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Burlington Bands 101

300x400-bands101_Static New to the Burlington music scene? Come to our cram session.

On Wednesday, September 23, Triple Major presents Burlington Bands 101 at Nectar's and Club Metronome. Musical guests include:

The show starts at 9 p.m. It's 18+. Your $5 donation benefits the Radiator, 105.9 FM, WOMM-LP, Burlington's nonprofit, community radio station.

Click here to learn more about the Triple Major — 3 mountains, 1 college pass.

July 04, 2009

It's Tour Group Season

Summertime means the local college campuses are pretty quiet. There are a few summer students around and maybe a conference or two, but apart from that, campuses are oddly still. Except, of course, that summer is prime season for college tours. This is the time of year when hopelessly out-of-touch parents and apathetic high schoolers waste a week of summer vacation roadtripping around the Northeast, stopping at every college and university on the way.

Now maybe I'm just bitter because my first tour guide at St. Mike's totally lied (she said only one of the two required religious studies classes had to be about Christianity, but no! They both do. Other religions can only be electives), or maybe it's just endlessly entertaining to see the uber-perky tour guides get thrown off their games, but I've always enjoyed a good tour group disruption.

Though pretending to loudly buy weed on the phone as you pass by a tour group isn't clever. No one falls for that anymore.

This video's a few years old, but it's still a favorite of mine. It shows a legendary prank on a tour group at Dartmouth College (of course, the Ivy Leaguers are good at this). My favorite part is when you can hear the tour guide in his classy blazer over the chaos trying to assure the group (well, the parents of the group) that they party "no harder and no more than at any other college." Brilliant.

June 08, 2009

What's Good: Year 2

College students may have recently made their annual migration home for the summer, but before they can say "there are no jobs," they'll return to their Vermont wintering grounds, bringing with them the usual flock of newbies. Er, freshmen.

It's our responsibility, as the "What's Good" staff, to make the transition for these college hatchlings — if you will — as seamless as possible. But even as self-declared Vermont culture scholars, we admit that the breadth and scope of our knowledge is far from absolute.

So we're reaching out to you, upper classmen and area residents — was there something we missed in last year's guide? An update we might not be aware of? Something you saw and liked, or hated? We want it all. Leave a comment or shoot and email to [email protected] It's all much appreciated.

June 05, 2009

New Intern

So, I'm the newest intern here at Seven Days... My name is AlexaRae (but I go by Alexa) and I've never blogged before which makes this (officially) my first blog ever. 

A little information about me is necessary but it's nerve wracking, sitting here in the office, trying to come up with things that would make a stranger find me interesting... And hopefully intelligent.  I'll go with what is on my desk: my mac, my iPhone, wasabi peas, Earl Grey tea and a copy of Whats Good.

My computer is packed with pictures from my time abroad in Prague, and the last three years at St. Mike's (I sadly have only one year left). On my iPhone, I keep my favorites like Radiohead and Kings of Leon alongside pictures of my maltese Kobe and my pitt bull Brady. 

I'm a journalism and political science student at St. Mikes and will be the News Editor of our student paper in the fall. I spent last summer in Burlington and worked as a copy editor at the Burlington Free Press.  During my time in Prague, I studied media in a post-communist country and learned how to write stories from conversations in broken Czech-lish (a sorry mix of Czech and English).

Yesterday, myself and the other three interns here ventured out to Stowe, Smuggs, Mt. Mansfield, Johnson, Jeffersonville and more. Embarrassingly, even after three years here, it was my first time to all of the aforementioned locations. 

I'm really excited to be apart of the Seven Days team... And for the weather to get just a bit warmer...

June 01, 2009

One Person's Trash...

Burlington area residents and students scrapped their well worn couches, roller blades, skis and other miscellaneous bric-a-brac yesterday at the annual Spring Move Out Project (SMOP).

SMOP is a collaborative swap provided by the City of BurlingtonChittenden Solid Waste DistrictRecycle NorthThe Center for Community and Neighborhoods, as well as the University of VermontChamplain, and St. Michael's colleges. For the past 10 years they have invited Burlingtonians and local undergrads to a cluttered Loomis Street: a junkyard for some, a free IKEA for others.

SMOP not only recycles the city's undesirables, it keeps soggy and haggard goods off porches and curbs.

"There was a problem with materials being left on the streets and cluttering the streets. So we turned it into a community event where the locals benefit from what the students are leaving behind," says Marge Keough, the business outreach coordinator for CSWD, whose favorite running shoes came from the SMOP a few years ago.  

Aside from collecting, disposing, and keeping the local environment clean there was also a bake sale. One Loomis Street mother and her friends took the opportunity to raise money for their children's Fourth of July Parade. 

