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thread magazine LATE SUMMER | 2011 ISSUE #1











10% of proceeds from this issue go to Lund Family Center

Convenient Location and Great Selection • Over 1,200 Vermont products • Extensive beer & wine department • Large variety of wellness products • Hot and cold food bar • Deli sandwiches • Fresh local produce • Artisan cheese • Fresh cut meat • Friendly staff

cover image: Matt Kelly of Dropkick Murphys photo by, Ben Sarle

THREAD MAGAZINE Issue #1 Late Summer 2011


CONTRIBUTORS Christopher Brown Deborah Pereira Randall Morey Jordan Rosenberg Steve Van Etten Greg Forber Meghan Miller Kara Brown Liam Griffin Torrey Valyou DJ Barry Special Thanks to: Chris Lyon City Market Nick Vaden Kitty Bartlett Daren Cassani Natalie Miller Hearforward David Mitchell Publisher’s Press Dropkick Murphys Higher Ground


Welcome to Thread Magazine | Issue #1 Thread is a collaboration of the area’s most talented journalists, creative writers, and visual artists – Burlington’s new editorial syndicate. The magazine is online as well as here in print, and will strive to be a dynamic, professional, and aesthetically pleasing arts & culture magazine for Burlington to enjoy and shape. A 100% independent publication, Thread is an evolving and creative beast, bringing together many different facets of the city and we will truly be connecting with every aspect of Burlington… We also want to play our part in social responsibility within our local community, so we are donating 10% of proceeds from every issue to a different charitable cause each month. That is our pledge. Flip to page 9 to read about the current recipient, Lund Family Center. Thread has an initial circulation of 2,500, available at City Market and a few other spots around town, and hopefully we can grow from there. We would absolutely love to have you contribute, pitch, or advertise; so please don’t hesitate to contact us at, or email the editor directly at Thank you, we can’t wait to see where this goes… Sincerely, Ben Sarle | Publisher/Editor & The Thread Magazine Team

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Got skills? Enter to win a pair of tickets to Conspirator at Higher Ground on September 30, and have your image(s) featured in the next issue of Thread Magazine *Send your image or series of no more than 3 images to by August 30, 2011

Entries should be low/medium resolution photos, winner will be contacted to upload high res shots for publication

presented by,

10% of the proceeds from this issue will be going to...

Strengthening Children and Families for 120 Years

Engage in a Child’s Future Lund Family Center improves the lives of more than 5,000 children, parents and families in Vermont each year with a focus on : Strengthening Families Reducing Child Abuse and Neglect Building Families Through Adoption We Need Your Help! Get involved or call for help today: 800-639-1741



words by Liam Griffin photography by Ben Sarle 10


ack in the fall of 2007 I was cruising the bike shops of New York City’s Lower East Side when I happened upon “The Pit.” For those in the know, this section of the Sara D. Roosevelt Park on the corner of Broome & Chrystie had become the NYC home for hardcourt bike polo due to the near perfect setup of a relatively unused “undesignated playspace.” I watched a few games, fascinated by the controlled chaos of it, and then went on my merry way to peruse the selections of bike parts at Trackstar. Over the course of the next winter, I stumbled upon the website “” and decided that in the spring I’d try to pull together a BTV version of what I had seen in NYC. Like New York, Burlington also had a relatively unused space that was well suited to hardcourt bike polo, in the form of the Roller Rink in Waterfront park. An ideal location right on the bike path meant that getting to and from the court on a bike was easy, and the high visibility of the court from the bike path allowed for easy recruiting of new players. After tracking down some old ski poles and ordering some gas pipe off the internet, a quick session in the workshop produced the six polo mallets

