Vermont Commons School students visit Big Heavy World

Big Heavy World Thanks AARP Vermont; Is Named A Community Action Sponsorship Winner

Words by Big Heavy World. Press Release by AARP Vermont. Photo by James Lockridge.

Big Heavy World sends a heartfelt ‘Thank you!’ to AARP Vermont for their support of our mission. An AARP Community Action Sponsorship will help us achieve multigenerational inclusion in our work to preserve and promote Vermont-made music, and bring a few generations of Burlington residents together, too!

Big Heavy World will be launching ‘Band House’ in December, an opportunity for teens to have free access to a full backline of instruments, PA system, and recording studio at the Big Heavy World office, to play, jam, practice, experiment with, or even pick up for the very first time. The AARP Vermont support will help us connect local seniors with the program as mentors and peer musicians. We’ll also be making a special effort to reach out to our local seniors with the invitation to host a show on 105.9FM, our community radio station, where every creative interest has a platform to be shared. The work of Big Heavy World to archive and promote Vermont-made music is unending, and the chance to connect with volunteers from the senior community is an especially happy thought.

The photo: Vermont Commons School students tour Big Heavy World and are interviewed by PJ Braine on 105.9FM The Radiator.

Here’s the press release provided by AARP Vermont:

November 10, 2017

David Reville, Communications Director
AARP Vermont

AARP Vermont Announces Community Action Sponsorship Winners

BURLINGTON, VT – AARP Vermont has selected four small organizations with big plans to receive Community Action Sponsorships in support of their efforts to make Burlington a more livable city. This year’s awards totaling some $7500 focused on efforts to enhance the community and promote livability. AARP Vermont launched the Community Action Sponsorship Program in 2010 as a way to provide modest grant funds and technical support to community groups whose missions were consistent with those of Livable BTV, an AARP Vermont initiative aimed at preparing Burlington for the rapidly aging demographic shift. The grant program has a particular focus in the areas of housing, mobility and community engagement.

After a thorough review process, the following projects were selected:

Heineberg Senior Center, $1500 — The grant will help the center offer transportation to local seniors once a week to the center for stress-free visits, nutritious meals and socialization. It will also help with group outings and day trips throughout the year.

Living Well, $2,000 –This program will help establish a winter Garden Enrichment Program offering horticultural therapy, movement therapy, and field trips to local greenhouses, garden centers, and museums during the winter-spring months – a time when residents need a variety of opportunities to keep their spirits high and mental sharpness honed.

Burlington Open Lands Conservation and Trails Initiative, $2,000 – This grant will support a summit this winter to fully launch a citywide effort to improve stewardship of the extensive natural areas within the City of Burlington. The goal is to create a better connected, well signed, and guided access to these trails and natural places for people of all ages and abilities.

Big Heavy World, $2,000 – This initiative supports cultural programming to reach older mentors to join in as volunteers and provide skills-building and intergenerational friendships to aspiring musicians. Big Heavy World will reach out to older adult musicians in Burlington with an invitation to host radio programs on their licensed community radio station and welcome them to help in the office with a current expansion of their music archive catalog. Big Heavy World is a safe space in the arts district on Pine Street focused on connecting generations who love music and the arts.

The Community Action Sponsorships are one-time funding for a 12-month period and awardees will receive technical assistance and training from AARP staff. The program is directed at grassroots groups within Burlington as a way to encourage and support grassroots action to make Burlington more livable.

“Supporting these projects is a way to foster local community development initiatives at the grassroots level,” said Kelly Stoddard-Poor community outreach director at AARP Vermont. “We received an impressive range of proposals to consider this year and it was a very difficult selection process,” she said. “These sponsorships are intended to inspire and support grassroots groups that have a vision for their neighborhood or the city and how it can be improved.”

AARP Vermont is a nonprofit, nonpartisan membership organization with 130,000 members in Vermont and 40 million members nationally. Through a wide array of special benefits, services, and information resources, we help our members make important choices, reach their goals and dreams, and make the most of life after 50.


Big Heavy World at the Music Cities Convention, Memphis TN

Video by David Roseberry. Photos courtesy Sound Diplomacy.

From October 25-27, 2017 Sound Diplomacy, Music Export Memphis and Memphis Music Initiative hosted the 5th global edition of Music Cities Convention in Memphis, Tennessee, showcasing the best practices for improving urban planning, quality of life, city policy and development strategies through music.

The conference brought together leaders from governments, cities and regions, academics, organizations and international music scenes to discuss, debate and introduce new thinking about best practices on the use of music to improve city life. The role and impact of music across education, employment, community building, placemaking, licensing and regulation was explored by more than 215 delegates from more than 50 cities, ten countries and five continents. James Lockridge from Big Heavy World was there to help Vermont build friendships with music cities across the world and to bring some of their insights home. This participation was made possible by a Technical Assistance Grant from the Vermont Arts Council.

Big Heavy World is an independent, nonprofit, volunteer-run music office working to promote and preserve the original music of Vermont. It was founded in 1996 and continues to connect Vermont musicians with one another, build shared resources that help musicians help themselves, and archive Vermont’s immense historic legacy of music making. The organization is currently fundraising to produce a strategic economic development strategy for the state’s music sector. Big Heavy World was proclaimed ‘Burlington’s Music Embassy’ by Mayor Peter Clavelle and has been recognized by Vermont’s General Assembly and Burlington’s City Council for its work.

Xenia Dunford

Xenia Dunford 15 November 2017 on Rocket Shop Radio Hour

Xenia Dunford

Photo by James Lockridge/Big Heavy World.

