by Kiera Magnetti. Photo by James Lockridge.

I last spoke to Dave Keller after his performance at this year’s Discover Jazz Festival. We discussed his history playing blues, Kickstarter campaigning, and the success of his most recent album, Soul Changes, which was nominated for a Blues Music Award.

Keller continues to enjoy the success of Soul Changes, which even earned a mention in USA Today as one of “10 intriguing tracks found in the week’s listening.” He has a hefty list of New England shows lined up for the next several months. “I’ve started to add harmonies to my songs when playing with my band. Usually I prefer it to be just me on vocals, but I think this adds some new dynamics to our songs.” Keller also likes to find new ways to relate to his audience. “I have a fifty-foot cord for my guitar so I can wander out into the audience, and break down the barrier between myself and the crowd. Usually during shows it’s ‘us and them,’ but I like to relate to the audience more.”

“I also been writing new songs,” says Keller. “They’re more positive songs than the ones on my last record, which is good.”

When Keller isn’t playing shows or writing his own music, he is teaching guitar lessons. “I support myself with my music,” he says. For a list of show times, dates and locations, visit http://davekeller.com/shows/, and to listen to some of Dave Keller’s music you can visit http://davekeller.bandcamp.com/. Also like Dave Keller Band on Facebook for more updates.

Bellas Bartok Promo

Interview: Bella’s Bartok 7/10/2014

Words by Kiera Magnetti.

Bella’s Bartok are a dance-y sextet from Northampton, Massachusetts also scheduled to play Root Camp Friday July 11th. They have played all around Vermont: in Burlington, Montpelier and Brattleboro. “Everyone [in Vermont] is excited and super positive all the time,” says bassist Asher Putnam. “There are listeners from very diverse backgrounds and we’re one of the honored few that people there consider ‘good music.’”

While the group did not take part in the first festival put on by The Root Center and Big Heavy, they are looking forward to their show tomorrow. “It seems like there will be some great community building,” says Putnam. “And we’re definitely supporters; a couple of us are farmers as well.”

Bella’s Bartok started performing at festivals in 2012, and have played six this past year. According to Putnam, the band tries to play as many festivals as they can. “There is more of a sense of community than at venues or at a bar,” he says. This show will not be the band’s first show at a farm, either. “We played last Tuesday in a broken down barn,” recalls Putnam. “I think this show will be less pressure than a larger festival—it’s just people having fun and dancing, and you’re not so worried about selling merch and that kind of thing.”

Bella’s Bartok just returned from a show in Canada, and in August they hit the road again. “We’ll be heading down to New Orleans and hitting everything in between,” says Putnam. They are also scheduled to play Otis Mountain Getdown in September. Check out their “unplugged” set a Root Camp this weekend, and get more info on their upcoming tour dates at https://www.facebook.com/pages/Bellas-Bartok/26862461226.

Total Demo Gang of Thieves

Rocket Shop 7/9/2014: Root Camp

Words by Kiera Magnetti. Photo by James Lockridge.

Six musicians from two different bands packed onto the Big Heavy World couch on Wednesday night to have their photo taken and to talk about the upcoming Root Camp festivities. Root Camp will be the second installment of an event presented by Big Heavy World and The Root Center, a nonprofit based in Lincoln, VT that grows and donates organic vegetables and herbs to those in need. The festival will feature workshops, vendors, and two days of fantastic musical performances.

According to Dan Murphy of Total Demo, the musicians appearing at the festival are supporters of both Big Heavy and The Root Center. “I think all the bands playing have a socially conscious mind,” he says, and is met with nods from the other five fellows on the couch. “Not in the sense of ‘say no to drugs,” or something like that, but more in support of a tight-knit sense of community and camaraderie. I think we all have a positive message.”

The festival will take place at The Root Center’s location in Lincoln. Total Demo has been around for less than a year, and Root Camp will be the band’s second festival performance. Gang of Thieves has played a number of festivals, but never a farmland event. “This is kind of uncharted territory,” says Tobin Salas (Gang of Thieves). “But even if not a lot of people show, it’s still going to be an amazing vibe,” adds Ian Greenman (Total Demo).