needed for a first round of games. A few emails & Facebook messages were sent around to various people in the local bike scene to try and rally enough people to play. The time was set, Wednesday at 6pm we’d link up at the court and play hardcourt bike polo for the first time in VT. Most of us who showed up that first season were fixed gear hipster bike nerds, riding everything from shiny new track bikes to fixie road conversions. Gears and brakes were there too, on mountain bikes, cruisers with coaster brakes, and even one player on a unicycle. We soon discovered that bike polo in some form had been played in Burlington for years before, but often on grass and with different equipment and rules. Bike polo differs greatly from the equestrian version, and hardcourt is also quite a bit different from the grass bike polo played as far back as the late 1800s. This modern version of bike polo, born from city based messenger culture, is a much faster game played with three people on each team. The basic rules are simple: *A goal can only be scored off the end of the mallet (like a croquet shot) *Pushing the ball into the goal with the broad side of the mallet (like shuffleboard) doesn’t count. *If you put your foot down (or “Dab”) you are out of play until you ride to center court and “tap in” by hitting your mallet on the sideline. *Contact is like on like only. Mallet on mallet and body on body are ok. Mixed contact is not allowed and bike on bike is frowned upon (but happens anyway). *Games are usually 5 points or 10 minutes.

Over that first summer, the polo scene grew quickly and soon expanded to Sunday afternoons as well as the original Wednesday evenings. More and more players heard about polo through the electronic grapevine, or happened upon it via the bike path. Unlike most forms of cycling, polo offered a social environment with team play that was unique and appealing to a wide variety of people, bringing together an incredibly diverse group that spanned from downhill racers to roadies, all coming together to play at an amazing location that just happened to be perfect for the sport.

“Unlike most forms of cycling, polo offered a social environment...” Flashing forward to 2010, we caught wind of the “Waterfront North” development plan. The City had recently released plans for the Moran Plant development and a new parking area that was going to be built. A

meeting had been scheduled to start discussions about the new Waterfront Skatepark and location and the first thing we all noticed was that there was no new rink in the plan. At that first meeting, almost half the people in attendance were from the Burlington bike polo crew. Our voices were heard, and we’ve been working with Burlington Parks & Rec as well as CEDO ever since to put together a plan for a new location once the current court falls to the bulldozers. “The Last Stand” was to be the first and last polo tournament to be hosted on our beloved court. Last

summer, five local teams competed against five teams from out of state in this fundraising kickoff event. An amazing time was had by all, and everybody from out of town marveled on how such a “small town” in VT could have such a cool bike scene and headed back to their cities with stories of the lake, the hospitality and the amazing vibe of Burlington. A year later saw “The Last Stand (Again)” with five local teams and 13 teams from out of state. With the destruction of the roller rink still tied up in red tape, the people of the poloverse came together for a final

sendoff befitting this great location. Almost every team from last summer came back, and most brought another team or two along with them. The scene here, the court and the amazing location on the lake are in sharp contrast to most tournaments hosted in larger locales within the metro areas of “bigger” polo cities. NYC, Boston, Toronto, Ottawa, Montreal, DC and Philadelphia all had teams, with other players from far off cities like Richmond, Virginia, Paris and Amsterdam also making the trek. Looking into a crystal ball, the future of the polo scene in Burlington

is a bit cloudy at this point, but one thing is for sure: as long as there are bikes, a lake & summer, there will be polo happening somewhere in BTV. If we end up doing “The Last Stand (Again), part 2” then people will come back to sample more of what this town has to offer.

Documenting the lives, careers, and challenges of Burlington’s most dynamic demographic the ‘twentysomething’ “B20” is an online editorial project founded by Randall Morey, Deborah Pereira, Christopher Brown, and Benjamin Sarle. Each issue will contain a B20/Thread collaboration to bring you another investigation into the life of the Burlington Twentysomething.

This issue, we present David and Natalie...




David M.

by, Deborah Pereira images by, Benjamin Sarle

My impractical compact car ached and clanked as I drove through the long, rugged tapering road to Adam’s Berry Farm at the Intervale in Burlington, an area I surprisingly hadn’t ventured to before. So after feeling like I had long passed into another Vermont, I pulled into the farm, and was greeted by a jovial medium-sized black dog and one of the most serene pastoral vistas I had seen in a while. The farm was a cozy piece agricultural property, with its dense rows of crisp young organic blueberry and raspberry bushes surround by lush groves around the perimeter. Now in its seventh season, Adam’s Berry Farm is nestled nearly one mile past the entrance of the Intervale Center and offers an array of certified organic strawberries, blackberries and raspberries with pick-your-own hours beginning in June and lasting through October. It was nearly 6:30 PM , with the day’s June heat mellowing and the sun beginning its calm golden descend-- a more pleasant early summer day to meet David, the 28 year-old single employee of Adam, the owner of the farm, there could not be. David, outfitted in tan Carhartt overalls, a smart pair of black thick-rimmed glasses and a turquoise baseball cap atop a mass of shoulder-length orange curls, blended seamlessly with his earthy surroundings. However, his international background was a delightful contrast to his presence in the middle of a Vermont community farm. Born in Dhahran, Saudi Arabia to American parents employed by the country’s major petroleum oil company, David lived in the Middle East for fifteen years,

