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September 15, 2008

An Open Letter to VitaminWater

Vitamin_water Dear VitaminWater:

On behalf of the St. Michael's College community, thanks for sending some of your college reps by our campus one afternoon last week in a big fancy VitaminWater van to hand out free samples of your product. I still prefer good old fashioned normal water, and in fact I'll probably never spend any money on VitaminWater, but thanks for thinking of me and my dollar, at least.

And while I'm a little leery of letting commercial enterprises set up shop on campus to prey on our young, impressionable, loan-funded minds, I have a larger issue to pick with you. You see, that VitaminWater van has a hell of a potent soundsystem. And on this day, your college reps chose to use that sound system to blast the music of Eddie Money into the eardrums of all and sundry within a half-mile radius. Yes, Eddie Fucking Money.

This seemed like a questionable choice, from a marketing perspective. While you'd be correct in guessing that the majority of St. Mike's students listen to terrible music, their collective taste skews more towards O.A.R. and Dave Matthews Band than towards Top 40 stars of the late 70's and early 80's. Besides, when I'm leaving the academic quad on a weekday afternoon after a boring class that took much too long, I neither expect nor want to be berated by booming music...especially when that music is Eddie Money. Our relatively quiet campus green is something to be cherished, you know? And those poor kids in Joyce Hall — your speakers were pointed right at them. Not even first-years deserve such a fate.

So, while songs like "Two Tickets to Paradise" and "Take Me Home Tonight" are undoubtedly the cherished classics of SOMEONE's youth...they don't apply to us, much. The next time you roll onto our campus to hawk your enigmatically-named, radioactively-colored drinks, please keep the volume down. Or at the very least, pick better music. I hear Rick Astley goes over real well with the college kids.

September 09, 2008

What A Weekend

So, I had quite an eventful weekend, if I may say so.

Friday evening was, of course, the South End Art Hop, which proved once again to be one of the most awesome things about Burlington. I got to see lots of cool art, mingle with cool people, and hear cool music — although I missed The Cush's set at the JDK design studio because I totally lost track of where I was and ended up at the wrong end of Maple St. But best of all, I got a nifty new Seven Days t-shirt, screenprinted right before my eyes. Awesome.

But speaking of those JDK folks...the launch party they put on in celebration of their book of Higher Ground posters, "1 of 1500," was fantastic. There's something about the concert poster as art that I really dig. The minimalist shapes, the line drawings, and the limited color pallette all really appeal to my artistic sensibilities. Thus, getting to browse JDK's poster-lined hallways was a treat, especially when I'd happen upon a poster or a photograph and realize, "Hey, I was at that show. Awesome." Nice work, JDK peeps.

Saturday was a whole different beast. I drove down to Boston for the day with two of my friends, where we first visited the field trip bastion of my childhood, the New England Aquarium. It's still just as amazing as it was as an elementary schooler. Myrtle the turtle is still swimming circles around that big center tank, and penguin poop is still hilarious. I hope that after I die, I get reincarnated as a leafy sea dragon.

That night we headed over to the Bank of America Pavilion, a soulless, corporate amphitheaters with shitty sound and worse sightlines, to see the greatest live band of our time, My Morning Jacket. I'm pleased to say they didn't disappoint. While the venue didn't hold a candle to the tiny rock club in Montreal I saw MMJ at earlier this year, the band played for about two-and-a-half hours, and rocked solidly for all of them. (Well, not so much when they played "Thank You Too," but I digress.) The highlight for me was their performance of the rarity "Cobra." If you haven't heard that song...find it. Trust me.

Last thing now. You may have heard about Tropical Storm Hanna battering Boston with monsoon-worthy rains on Saturday. Indeed, we were caught in the middle of that. Made the mile-long walk back to the car pretty miserable — my windbreaker stayed waterproof for all of about three minutes, and my shoes didn't dry out until Monday.  The first two hours of the drive back to Vermont were even worse. In fact, it was probably pretty unsafe to travel in that kind of weather. But that was just the capper to the most hectic, eventful weekend I've had in a while...and I didn't even spend it getting drunk.

August 28, 2008

Local Music 101

Wg7facebook_2 If you're new to town, or maybe just don't get out that much, you might not know how great the local music scene is here. We've got some kick-ass bands in Burlington in lots of genres: indie rock, jam bands, bubble-gum pop, post-punk, surf, hip-hop... you name it, we've got it.

On Thursday, September 18, Seven Days and Sugarbush are hosting What's Good: The Bands of Burlington Showcase at Nectar's/Club Metronome. It's a 2-floor event featuring the best bands around. Think of it as a primer on the Burlington music scene. Best of all, it's 18+ and only $5! (Admission benefits The Radiator — Burlington's low-power indie radio station.)

Continue reading "Local Music 101" »

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