Free stuff and cookies always equals a good time.

Video edited by Will Ryan.

May 19, 2009

Admissions Counselor Trashes Papers, First Amendment

Ed. Note: Intern Mike DiBiasio wrote this post. Mike just finished his junior year at Ohio Wesleyan University. This will be his second summer here at Seven Days, and we're excited to have him back. The photo shows him interviewing John McCain's daughter, Meghan.

S1084110004_30086505_2715 Forgive me for quoting country music flag-waver Toby Keith, but “freedom don’t come free,” and for some one like me – a college newspaper editor – that means fighting your university admissions office when they step on your First Amendment rights.

I learned this lesson first-hand this past semester after a junior admissions counselor lifted 200 copies of my university’s newspaper, The Transcript, from their racks in the student union during the annual springtime admissions extravaganza. The ever-protective counselor considered our front-page stories on senior drinking traditions and university surveillance to be inappropriate for admitted students and their families visiting Ohio Wesleyan University, and so the papers were removed. 

As Editor-in-Chief of the 142-year-old Transcript, I could imagine that a member of the student body would express their ignorance of First Amendment rights this way, but not a university staffer. 

So The Transcript did what any newspaper would do: we wrote a story and an editorial on the incident and we drew a cartoon. The coverage left students and faculty disappointed that a member of admissions would stoop so low as to censor the newspaper. The admissions office apologized in the story and reportedly held a required office-wide discussion on the First Amendment.  

Thinking we would elicit nothing more than general campus controversy, I was surprised when a reporter at The Columbus Dispatch, interested this First Amendment violation, contacted me for a story.  And as a testament to American journalists’ allegiance to First Amendment rights, the story ended up on the AP wire, in regional publications like The Plain Dealer and on The Chronicle of Higher Education website. It was a fun 15 minutes of fame for The Transcript, another victory for the First Amendment and a great learning experience for this rookie editor.   

May 13, 2009

Move Out Madness

0508091124 This is a picture of the area in front of Canterbury Hall at St. Mike's on Friday.  Friday was the last day of finals week, and the day most people picked to move out on.

Normally our Public Safety officers are rather strict when it comes to enforcing parking regulations and keeping the different parking areas (zone permits, general permits, faculty/staff areas) free of interlopers. But even they don't bother on Move Out Day. Handicapped spot violations, fire lane violations, people parked all over the was like Mad Max out there.  Never mind all the passive-aggressive reactions of people blocked into a space by parents struggling to fit their kid's furniture into the trunk like it was Tetris...

May 01, 2009

Naked Ultimate Frisbee Team Causes Uproar in Oregon

With the hot, sunny weather we've been having, Frisbees have come out from hibernation and are once again flying around the St. Mike's campus. I haven't seen any naked people tossing Frisbees around the quad, though.

Trends are different at the University of Oregon, where the school's Ultimate Frisbee team has had its season cut short due to a series of conduct violations, the latest of which involved partial nudity. Previously the team had been busted for throwing big drinking parties and speeding.

The Seattle Times has the scoop, not to mention a brilliant quote from co-captain Dusty Becker:

"Speeding, drinking, nudity — they're not bad things," he said. "They're things a big portion of the community doesn't think are wrong."

Well, can't argue with that.

Meanwhile, opponents of the Leddy Park disc golf course have a whole new set of reasons to fear the coming influx of Frisbee players...

April 23, 2009

Students Stand Up...on Twitter

So, I probably don't need to tell you about the ongoing protests by students and faculty at UVM over budget cuts for next year and the lay-offs of 109 faculty and staff. It's been really captivating to watch the situation unfold (and makes me glad that the biggest controversy at St. Mike's revolves around student government leaders treating themselves to chicken wings).

What I've been most impressed with has been how the UVM student group leading the protests, Students Stand Up, has done a great job presenting solid, well-considered ideas. Even if you disagree with their mission, you certainly can't call them a bunch of college hippie psuedo-activists protesting for the sake of it — the group has a real plan to fix the university's budgetr.

Yesterday I started following SSU's Twitter account (@studentsStandUp), which has been been providing constant updates since the rally/sit-in. It's kind of surreal knowing that there's somebody sitting in Waterman, Tweeting away from his/her phone while getting threatened with arrest for trespassing, but it's been a fascinating read.

And if I may offer a bit of advice to future sit-in participants: Next time the police begin to get involved, just have someone start a pillow fight across Burlington. That will keep them distracted.

April 16, 2009

The Continuing Saga of Asher Roth

Though Asher Roth's opening set for the St. Michael's spring concert was canceled over a week ago now, the controversy over his invitation-and-subsequent-uninvitation rages on.