followed by boarding school in Connecticut. He attended college in New York and then transferred to the University of Vermont, lived in Australia for a short time, and then returned to Vermont, cumulatively spending ten years in the Green Mountain State. For a while now, David has been working [a]at Adam’s Berry Farm. “It’s a great place to work. This year has been unfortunate with all of the flooding-- it’s flooded five times-- but Adam’s got a very optimistic outlook on life and he deals with things very well,” he said. Across the rows of blueberries, I could see the muddy plots where the strawberries were supposed to flourish, now abandoned after the floods that hit Vermont late in the spring. During his time at UVM, David majored in environmental studies and he joked his choice of occupation was indeed perhaps a reaction to his father’s, who was a chemical engineer. In fact, farming had become, maybe even inadvertently, so much more than a way to earn a living. “For some reason, I keep coming back to it. In some ways it’s kind of become part of my identity and I don’t want to say that I feel lost with it, but I kind of do. I was thinking about not farming this year and I didn’t know what else I was going to do with my time, so I guess I’m lost without it,” he added.

“...I’m a mover and I like using different things to move.” As David gave a leisurely tour of the farm, Clover, his black dog, would freely sprint alongside us and then run into the adjacent lot. Walking along the perimeter of the blueberry bushes, we walked past charming weathered covered sitting areas and empty vendor stands to be used for the farmer’s markets. He stood next to a rustic homemade birdhouse, the sun shining a saffron glow through the ends of his sun-bleached hair, and we snapped some photos.

Even beyond farming, David prefers

to spend his free time outdoors with activities such as running, swimming and riding his bicycle. The act of getting around town itself is a task he enjoys. Though he owns a car, albeit uninsured, unregistered and

un-inspected, he expressed he doesn’t miss having to use it: “That’s one of the things I really like about Burlington and it’s that I’m able to ride my bike, ride my skateboard, walk around, run, whatever. It’s actually a

pretty important part of my life, not having to deal with a car, and some of my greatest pleasures come from just moving. I’m a mover and I like using different things to move.” Like many young Vermonters, he describes backcountry snowboarding as one of his passions. And while indoors, he enjoys spending his time reading, brewing beer, fermenting fruits and vegetables, cooking and baking. He readily admitted that by nightfall he reaches a point where he’s not so interested in talking to anybody. “I’m kind of a solitary creature in a lot of ways. I don’t know what happened in my social development to spawn that, but it happened,” he states, injecting his contagious laughter.

This desire to voluntarily withdrawal

from social interactions was certainly a force that influenced his choice of residence. “I haven’t lived in Burlington all that much, but I’ve lived on the outskirts That’s the kind of person I am; I don’t really like to be in the center of things. I like to skirt around the periphery and pick and choose when I interact with people.”

“Over time, it just kind of turned into home.”

Despite David’s reserved social style, over time Burlington has appeared to unwittingly anchor and allow him to form strong connections, namely through work. “I know more people here than anywhere else and everything is concrete. It’s the

only stable place I have in my life because growing up in different places and moving around has been so unstable. I can’t seem to get out,” he explained. However, he also noted that the “affordability factor of Burlington is pretty tough,” and that “the job market is pretty darn crappy.” Along the way through the farm, we encountered a blue vintage bicycle, strangely tethered to a wooden post a few feet off the ground, reminding you of the many oddities strewn about Vermont. It seemed like an appropriate place to pause. Burlington and its eccentricities notwithstanding, David sharply commented on the what he perceived to be a homogeneous young population. “They’re all so passionate about the same crap. They’re all knee-jerk liberals, they’re all dressed the same and

look the same. Burlington is a town where everybody is really original, but in the same way. So it’s not all about original.” Finally, we made our way to one of the strawberry nurseries, away from Adam’s Berry Farm, where the patches had begun to bear edible fruit. Once inside, David trekked ahead to find some berries to sample. The newly ripened berries appeared to radiate a phosphorescence against his dusty, soil-smudged hand. “I don’t know if there’s anything special for me about Burlington, but it’s just developed into a familiar place or maybe even a home. I never thought I’d end up here-- I always thought I’d end up in some place with big mountains, or some place

across the world because I grew up half way across the world. Over time, it just kind of turned into home.” He paused and slowly added, “It just popped up and crept into my life and I feel good about coming back here.”