Check out Gang of Thieves and Total Demo at Root Camp this weekend! Tickets can be purchased at http://therootcenter.org/rootcamp.

 

photo Tod Moses by James Lockridge

Rocket Shop 7/2/2014: Tod Moses

Words by Kiera Magnetti. Photo by James Lockridge.

Tod Moses had a great deal to share during his visit to Rocket Shop on Wednesday. I hardly had to pose any questions before he spilled all of his remarkable story:

Moses plans to commence crowdfunding for his newest project, Blue Beatle, this fall. He had the concept in mind for this project since his days with his previous band, Ya Know? THAT BAND. Blue Beatle will be a compilation album of Beatles covers reimagined as blues songs, and will include collaborations with a medley of other Vermont artists. Moses even plans to travel back to his hometown in Ohio to record one track with some old friends. “We’ll actually be tracking percussion for the song in my old alma mater [high school] auditorium,” says Moses. While the album will feature a track with Moses’ current band—Tod Moses & Fujita 5—he is tackling the project solo. “I wanted to take the time to craft our [the band’s] live sound before we go back into the studio,” says Moses. “But I try to record something new every year, so I decided to go ahead with this project.”

There will be an eventual launch party for the album, along with a concert video from the party and a documentary on the making of the album. Because so many different artists are involved in the making of this album, Moses decided to donate any profits from the project to charity instead of splitting royalties. He narrowed it down to two charities, and ultimately decided on the Norris Cotton Cancer Center. Moses’ approach went from “let’s just find a charity” to an actual campaign to raise awareness when Moses himself was diagnosed with prostate cancer.

“The prognosis is so good that I almost didn’t even share this publicly, but I want to spread the message that it’s important for men to be tested young. I guess I’ve become an accidental poster child for the issue,” says Moses.

In fact, Moses says, his diagnosis completely changed his approach to the production of Blue Beatle. “I originally wanted to do most of the singing on the album,” he says. “Now, instead, I’m bringing in more artists. There will be more bands contributing complete tracks. That way, they can spread the word about the issue to their fans, and it will hopefully reach more people.”

Overall, Moses has positive feelings about the turn this project has taken. “It’s all much bigger than what I originally had in mind. But at this point in my life, I don’t do anything I’m not passionate about, and this is something that’s important to me.”

Moses will be performing a solo show at Radio Bean on September 5th, and the tentative date for the Blue Beatle launch party is September 19th. You can find out more about the project here.

Frendly Gathering 2014

All Words And Photos By Morgan Laurie-Day

We started by making lists. Lists of what we would need. Tent, sleeping bags, extra clothes, flashlights. Then I made my own list. Camera, batteries, charger, monopod. Before I knew it the day was here. Frendly Gathering 2014. Three days near the end of June in lower Vermont, (Timber Ridge to be precise) around 3000 people get together to listen to music, relax and just have fun. Maybe take a hula hoop class or do early morning yoga in the former two chair lift building (aka Jenke Barn.)

Jenke Barn

Jenke Barn

Ludwig + Steigler inside Jenke Barn

Ludwig + Steigler inside Jenke Barn

Morning Yoga with Corey Thomas

Morning Yoga with Corey Thomas

This was the third year of Frendly Gathering and it was my first festival ever. I got out of work around 7pm Thursday night and headed down state with my partner in crime Rachael. We made it to the box office right around 9:30 and caught the last bus into camp for the night. We set up shop on the slopes and started making Frends pretty quickly.

Early arrival Thursday night.

Early arrival Thursday night.

My friend Adam.

My friend Adam.

The music had died down by the time we got all our gear set up so we relaxed and wondered. Visiting with old friends and new. I took the time to walk around and get the lay of the land. I met some of the vendors working the event like The Skinny Pancake, TOMGIRL Juice Co. and Deep River Chips.

Tomgirl Juice Co.

Tomgirl Juice Co.