First of all, the S.A programming folks announced Roth's replacement. Local hip-hop group The Aztext will be opening for Lupe Fiasco tomorrow night.

However, a sizable and vocal group of St. Michael's students won't be seeing either act, as they're planning to boycott the concert in protest of Roth's absence. One St. Michael's student, Kate Reynolds, emailed Roth to tell him that students were disappointed in his cancellation, and that it was just "a few administrators and a few 'gender studies' students" that wanted the show canceled. (Quotes around "gender studies" were hers, not mine.) An associate of Roth's posted Reynolds's letter to Asher Roth's blog, along with a video of Roth calling Reynolds. There's also a Facebook event rallying Roth's supporters.

A few of those zany feminists posted their thoughts on the blog and the Facebook event wall, and received a few "fuck you bra-burner"s in response. Classy. Unfortunately the pro-Asher people have yet to really present a convincing argument:

  • The views of a small group are ruining it for the majority. If the civil rights struggle (or even the more recent gay marriage debates around the country) have taught us anything, it's the majority cannot be allowed to decide the rights of the minority. When a group of students at SMC feels uncomfortable, offended, and hurt, it's pathetic to expect their concerns to be ignored so that everyone else can get their party on as usual. Besides, it's not just "gender studies" students, or the Center for Women and Gender that were upset. Hell, I'm a straight male journalism major and I was opposed to Roth's concert from the start. Pretending that six people conspired to ruin the fun for the other 1,994 students here is absurd and grossly inaccurate.

  • Roth is just depicting college life as it is. Too bad not all of us can afford (or want) to treat college like it's a teen movie. And yes, girls get objectified at college parties — why is that okay to glorify? Just because that's what happens? It might be too close to reality but that doesn't make it alright. Unfortunately, too many people enjoy the college culture of female objectification to think about changing it.
  • Roth has songs with positive messages, too. Uh, that's great, but having a positive song and having a song called "Rub On Your Titties" do not cancel each other out. Not how it works.
  • Roth is the victim of censorship. I don't think anyone is denying his constitutional right to say what he does. But Roth does not have the constitutional right to get paid by our tuition money to play a concert at our school. Canceling his concert is not censorship, it's deciding who you want performing for (and representing) your campus.

  • If you don't like Asher Roth, you just shouldn't go to the show. I haven't liked the last two spring concert acts, so I didn't go. This is beyond a sense of dislike. St. Michael's is like home to me and everyone else here, and any performance on-campus means someone is coming into our home. Plus, it sends a message about the school to the greater community — and I'm not okay with Burlington associating me with the college that wants Asher Roth. Maybe that doesn't matter to the people whose social life doesn't extend beyond the 300s townhouses, though.

  • Everyone in hip-hop talks about stuff like this. Yes, so Wyclef Jean, who came to SMC last year, also has questionable lyrics. That doesn't set a precedent. I'm glad our campus has become more conscious in the past year. So you hear songs with similar content on the radio — they shouldn't come to our campus, either.

I don't understand how so many people now think next year's spring concert will now be Raffi, Celine Dion, or the Jonas Brothers, as if there's nothing in between these acts and Asher Roth. UVM's Springfest is headlined by Ratatat — apparently a good choice, since the show is already sold out. St. Anselm booked Third Eye Blind for their spring concert this year. Just a few years ago, St. Mike's had The Roots — a hip-hop group with socially aware lyrics. All of these acts would make for a successful spring concert, likely without sparking controversy and hurting feelings. (They're also all way more artistically relevant, but that's a different argument entirely.)

So, Asher Roth fans, stop blaming hippies, feminists, or evil administrators for ruining your Friday night. Grow up.

For those who aren't boycotting the show, it's Friday night at the Ross Sports Center at St. Mike's.  Doors open at 7:00, show starts at 8:00, and tickets are $20 for SMC students and $30 for everyone else.

Happy Record Store Day!

This Saturday, April 18, marks the second annual celebration of Record Store Day, in which the culture of independent record stores is celebrated worldwide. Indie stores all over are celebrating with free giveaways, in-store performances, and tons of Record Store Day exclusives. During last year's Record Store Day celebration, Burlington's beloved Pure Pop Records even threw in a huge used vinyl sale, with so much selection the store's floor was nearly covered in boxes of records.

Check out the list of Record Store Day exclusive releases here. I'm looking most forward to the Wilco live DVD, the My Morning Jacket live album, and the 7" of two brand new Modest Mouse songs. But I hope and expect to discover more surprises on Saturday. So stop by Pure Pop on Saturday and support indie music stores--because without them, we'd have to rely on Best Buy and iTunes, and that's a scary thought.

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