Natalie M. by, Christopher Brown images by, Benjamin Sarle



eading down to meet Natalie at Diversity Studios for our interview, I found a parking spot on College Street right outside of the building. The space, which is newer to the Burlington landscape was uncharted territory for me. Being someone who is pretty involved in the Vermont theatre scene, I was interested to learn more about the space. The space looked open and accessible, it’s exposed brick walls housing a few frames. I walked down the stairs into the building and the door to the studio was propped open. Even with it being earlier in the morning, Natalie was there waiting for me in her small glasses and leather jacket, chipper, full of energy and eager to tell her story. Natalie showed me around the space and told me about how its used on a daily basis. The recording studio for voice work, the larger studios for movement and acting classes. There was a sense of pride in her showing me ‘her space’ - the studio she’s put a lot of energy into and who’s success is important in her life. We sat down at a simple plastic table in the main space and started chatting. Her energy was contagious and I could tell she was excited to share her story and tell me about all of the projects she’s been working on. Natalie is twenty-six years old and a born and raised Vermont. Hailing from the Northeast Kingdom, she absolutely hated living in Vermont growing up. She laughs as she talks about this, given the contrast of how in love with Burlington she has fallen. She hails from a family of scientists and was expected to follow along the same path. Upon graduating highschool, she was all set to attend the University of Maryland and follow in suit. At the last minute she decided to defy her parents and head to New York City to pursue an education in Musical Theatre at AMDA (American Musical and Dramatic Academy). Natalie recalls, “And then I spent five more years in New York doing the auditioning thing, waitressing. You know, you get really sucked into it.” On a fluke vacation home to see her family, Natalie “...fell in love with Vermont for the first time.” Shortly thereafter, she went back to the city, found a subletter

and moved back home - with her parents, which, as she recalls, was a pretty difficult transition. Natalie quickly found work at her former high school, directing the school’s theatre program and doing private voice and acting lessons, but wasn’t too keen on her location. “I came to Burlington and was like ‘what am I doing in the Northeast Kingdom?’ so I moved to Burlington.” “I’ve kinda been able to make a niche for myself here” she claims. And that she has.

“I came to Burlington and was like ‘what am I doing in the Northeast Kingdom?’ ” Natalie quickly found Burlington to be a city that is very receptive to the arts. When she first moved here, she got a job at

a hotel simply to support herself, but never stopped pushing and marketing herself, moving towards her passion. Finally the work started really picking up and she was able to leave her job. “It’s been almost a year now and I’ve just been doing creative projects” she says proudly. Natalie has been able to keep herself afloat doing commercial work, voiceovers and stage and film acting. She works at Diversity Studios teaching voice lessons and acting and and audition prep courses. On her work, “It’s kinda like a real job, because I’m working, but at the same time I really enjoy it so it’s like playing.” One of Natalie’s most visible gigs is singing with the 80’s cover band, ‘Hot Neon Magic’. Getting dressed up in 80‘s gear and belting the iconic songs from the decade, Natalie truly transforms characters from the normal, everyday looking girl who I first met. The band is booked solid the entire summer, mostly with weddings. She has also started a cabaret series, a pet project

of hers, to make sure that actors get paid for their work. Natalie wants to show other aspiring artists out there that it is possible to do what you love and get paid for it. After we finished taking shots at the studio, Natalie takes us up to one her favorite spots to show us where she buys her 80’s clothing. It was quickly very clear that one of the owners had become a good friend of hers because of her frequent patronization of the shop.

“I’m really lucky to live in a place where people appreciate the arts and what I’m trying to do with my life.”