Xenia Dunford joined guest host Paddy Reagan on a special edition of ‘Rocket Shop‘, live from Arts Riot.  Rocket Shop is Big Heavy World’s local Vermont music radio hour on 105.9FM The Radiator. Catch up with her at

See her next on:

The next Rocket Shop Live from Arts Riot is Wednesday December 6. Admission is free, all ages.

Listen to a replay here or via Rocket Shop Radio Hour on iTunes or Google Play

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Shay Gestal

Shay Gestal 15 November 2017 on Rocket Shop Radio Hour

Shay Gestal

Photo by James Lockridge/Big Heavy World.

Shay Gestal joined guest host Paddy Reagan on a special edition of ‘Rocket Shop‘, live from Arts Riot.  Rocket Shop is Big Heavy World’s local Vermont music radio hour on 105.9FM The Radiator. Catch up with her at

See Shay live:

The next Rocket Shop Live from Arts Riot is Wednesday December 6. Admission is free, all ages.

Listen to a replay here or via Rocket Shop Radio Hour on iTunes or Google Play

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Jane Sanders

Jane Sanders Interviewed for ‘No Stage Diving: The Story of 242 Main’ Documentary

Photos by James Lockridge.

Jane Sanders joined Bill Simmons in the Vermont Community Access Media studio today to be interviewed for ‘No Stage Diving: The Story of 242 Main’ documentary. For more information about the film see and follow along at the film’s new FaceBook page! The trailer is below, too.

Jane Sanders & Bill Simmon-

Nick Vidal

Nick Vidal: New Editor at Big Heavy World

Words by Nick Vidal. Photo by James Lockridge.

As an active musician in the Burlington scene but also as a student studying Political Science and Russian at UVM, Nick has tried to balance his passion for making and consuming music with his more straightforward academic interests. Currently writing as a volunteer contributor for Big Heavy World, Nick is committed to the organization’s goal to discover, promote and engage with the vibrant and varied music scene Vermont has to offer. He also plays bass and drums in the Burlington band Dryr.


Rocket Shop Live at Arts Riot 12/6: Blowtorch; Full Walrus = 105.9FM The Radiator’s 10th Birthday Party!

Words by Big Heavy World. Blowtorch Photos by James Lockridge.

Big Heavy World is about to get even heavier this December 6, as Blowtorch join Full Walrus on the ArtsRiot stage for the latest installment of Rocket Shop LIVE, made possible with co-presenters Arts Riot and RETN and celebrating the tenth anniversary of 105.9FM The Radiator, Burlington’s community radio station!

Rocket Shop is Big Heavy World’s local music radio hour, featuring weekly live performances and interviews from musicians from around the state. Broadcasting direct from the Big Heavy headquarters inside the SEABA Center on Pine street in Burlington, Rocket Shop airs every Wednesday night from 8-9pm on 105.9FM The Radiator. You can also stream The Radiator 24/7 at or tune in through iTunes’ ‘eclectic’ radio section.

Breaking from its tradition of radio only broadcasts, Rocket Shop is now teaming up with ArtsRiot and guest host Paddy Reagan to present you Rocket Shop Live, a live concert series held monthly straight from the Arts Riot main stage. This week features performances courtesy of Chittenden county punk rockers Blowtorch and shoegazing art rock outfit Full Walrus

Doors are at 7:15; music at 7:45, and the show is free, handicapped accessible, and open to fans of all-ages.

Big thanks to co-presenter RETN for taping the concert for television and Joe Egan at Egan Media for recording the show! Rocket Shop Live is supported in part by a grant from the Burlington City Arts Community Fund. Be sure to keep up with podcasts of prior Rocket Shop episodes on iTunes or at!



In the words of Seven Days’ Dan Bolles, “When attempting to describe Blowtorch’s sound, the pair is slightly more effusive but, ultimately, just as vague. Mullins writes the music and collaborates with Russell on lyrics. But that doesn’t make either terribly eager to try and define it. “I think the music has a more melodious aspect that sort of defies the category of ‘punk,'” suggests Russell. “Although it’s not pop-rock, either.” Pausing for a moment, he quips, “metamorphic rock?” before he quickly rescinds the idea. But it might actually be pretty close to the mark. Russell goes on to lay out the band’s longstanding credo: “No swear words. And no love songs.” And that, too, could be a fairly apt description, in a minimalist, punkish sort of way.” Read Dan’s article and Amelia Devoid’s recent review of the new Blowtorch LP, ‘Justice or Else.’


Full WalrusFull Walrus

Full Walrus’ music combines elements from a variety of strong influences such as Radiohead, Pink Floyd, Animal Collective, My Bloody Valentine and a number of other bands that are good! The live performance not only provides a louder and more energetic version of the songs, but also dives deep into improvisation, experimentation, and noise. A man who refers to himself as Forkster has called Full Walrus’ music quote “punchy and etherial”!


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Arts Riot

VT Arts 2017





No Stage Diving

First Trailer Released for ‘No Stage Diving: The Story of 242 Main’ Documentary

Video by Bill Simmon.

The first trailer for ‘No Stage Diving: The Story of 242 Main‘ documentary has been released! The crew sends thanks out to Arts Riot, Rough Francis and Blowtorch for hosting VCAM filmmaker Bill Simmon and James Lockridge from Big Heavy World onto the stage for a few words and the first screening of the teaser on Friday night. It’s a little less than three minutes long and gives a glimpse of what to expect from the full film in 2018. For more information, see and the new Facebook page for the movie at