Music continued late into the night. After a few hours of wondering and running into frends old and new I settled down for the night. Morning came early like it always does. The first music of the day was found on top of the mountain. A frendly crowd wandered up the hill to watch Twiddle kick off the day with an electric set played in the grass.

Twiddle on Top Stage

Twiddle on Top Stage

The day wore on into evening. As the sun went down on Friday Deer Tick took the Main Stage. The Providence, RI band set the tone as the light up hula hoops and fire spinners started up in a small area next to the stage.

Fire Spitting

Fire Spitting

After several more hours of stage wandering, listening to Twiddle (VT), Kung Fu (CT), Quiet Lion (VT) and Delta Spirit (CA/NY), I ended the night listening to DJ Disco Phantom spin in the Jenke Barn. There was an impressive list of bands spread out from Thursday to Sunday morning, but what I enjoyed most was seeing local Vermont bands out of their Burlington element. Quiet Lion played a great set in the Jenke Barn on Friday night and Kat Wright and The Indomitable Soul Band lit up the Main Stage on Saturday.

 DJ Disco Phantom- Brian Nagle

DJ Disco Phantom- Brian Nagle

Saturday started off with Twiddle playing at The Pond at the base of the Mountain. The crowd packed in tight around the stage while a more laid back crowd swam in the pond and sun bathed on its edges.

Twiddle

Twiddle at The Pond

IMG_4239

The Pond

The day pressed on and saw more great acts from across the country. Tallgrass Getdown, Lake Street Dive, LYNX, Dopapod, Lotus and Moon Hooch and more. The party didn’t stop until about 4:30 am. Just in time to take a short nap and rise with the sun. A friend roused me from my nap minutes before the sun peaked up over the horizon. It was a beautiful ending to the weekend. Being at the Gathering felt like being on another planet (in a good way.) The people, the music, the lights. I can’t wait till next year.

Sunrise Sunday morning. See you next year

Sunrise Sunday morning. See you next year

Check out more images in the photo gallery.

 

Mr. Doubtfire hanging out before their set.

Interview: Mr. Doubtfire

Words by Jackson Balling. Photo by Cara Paganelli.

This year’s Summer Solstice brought us twenty-four hours of gorgeous weather and a night of diverse local music at 242 Main, ranging from alternative rock to aggressive hardcore punk. Before the doors opened at 7 there were groups of people outside the doors, prepared for the first show booked and promoted by Tiny Sea Promotions that featured The New 802, The id, Mr. Doubtfire, and As We Were.

Floating within 242 Main throughout the first two sets, members of Mr. Doubtfire were preparing for another set at the venue, but this one was particularly special. As one of the more recent additions to the Burlington music scene they haven’t wasted any time making a name for themselves. It actually only took one show to build a reputation, or “the band who plays Jawbreaker covers”, but now they’ve abolished Jawbreaker from their setlist as they focus on showcasing all original songs.

With only six months of time together and even a new bass player in their midst, vocalist Paul Lavigne expressed that chemistry is something that has just come easy to them. As I sat and talked with the band it was clear how well they meshed together. Their sound is reminiscent of 90s indie rock and emo, along with subtle pop punk influences, but it is something unique to the people creating it. The band comically described it as a sonic “spaghetti ice cream”, specifically because “it doesn’t sound good on paper, but it’s a great pregnant food”, referring to the absolute mishmash of influences that each member has and how it all translate into their writing processes.

Now with live experience and several songs added to their repertoire they’re moving towards recording their first studio release next month. Guitarists Nicholas Treis and Meghan Burke shared their excitement for the new material, viewing it as another to promote their sound and show their band’s rapid maturity. Outside of the excitement for their first recorded material, the band has a show coming up on August 1st at the Sad Café in New Hampshire, which they hope to be one of many shows in the future.

The id being happy yet serious

Interview: The id

Words by Jackson Balling. Photo by Cara Paganelli.

This year’s Summer Solstice brought us twenty-four hours of gorgeous weather and a night of diverse local music at 242 Main, ranging from alternative rock to aggressive hardcore punk. Before the doors opened at 7 there were groups of people outside the doors, prepared for the first show booked and promoted by Tiny Sea Promotions that featured The New 802, The id, Mr. Doubtfire, and As We Were.