“I’m really lucky to live in a place where people appreciate the arts and what I’m trying to do with my life.” 25



Illustrations by New Duds | | Handmade in Vermont




interview & photography by, Ben Sarle


Essex, Vermont July 29, 2011 Ben Sarle: Thanks so much for taking some time to talk and have a litte photo session today before your show tonight - so first things first, this isn’t your first time in Vermont, is it? Matt Kelly: Oh it’s my pleasure. And no, no, we’ve played Higher Ground many, many times, and even as far back as 97 and 98’ we’ve played a lot of the smaller venues around the state. B: 97’ and 98’; that’s right around when you joined Dropkick, right? Was it only a year after the band formed that you replaced the original drummer, and wasn’t it soon after that when you parted ways with your first frontman Mike McColgan?

M: Yea, it was only a year after that when Jeff Erna left the band and I came in, and we parted ways with Mike when we were on tour with The Business in March of 98 [and was replaced by Al Barr]. B: What was that transition like, and what kind of differences do you see between Mike and Al when you’re performing? M: They’re two different animals, know what I mean? Mike was a lot more.. ‘goofy’ might be the wrong word, happy go lucky kind of. Where Al is more of a menacing character up there. They’re both focal points obviously for the music, but yea just two different approaches to the same job. They both of have their strengths. I think the new guy is

a little “better” though, I can’t even call him the new guy, he’s been in the band longer than McColgan ever was, so he’s the voice of Dropkick ya know? B: On a similar note, you used to be on Rancid’s label Hellcat Records and now you’re part of Warner Brother’s ILG (Independent Label Group), what are some of the biggest differences you’ve noticed? M: Well, the label’s based out of New York, so they’re a lot closer, I think mentality-wise and in their approach to things, they’re more on the same wavelength as we are as far as just getting stuff done. Basically the band, and our management and all that, is the label. But the people who do publicity and all that in New York, that’s ILG. They’re cool people to hang out with, they’re

definitely more fun. Ya know, not taking anything away from Rancid, Hellcat was and imprint of Epitaph, so it’s like you’re dealing with the Epitaph people, but ya know we’ve been friends with Lars forever, and Tim, Matt, all those guys are great and they’ve helped us out a lot. Where as now it’s like, if anything goes wrong we have nobody to blame but ourselves, can’t be like “oh the label screwed us” ya know, some bands use that as an excuse but we can’t because we are sort of the label. It’s breaking new ground, and we had a label back in 96-97 when we put out our early singles and stuff, and it was literally us sitting there folding and putting records into the plastic sleeves, so now, it’s pretty cool, new horizons. B: Then do you feel like you can attribute some of your recent success to the label in the years that you’ve been with them?

M: I mean, we’ve always had a very grassroots following, it’s been word of mouth kind of stuff. Maybe getting it out more, and advertising better, our album in more stores, they obviously have more clout - coming from Warner, they’re a very established label. So in that way, yea. We can’t say “oh people love the record so much they went out and bought it”, it’s about exposure. B: So kind of piggybacking on that, you guys had songs in The Departed, The Fighter... and I was actually at a Red Sox game last fall and your song Tessa came on at the end of the game. You guys have definitely become, some would say, one of the stronger voices of Boston, maybe the band of Boston. It’s awesome, and is that how you would have seen yourselves a few years ago, and how do you feel about it? M: We just want free Sox tickets ya know? Ha it hasn’t happened yet though. We grew up with that kind of stuff though, the whole Bill Buckner thing, ya know just living through the trials & tribulations of the Sox and the Bruins, and if there’s an opportunity for us to be involved with it now, it’s like why the hell not? I don’t know if it was our intention to be, and to paraphrase you, the voice or band of Boston or whatever, maybe to some people we are, but it’s an opportunity and why the hell not take it. Let’s see where this takes us, know what I mean? B: Yea absolutely. It’s crazy how many places you can hear your music now, and I haven’t seen this first hand but your songs are featured in the video game Guitar Hero - like how do you feel about that kind of exposure? M: Yea I haven’t seen that either. But ya know, maybe it’ll be like a gateway drug - get kids into to good music. I don’t know, I don’t play video games, don’t own a system, I couldn’t care less about them. But from a marketing perspective I think it’s a good idea because kids are gonna play video games and it can be like “hey guys, there’s this whole world of cool, independent music, check

