The scene from up the street.

Punk Rock Block Party

All Words & Photos By Morgan Laurie-Day

The weekend of Art Hop is always a busy one. This year was no exception. Big Heavy World had a punk rock show in Jim’s basement. Five bands from around the state took to the stage while we barbecued and enjoyed a break from the rain. This show was made possible by Friends + Family, Get Stoked! Records and Stick Shift Records. First up was Black Rabbit, a Burlington based three piece.

Black Rabbit

Black Rabbit

Rutland’s Get A Grip was up next. Evan is pretty good at getting the crowd stirred up. At several points he shoved himself into the crowd. Pushing and being pushed back, getting the people in the room to interact and respond. It makes for fun pictures.

Get A Grip

Get A Grip

Get A Grip

Get A Grip

Next up was a relatively new band on the scene here in town. Only the band is new not the members. Uppercut contains members from past bands such as Bombardier To Pilot and Listen To The Sky, all Burlington based bands. I was impressed with their sound. They are self described as Rock but I heard a little bit of pop punk in there, (and I loved it.)

Upper Cut

Upper Cut

Next up was hardcore punk group As We Were. These guys bring heavy sound and a ton of energy to the stage. The crowd in the basement got a little stirred up.

As We Were

As We Were

The basement show took on a softer tone as The Lentils played their set. A three piece group from Brattleboro equipped with two guitars, a bass drum played Indian style and a tambourine.

The Lentils

The Lentils

The last act of the night was by far the most unique. A one man band who duct taped a microphone to his face and had several instruments attached to his drum set. It was pretty rad.

Dog Hospice

Dog Hospice

Check out more pictures in the gallery.


Southern Darkness

All Words & Photos By Morgan Laurie-Day

Photographing a band on the road has been a goal of mine for several years now. I took a small step towards it at the end of August this year. Vaporizer, a well known Burlington metal band was going on tour in the beginning of August. Heading down the east coast, hitting a small festival in Tampa, Florida and then completing the tour circuit back up north. The Tampa gathering is called Southern Darkness Festival and this year was it’s first year featuring head liners Black Tusk from Savannah, GA and Pelican from Chicago, IL. Vaporizer was nice enough to invite me to come along.



Florida in August is an inferno. Hot doesn’t even begin to describe it and being a thick blooded Northerner doesn’t help at all. Luckily on the day of the show it rained for a while before giving way to sunshine as the metal heads took to the streets. The festival was akin to a metal pub crawl. It was set up between three venues in Tampa’s Ybor City neighborhood The Ritz, Crowbar and The Orpheum. Ybor City seemed quiet in the early afternoon but as the sun set and the music got loud the strip came alive with people and music seemed to be on every street corner.



Vaporizer laid down a solid set with plenty of support from crowd at The Ritz. I also made time to check out Primate, Atlanta, Georgia’s punk rock super group featuring Mastodon’s Bill Kelliher on guitar as well as Brutal Truth’s Kevin Sharp.

Primate and Mastodon guitarist Bill Kelliher

Primate and Mastodon guitarist Bill Kelliher

Black Tusk closed out the night at The Ritz leaving just enough time to catch Pelican a couple blocks down the street at The Orpheum. Being on the road and shooting a band out of their home element was a great experience and I can’t wait till my next trip. Until next time check out more photos from the show the in the gallery.

Black Tusk

Black Tusk

AmeriCorps Position Available at Big Heavy World: Serve Your Scene!

AmeriCorps engages more than 75,000 men and women in intensive service each year at more than 15,000 locations including nonprofits, schools, public agencies, and community and faith-based groups across the country. AmeriCorps members help communities tackle pressing problems while mobilizing millions of volunteers for the organizations they serve. Members gain valuable professional, educational, and life benefits, and the experience has a lasting impact on the members and the communities they serve.

Big Heavy World has a full time AmeriCorps position available: A priority is to help the statewide population of original musicians — of all genres & skill levels — recognize that they’re a community. By building social capital, we strengthen VT’s social fabric & foster an empowering & independent force of community & economic development. Our member will be an organizing force for our outreach to artists, connecting them to each other & to the resources built to serve them. They’ll also promote volunteer opportunities to young adult Vermonters, engaging them with programming to give them real-world opportunity to support their community while gaining important technical, professional, & social skills. Our member will supervise out-of-school time programming, including hosting of an afterschool radio program by teens, giving participants an enriching experience while accomplishing Big Heavy’s mission.

For more information about the AmeriCorps program or to apply for the Big Heavy World position, visit

Monkey House Records

Monkey House Records* *a Pop-Up Local Record Shop!

The Monkey House brings you… Monkey House Records!

*a PopUp local Record Shop featuring local musicians’ records, CDs, compilations, + merch that you can purchase all in one spot!

::Artists you can find at the shop::
The Smittens
Paper Castles
Blue Button
Maryse Smith
Justin Levinson
Stickshift Recordings
Get Stoked! Records
Gregory Douglass
Big Heavy World
Vultures of Cult
Phil Yates & The Affiliates
Great Western

*Disco Phantom will be hosting a satellite Record Club
*Special Acoustic Sets
*All day feel good hang with beers, friends and musicians

POST PopUp performance with The Colin Clary Band @ 8PM!
Have records for sale? Want to be involved? Contact

No cover to get in – bring cash to purchase records. Some artists will have credit card capabilities. We also have an ATM

More info at


Grand Point North

All Words By Morgan Laurie-Day

It’s almost here. The fourth anniversary of the two night Waterfront extravaganza. Grand Point North. This year Big Heavy will be there snapping pictures of all festivities! This years line up features several home grown acts from every corner of Vermont.

Several bands call Burlington home like The High Breaks who be bringing their surf tones and beards to the main stage on Sunday. There will be a variety of other sounds on both nights like Dwight & Nicole a soul and blues group, Villanelles a self described pop garage band, Swale an experimental soul group and Lowell Thompson with a folk country rock tone.

Other Vermont artists include Gold Town a blue grass band from Pawlet, VT and headliner Grace Potter & The Nocturnals from Waitsfeild, VT. GP&TN will play on Saturday and Sunday on the main stage.

Check out the schedule below for all band times. See you there!

fest schedule image 2014

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!