The id chose the alley around the corner from the front door of 242 Main as their spot to hang around before their set. Formed in November 2011 by Devin and Gianna Gallucci and later joined by bassist Gabrielle Hall, they were another band on the bill that showcased the musical diversity of Burlington’s youth. Their sound is one of the more unique ones that I’ve heard since writing for Big Heavy World, combining blues and garage rock with some natural noise rock into a late teenage angst’s screeches that are contrasted by excellent rhythms from Gianna behind the drums and Gabrielle’s bass-slapping.

With a live EP from a show at Nectar’s last September and plenty of original material under their belts, they are currently looking into producers for a future release of some sorts. Despite not really narrowing down how many songs they want to record, they made it clear that their writing process never takes a break. Their opening song was in fact written the morning of the 21st, performed several hours after nailing it down, and it sounded like a next step for the band’s sound. Along with new music come more shows, which they said they are always looking for, specifically alongside diverse bands such as the ones who performed at this show. These three are also ones to watch closely with a sound so unique, it’s intriguing to see what direction they go in with their new material.

The New 802 before their set

Interview: The New 802

Words by Jackson Balling. Photo by Cara Paganelli.

This year’s Summer Solstice brought us twenty-four hours of gorgeous weather and a night of diverse local music at 242 Main, ranging from alternative rock to aggressive hardcore punk. Before the doors opened at 7 there were groups of people outside the doors, prepared for the first show booked and promoted by Tiny Sea Promotions that featured The New 802, The id, Mr. Doubtfire, and As We Were.

I found The New 802 sitting on the stage inside right before the doors opened, following their impressive sound check. The band, comprised of four juniors from Essex High School, don’t play out often, but made it clear in their attitude and performance that they have a deep chemistry and back catalog of songs. Lead guitarist and backing vocalist Brian Storck described the band as being around since the members were in third grade, around 2007 or so. From there they’ve have various member changes, the most recent being drummer Nick Bearman, which made the music more serious and the band stronger.

Their performance consisted of powerful vocals from Charlotte Ouellette, who blew away anyone in the audience who had never seen them before, myself included. Their sound combined wonderfully with a great rhythm section between Bearman and bassist Logan Harris. Despite their age they left a lasting impression with how they carry themselves, including being able to work with friends Grace and Jake, flutist and trumpeter, respectively, in order to perform a remarkable cover of Of Monsters and Men’s “Little Talks”. Such an added connection with fellow musicians might bode well in their future plans, which include self-recording a release of sorts, whether it’s an EP or full-length record, and playing every show they can. Their youthful experience gives a glimpse into their futures, both as a band and individually, and they are definitely a group of musicians to keep an eye on.

Joshua Glass performing.

Interview: Joshua Glass

Words by Kiera Magnetti.

The Glass Project formed during a performance at last year’s Jazz Festival, and is so named because the commonality between the surnames of band members Joshua Glass and Gregory Douglass. “We thought it was going to be a one-time thing,” says Joshua Glass, “but we were asked to come back.” Glass describes The Glass Project as his and Douglass’ “take on jazz.” Throughout their two-to-three hour sets, the duo plays an assortment of original material and covers. “We’ll reimagine pop songs as jazz, or in a jazzy setting,” says Glass.

Glass, who has been playing music since his childhood, was inspired to get into the live music scene after attending jazz fest in 2009. “It was great,” he says, “there were fans, players and critics and they all just set aside the time to really listen to one another.” On his website, Glass advertises that he played over one-hundred live shows in 2013. Having booked six sets at this year’s festival, it would appear as though he is aiming to break that record. “Maybe,” he laughs, “I would prefer quality over quantity, you know, to feel like performing is not only a job, but also a way for me to thrive.”

Glass is in the process of recording his debut album, Sidetracked, Baby. “I don’t want to set a release date and then rush to get it finished. I’m going to let it happen,” he says. The single of the album, titled “New York, My Lovely” is available for free download.