it out”. Like it might get them curious about something other than top 40. Independent music in general, there’s so much of it that goes under the radar and to get kids involved with something that’s not spoon-fed to them, something they would have to go and search out, is great. That’s what most of us have always done - you like something, you investigate it, you read the ‘thanks’ list on the inside of the album sleeve and you find out what makes the band tick and what their influences are, who their friends are, and you discover a whole other side of music that you might have never even come upon if you hadn’t heard that one “gateway” song. B: That’s great, that is an awesome perspective. So changing gears a little bit, you guys are known for your wild St. Patrick’s day shows, what are they like from your perspective and do you have any crazy anecdotes from those performances? M: I gotta think for a sec, those things are usually a blur. No sleep, and just a million shows crammed into as little time as possible. Jeez, I remember one time my friends were visiting from England and Ireland, Dropkick had played a show at a bar at 8 AM, to a bunch of people who found it agreeable to be drinking mass quantities of Guinness at 8 in the morning. I don’t recommend it. But we did like an acoustic set, and then we played an afternoon show, and an evening show, then after that there was an after party thing where some of my friend’s bands were playing and I filled in on drums for our friends from England and Northern Ireland - I don’t know why I said yes, they’re friends of mine that’s why, but after that I was just a zombie for like the next week. B: Is that the craziest time of year for you guys? M: Oh it is. It’s the greatest because you get to see all your family & friends all in one place, but it’s a double edged sword because you’re being pulled a million ways at once and you want to see everybody and talk to everybody,

and it’s just exhausting. And you gotta be in your zone, in your head space and play in a show as best you can for all these people that came from god knows where - people from Norway, Japan, all over the world, to see you. You want to give them the best friggin’ show possible. So that time of year is brutal, but it’s awesome. I wouldn’t trade it for anything. B: Can we talk about your last album for a minute, Going Out in Style - I’ve listened to it a good amount, was that intentional from the beginning to make the entire album about a fictional character, I assume fictional, Cornelius Larken? M: No. Here’s what we did - in the lyric writing process we found there were a few connected themes. A lot of the time we write about stuff from our family’s past, our past and stuff, and things that actually happened, and then we realized for this album, this is kind of like a story, like ‘wow, that’s pretty cool’, alright. So we basically took all the songs and created a character, like an amalgam, out of that. As opposed to how a lot of bands will have a concept and write songs off of that, and sometimes it comes off as a little stiff, a little

contrived, sometimes it works sometimes it doesn’t. Where as this, I think all the songs can stand on their own just fine, they aren’t fragments or like forced story lines. They’re all their own thing. But then with the help of the author Michael Patrick MacDonald, who wrote All Souls and Easter Rising, he sort of took out story line from the album and the themes from the songs, reading the lyrics and all that, and came up with an actual prose, a bit of a story that tied it all in. I think it’s incomplete as of now, but he’s going to release more of that. It’s like some of the early twentieth century Irish plays that involved music and a story. Say, on a much grander, amazing, awesome scale, that we have no business comparing ourselves to, but I will just for the sake of brevity - James Joyce wrote Finnegan’s Wake, which is one of the greatest pieces of literature ever, he was inspired by the song Finnegan’s Wake, and he took the lyrics from that song which describes a guy that was a brick layer who died and got revived back to life - he took this short song and made it into this amazing book which has puns in like fifteen different languages, the guy was a genius, he stretched the English language to it’s breaking point. But just using different types of media in an interesting way

that’s not often utilized, it makes the album have a little more to sink your teeth into. You wanna get the CD and read that stuff, gives it a bit more something of substance. I’m a big fan of hard media, as opposed to digital downloads, for that exact reason. I’ll download music, but then if I like it I’ll go buy the record or the CD if the record’s not available. It’s a psychosis but whatever. B: And you had Bruce Springsteen as well as punk icons like Fat Mike from NOFX, and others, all contribute and sample on that album, it’s so cool - what was the thought process behind choosing those artists to be on those tracks?

