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 danbrendan@gmail.com.

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”

Drowningman

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.

Drowningman

Drowningman.

Drowningman

Drowningman.

 

As We Were

As We Were

 

Zero Circle

Zero Circle.

 

Meg Cossboom excited to get on-air.

Rocket Shop 6/25/2014: Meg Cossaboom & Crazyhearse

On June 25th I was lucky to host Rocket Shop for the first time, a broadcast that featured plenty of awkwardness and stuttering among two great guests with exciting events and milestones to discuss. My first guest, the lovely Meg Cossaboom, had no problem looking past my radio greenhorn status in order to plug her then-upcoming performance “Unveiled My World” at Temple Sinai in South Burlington. The concert, which was composed using music across every album created by Cossaboom, was not sung by her at all, but rather twenty-one guest singers who were backed up by eight guest musicians. While she couldn’t allude to it during our interview, the event was huge success and may warrant a sequel of sorts in the future.

Crazyhearse calming down for a moment.

My second guest was a band that had been around the block and back, the energetic Crazyhearse, who was in to promote their fifth record Tornadic Beige, as well as their record release shows for it and the crazy folk-punk sound that they were more than happy to share with me. Sharing two songs from their new record as well as an acoustic track at the end of the show, the diversity of their sound varied from folk to punk even with some electronic influences thrown in for good measure. They are currently wrapping up their tour in North Carolina before returning to Radio Bean on September 23rd. All in all, their visit was enlightening and exciting to be a part of for my first time guest hosting Rocket Shop.

RVIVR

Photos: Poxy; Gorgon; Outta Gas; War On Women; RVIVR at 242 Main

Photos by James Lockridge.

242 Main was alive tonight with five bands that sang, screamed, roared, and exhilarated the audience. With thanks to Jon Berg for coordinating the show and the crew and volunteers of 242 Main, here’s some pics of Poxy (VT), Gorgon (VT), Outta Gas (NY); War On Women (MD), and RVIVR (WA).

Poxy

Poxy, after their set, the last performance for a long time.

 

Gorgon

Gorgon.

 

Outta Gas

Outta Gas.

 

War On Women

War On Women.

 

RVIVR

RVIVR (Photo at top, too).

 

War On Women asked for a moment of silence to think of events in Missouri and to honor those killed by police officers nationwide.

Here’s more photos from the show:

Waylon Speed at VPR: ‘Live From The Fort’

Video by Vermont Public Radio.

Check out this fresh video of Waylon Speed, live in the Vermont Public Radio studio, guests of VPR’s ‘Live From The Fort’ series of intimate performances by Vermont artists. Follow ‘Live From The Fort’ at http://www.vpr.net/apps/live-from-the-fort/ and look for upcoming videos of Brett Hughes (with Kat Wright) and Maryse Smith. Thank you VPR for bringing your massive audience (and technical talent!) to local music!

Local Punks Play Second Stage At Summer Nationals

Words And Photos By Morgan Laurie-Day

Excitement was in the air. Punk shirts from the 90′s and beyond could be seen streaming slowly down to the Water Front. Mohawks and tattoos. Sneakers and army boots. The line began to stretch all the way to the Echo Center as people excitedly queued up to get in. The Summer Nationals tour had arrived in Burlington in full force. The lIne up for the main stage that evening included heavy hitters in the world of punk rock. The Vandals, Pennywise, Bad Religion and The Offspring. Opening second stage for any one of these bands would be a dream come true for any young musician.

IMG_8011

The locals started the night up on the second stage in the back near the skatepark. Burlington based Poxy was up first sounding like true garage band punk.

Poxy

Poxy

Burlington’s own Better Things kicked off set number two with their own brand of punk rock. The crowd poured across the lawn after The Vandals to get in on the fun.

Better Things

Better Things 

Pennywise got the pit going in between second stage sets.

Pennywise Pit

Pennywise Pit

Burlington’s As We Were was up third on the Big Heavy stage. Self described hardcore punks brought so much energy to the stage.

As We Were

As We Were

Rutland based Get A Grip closed out the night on the Big Heavy stage. The crowd came out in force to meet them. I was impressed again and again by the presence and energy that the Vermont bands gave off on stage. Opening for national acts is a once in lifetime chance and these musical young people held nothing back.