Meanwhile, Glass will continue to appear in live shows throughout Vermont whether that be solo or as The Glass Project. You can find out more about Joshua Glass and Gregory Douglass at www.joshuaglass.com and www.gregorydouglass.com.

Bonny Secunda with her guitar

Rocket Shop 6/18/2014: Bonita Secunda; Admiral

Words by Kiera Magnetti. Photo by Lily Chau.

Bonita, or Bonny, Secunda made certain to don her bright red lipstick and blue alpaca beret before having her portrait taken on the Big Heavy World couch. She smiled sweetly for the camera and maintained her enthusiastic and welcoming demeanor when I sat down to chat about her music.

“I’ve been singing since I was five,” Secunda tells me. “I was raised Catholic, and I sang in choir for eight years. I just fell in love with music—period.” Originally from Pennsylvania, Secunda came to Vermont in the mid-90’s after finishing her country rock album. Secunda is able to play in a number of different musical styles: from country and rock to jazz and blues. “At my age, you get to be versatile,” she laughs.

Secunda’s upcoming album, titled Wild Blue Thunder is to be released under the moniker “Bonny Blue.” It was recorded at Charles Eller Studios in Charlotte, VT, and mastered by Lane Gibson. Additionally, VideoSyncrasies in Burlington, VT, filmed Secunda performing songs from the album, which she hopes to release as a DVD. In particular, Secunda is excited about the track “Jumpin’ the Gun” off her new record, and even pulled up the music video on her smartphone to show me.

“The song is about man’s love for guns and gun’s love for man,” she says. “I think it’s really the epitome of my alter-ego, Bonny Blue.” The artwork in the video, she tells me, was done by artist Nicholas Chamorro from Paris, France. “It took me a long time to get it,” Secunda explains. “The girl you see drawn, she’s how I imagine a hippie would look nowadays. I was a hippie; I used to wear the bell-bottomed jeans and everything.”

Secunda tells me she plans to just keep writing, and hopes to find a backing band so that she is able to play more live shows. In August she will be filming a music video for her song “Dancin’ in the Moonlight.” In the meantime, she has twenty-three songs recorded and more in the works.

The electronic duo Admiral

Words by Jackson Balling. Photo by Lily Chau.

A beautiful thing about our Rocket Shop Radio Hour is the showcase of Vermont’s musical diversity, and this past Wednesday was no exception. I was able to sit down and speak with Ethan and Tyler of Admiral, an up and coming Lyndonville duo formed last year. Despite being new to the Vermont music community these two are combining their different influences, such as Ethan’s hardcore, punk and indie rock past as well as Tyler’s hip-hop and production experience, into an interesting blend of electronic and indie pop music.

The two Lyndon State College graduates and roommates started the project as Ethan’s indie punk band, Sails, which Tyler also manages, began to slow down towards a hiatus. Both had no desire for their musical ambition to wind down as well, and began to traverse outside of their typical genres of choice. All of this led to Ethan contemplating Tyler’s idea for what would become the sound of Admiral, a decision that came from wondering, “Can I write pop music and not hate it?”, and so far they’re doing just that.

Now with a well-received single under their belts they are focusing on promoting this platform which they’ve built up into the foreseeable future, with goals for more shows and new music at the beginning of the pipeline. It’ll all begin on July 3rd at Monkey House in Winooski, where they’ll play their first show within this new era, one which seems fueled by a sense of redemption for past musical experience. From there they have plans to release a compilation of remixes of their single “Lonely Graces” by various producers, before releasing their own EP by the end of the year.

Joe-Moore

Interview: Joe Moore

Words by Kiera Magnetti.

Sitting down to speak with Joe Moore after his set on Wednesday proved challenging to do without interruption. Moore seemed to know everybody; twice we had to pause our conversation for him to accept congratulations from people who had caught his set. “I played their wedding some time ago,” he told me the first time, and “that’s my doctor and his family,” the second.  Joe Moore is an established member of the local community and music scene, a man of humility, soul and talent.