M: Well we’ve known Fat Mike for years, played shows, warped tours and all that, with NOFX and Me First and the Gimme Gimmes. And in writing the title track Going Out in Style it was just like, who would you invite to your own funeral, know what I mean? And then it turned out a few months after we wrote the actual lyrics, we were going to be on tour with NOFX in Australia, why the hell not have Mike come and sing that little bit on there? And boom that was that. And with Springsteen we had been introduced to him because his son is a fan of Dropkick, and we met them at Roseland in New York a few years back and he came backstage and we just hit it off, Bruce is a really down to

Earth cool guy. And for a rockstar, like wow, just a really down to Earth dude. He must be one of the few people that actually lives up to his image, that working class joe kind of guy. And we told him we’d love to collaborate sometime, this or that, and Springsteen was like yea if the timing works, that would be cool yea. So, now in the digital age, we were on tour but we sent the file of the song Peg O’ My Heart to him, with a ghost track, for him to get an idea how it goes, and he came back with that, and it was perfect. And then subsequently he played with us in March in Boston on stage. It was amazing. We did Badlands, maybe one of his lesser know compositions, ha, and we did

Shipping Out to Boston, and he played Peg O’ My Heart with us too. It was great man, it was an honor working with them. A couple guys in the band are like the biggest Springsteen fans ever, Tim our guitarist proposed to his wife on stage during a Springsteen show at the Boston Garden. So his music is very wrapped into the fabric of the band one way or another. B: Alright, well finally, can you tell us about Shamrock n’ Roll, any projects in the works or what the near future holds for Dropkick? M: Oh yea yea, that whole deal is gonna be kicking off at Fenway Park

we’re doing two shows there on September 8th and 9th with The Mighty Mighty Bosstones, Street Dogs, The Tossers, and a slew of other bands. There’s going to be an electric stage and an acoustic stage and logistics are still being worked out but we are gonna be playing on top of the bullpen at Fenway and then we’re taking it on the road in the Northeast. Trying to start our own festival basically, and a lot of the proceeds are going to some really great charities. So we got that going on, prior to that we are heading over to Europe, doing a bunch of festivals in Germany, Switzerland, and Austria. And after that we’re going to Australia, play some gigs down there. We got a pretty stacked bill this year, because before Going Out in Style was released in March it’d been

four years since we’ve put out a record, so the touring was slowing down a little bit. So since this one’s come out, boom, ya know? And we’re already writing for a new record too, we have no plans as far as when that might be recorded, we have yet to write the bulk of the material, but that’ll be going on pretty soon. We’re keeping busy. B: Well that all sounds great. Listen, thanks so much for your time Matt, can’t wait for the show later. M: Yea man, thank you! We’ll see you at the show, don’t forget to bring your rain jacket looks like it’s going to pour.


acrylic painting “Olive” by DJ Barry

Best Life Ever. by, Kara Brown We all went to college and got degrees, some of us in things we like. Maybe actually love. And now we all work in grocery stores, in restaurants, in banks, in department stores. We never thought we would have jobs like this again. We are new people in a thousand new places at once. We are children with access to alcohol and technology and sometimes bigger vocabularies. We wonder if this is what failure feels like. We wonder if it’s all passing us by. The alarm goes off in the morning and we want to cry. Getting out of bed seems the wrong way to start the day. On Saturday nights, we stand in grocery stores at 7pm, getting ready to do laundry, staring perplexed at the endless options of detergents. We stand on porches at midnight in sweatpants drinking wine from a box and smoking cheap cigarettes. We think we are better than this. But we are wrong--no one is better than this. We all hate our lives. But even this hate is laughable, a joke. We say ‘hate’ as easily as we say ‘awesome’, as often as we say we love inanimate objects. But never people. Loving people is only another risk that we can never seem to take. Why reason? Drinking helps with life. What other people call hungover, we call morning. Our stomachs are stripped, our bodies are weak, our minds are leaky; money flies out pockets, to be consumed in mere seconds. Moments are all we have, and a moment with a drink is well- spent, happy or sad, in company or alone, remembered or forgotten. We want to die before we get old. And why shouldn’t we? We’re bored already. We’ll be happy when we’re dead. We don’t have the desire to care anymore. Cynicism and schadenfreude are our gifts. We are playfully pessimistic. We have absolutely no time for absolutes. We can only categorize by extremes, even as everything is grey. We are afraid of life. We always seem to want to be somewhere else. We want to just be where we are. And so, everything is awesome. Whatever we are doing in the present moment: awesome. We could see this as the failure of exuberance, of exaggeration, of a loss of meaning of words. We could say it better, but whatever. Do we repeat ourselves? So we repeat ourselves; We are infinite--We contain nothing. But this flaw is also our one strength, our ultimate celebration of the present. Whatever we are doing is the worst or best thing that has ever happened, ever. This is how we talk. We live in a hypothetical space. We are catchphrasemaking machines. We put blinders on the past; we refuse to look at the future. But the present is all we are guaranteed, all we are assured of. So we look around and we realize we are the people we want to be: the young ones who sit in restaurants and don’t eat and drink for hours and laugh really loud. We are awesome. We will make it through this life. This day. This hour. This song. This cup of coffee. This cigarette. This drink. This morning. This night. We ain’t going nowhere. And somehow that is fine.