Get A Grip

Get A Grip

Check out more photos in the gallery!

Art Mosh

Art Mosh: A Get Up In It Community Arts Meetup

Artists, musicians, performers, & presenters — Join your neighbors for a night of sharing where you think Vermont might be headed with the arts, and how resources and policies that affect the arts might be improved. It’s a casual opportunity to meet other creative people who live and love the arts and ‘shop talk’ about a topic that everyone cares about. It’s a community meetup – free, all-ages, and open to everyone!

Community-builders Big Heavy World, New City Galerie, and Arts Riot want your advice for where to steer their energies and focus as they try to make Vermont a better place for music, theater, the visual arts, and everything in-between. They’ll learn from you how government arts policies could improve, what community-wide resources need building, and how to serve artists of all kinds equitably throughout the state. Volunteers will help share your thoughts via the public forum at bigheavyworld.com so all Vermonters can join the conversation.

Enjoy locally-made beverages and cuisine from the Arts Riot kitchen while hanging with new and old friends. Art Mosh is co-presented by Big Heavy World, New City Galerie, and Arts Riot with support from 105.9FM The Radiator.

Art Riot is located at 400 Pine Street, Burlington, Vermont. For more information, contact info@bigheavyworld.com, (802) 865-1140. The event is all-ages, free, and accessible.

Doom Service showing their goofiness.

Interview: Doom Service

Words by Jackson Balling. Photos by Ryan Scullin.

Taking their name from an episode of The New Scooby-Doo Mysteries, Doom Service has also taken a spot within the Burlington punk community. Formed from the remnants of their previous band, 10K Volt Ghost, guitarist and lead vocalist Justin Gonyea, guitarist Jeff Foran and bassist Roy Larsen teamed up with Tyler Daniel Bean on drums to resurge beyond a typical band breakup and continue with an enhanced sound of their previous group, inspired by 90s punk bands with a hint of pop punk and rock tossed in for good measure. The combination is a supergroup of musicians with the local community, as well as an absolute train of hilarity.

Justin letting out a punk yell.

Our time talking at Big Heavy World was filled with more laughter than any previous interview I’ve ever done, and by the end of our thirty minutes together I was more than able to see the chemistry between the four members of the band. From Tyler claiming a throne when I asked how he got into the mix with the others, where he claimed that it was all based around his drumming, to different merch ideas and catchphrases such as “Pee-Wee Herman meets Scooby-Doo” and “You Got Doomer’d!” respectively.

This past Saturday was the band’s first show, a milestone that had been in the works for a long time but finally achieved despite Tyler turning down spots at 242 Main. I specifically asked to be taken to the show, since I couldn’t make it, and it would be a crime to leave this beauty of a quote from Tyler out of the article, “Imagine a room like 242…you’ve got some fireproof blankets across the walls, black concrete floors, a stage that’s like a foot and a half. You’re sitting there behind the drums, and you’re looking out and there’s like eleven people there. And you’re rockin’ and rollin’. And kids are yelling back, ‘What’s it like to be At the Drive-In?!’, or after one song they’re like ‘That’s a song I could get down with!’”

Jeff and Roy preparing for a song.

Despite the heavy banter that filled the evening, including Mat Kimball expressing his enjoyment of different tracks that were fast, having their music compared to the Mallrats soundtrack was the highest compliment imaginable, especially to Roy who expressed his desire to quit while he was ahead and live the rest of his life a winner. With that the questions began to wrap up the band humorously mentioned their plans to record a demo the fourth weekend in August, to be released at some point digitally and perhaps physically, such as “answering machine tapes” as Justin suggested.

Doom Service has a couple shows coming up, including August 16th and August 21st, and as well as a fanfiction penned by none other than Tyler that chronicles his attempts to sabotage the band from playing any shows. Be on the lookout for those and more in the future and they attempt to become the goober-iest band you’ll ever know in Burlington. Even if their humor doesn’t get you going, they still play amazing music and are yet another group in the music scene to pay attention to in the coming months.

Doomers lounging around.

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/

Get A Grip

Get A Grip.

As We Were

As We Were.

Better Things

Better Things.

Poxy

Poxy.

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.