Moore played the very first Discover Jazz Festival in 1983, and didn’t grace its stages again until 2013. This year he has been scheduled to play seven different sets throughout the ten day festival. He performs with a quartet and a trio, and is backed by different band members depending on the style of music he is playing. For his show on Wednesday at the Top Block Stage, Moore played alongside Bill Darrow on guitar, Nick Warner on bass and Nick Aloi on drums.

When Moore left his home state of Florida with his saxophone, he played all around in places like California, Texas and New York City. But he has called Vermont home since 1975. “My band, the Untouchables in Rhode Island broke up,” says Moore, so he headed to Montreal, Canada to connect with the band Mahogany Rush and hit the recording studio. “When I got there, there was nobody there. They were on tour, and the studio was shut down.” So for his next stop, Moore says, he decided “I’ll try Vermont.” Although he was told at the time that there was no industry for saxophone players in Vermont, Moore remained here and eventually was able to connect and share the stage with other musicians who shared his style. Now he can be seen playing live nearly every week, either with his own band or filling in with other local acts. When he’s not performing, Joe Moore also spends his time as a teacher at CP Smith Elementary School in Burlington.

Look out for the Joe Moore Band at the Jig in the Valley Festival in East Fairfield this July.

Sean Witters of Invisible Homes

Rocket Shop 6/11/2014: Invisible Homes

Words by Jackson Balling. Photos by Lily Chau.

Whether it’s new crew members, exciting guests, or a slightly cooler day in the office, we here at Big Heavy World have a lot to be excited about, especially on Wednesday nights between 8 and 9 PM. Last week we had all three wrapped in tight bow across a jumbo-sized Rocket Shop. In the middle of it all I was able to speak with Sean Witters, singer of the vintage-inspired art rock group Invisible Homes, who was promoting their new Kickstarted album Song for My Double and their upcoming shows.

We discussed the release of the album, which has been a rollercoaster of work and success, unexpected by anyone involved in the absolute supergroup of musicians that came together to create it, including Ra-Kalam Bob Moses, Barika and Chris Dorman.  Being an English professor at University of Vermont, Witters also utilized some diverse authors as influences, such as Walt Whitman, Sigmund Freud, Paul Auster’s City of Glass and Ishmael Reed’s Mumbo Jumbo, as well as numerous other subtle references that he might not have even realized including as he wrote.

Many of the guest performers on the record also came out to the successful record release show at Club Metronome in May, which was described as a complete circus complete with a performance of the band’s song “The Clown” with slide whistles. Critically, the album has been an outstanding success, including an “epically good” Seven Days review and various writers across the world putting in their two cents on the work of the group, as well as some spotlight on Radio Crowdfund from Paul Schomer. Among all of the rave reviews came comparisons to bands such as Arcade Fire, Wilco, and even Dinosaur Jr., the last of which Witters saw as a stretch but shrugged it off with a laugh nonetheless.

All of this success comes from what started as just a musical project by Witters with the help of some friends. Now Invisible Homes has become a full-fledged band that now consistently pushes the barrier with their sonic experimentation. The band’s appreciation for leaving an impact with their music isn’t just limited to a specific medium of art. The artwork for their recently released record featured glasswork from Witters’ wife as well as some photography tricks that eliminated any need to use a program such as Photoshop in order to create a cover.

All of this translates into the band’s true goal, as Witters put it, which is to “create a creative center for various improvisations and art forms”. From there Witters mentioned his ambition for an exhibit at the South End ArtHop where he plans on showcasing glasswork, music and design, three things that currently make up the multi-faceted art project that Invisible Homes has become throughout the existence of the band. With such artistic ambition and acclaim, this is only the beginning for the band.

If you’re interested in experiencing Invisible Homes for yourself, you can see them at for free at Red Square on June 20th from 5-7 PM as a part of the Seven Days “Up Your Alley” summer series. You can also see them at Monkey House in Winooski on June 28th, Nectar’s on July 12th, and Red Square again on August 7th, with more shows on the way!