local music show reviews, album picks, and calendar by, Jordan Rosenberg | the burlingtone | Downtown Burlington’s one-stop-shop for live-local music listings, information, and coverage


JOE PU & the milk c joe purdy higher ground summer | 2011

by, Jordan Rosenberg When I walked into the Higher Ground Showcase Lounge on that night I had no previous knowledge what so ever of this musician. The first time I had heard the name Joe Purdy was earlier that day when a friend offered me an extra ticket to the show. The only reason I am being honest about my lack of musical knowledge is because it made the performance that much more enjoyable. By having no expectations: by never hearing an album, never watching a you-tube video, and by never having the opportunity to see him play live…when the band hit their first note I was taken away.


URDY carton kids It was truly a delight witnessing this talented trio play together. With a pleasant and modest swagger Joe Purdy proceeded to pluck his worn in acoustic guitar. His raspy voice, which showed more years than his burly bearded face, rang out vivid lyrics of life, love, and looking for answers. It was Purdy running the show, occasionally performing songs on the piano or adding harmonica to the act. His sound however was strongly complimented by the members of the opening group, The Milk Carton Kids, sitting in with him. Joey Ryan held down the bass guitar, back up vocals, and aided in fantastic comedic dialogue with the audience. Kenneth Pattengale was a rare sight to see; someone that with ease and skill hopped back and forth between guitar, organ, lap steel,

mandolin, banjo, vocal harmonies, and maybe even more instruments that I am forgetting about. For the sake of making identifiable comparisons I will say I heard certain melancholy rhythms, and vocal abilities that reminded me a lot of Ryan Adams; while at the same time there was a soulful catchy easy-listening side that someone like Van Morrison or The Counting Crows would hit you with. Joe Purdy is a folk singer-songwriter from Arkansas that can paint pictures with his words. He has put out 12 strong albums so far, and has toured all over the place with many different musicians. If you are like I was, and have never come in contact with this artist, take a second to check it out or attend a show‌ Because on that cool Thursday

night in June, the people that were lucky enough to catch this concert walked out with a smile ear to ear.




August 22: CAVEMAN w/ Osage Orange $5 – 18+ - 9pm Presented by: MSR September 12: BROWN BIRD w/ Joe Fletcher & the Wrong Reasons Mary & Wren $5 – 18+ - 9pm Presented by: Angioplasty Media


THE GREEN ROOM Thursdays in August: DJ Fattie B Free – 21+ - 9PM

September 13: WARREN HANES BAND $32 adv. / $35 dos - All Ages - Doors 7pm Show 8pm - Ballroom September 15: JORMA KAUKONEN ( of Hot Tuna ) $30 adv. / $33 dos – All Ages - Doors 7pm Show 8pm - Showcase Lounge

METRONOME August 18: YELLOWMAN w/ The Sagittarius Band & Special Guests $10 adv. / $15 dos – 21+ - 9pm


August 25: Kat Wright & The Indomitable Soul Band $3 – all ages – 11pm

August 28: The Tequila Mockingbird Orchestra Free – All Ages – 9pm

NECTAR’S August 17: RAY & RUSS 21+ FREE / 18+ $5 9PM September 10: DUB IS A WEAPON W/ Sophistafunk $5 – 21+ - 9pm

PARIMA August 20: Zack Dupont Band w/ Sarah Stickle $5 – All Ages – 8:30pm August 24: Too Tight Trio w/ Kip Meaker $5 – All Ages – 7pm


August 20: MOGA w/ Umma & Andrew Parker Renga Free – All Ages – 8pm 43

BARIKA ENSEMBLE @ BATTERY STREET PARK July 2011 by, Jordan Rosenberg Allow me to paint an image for you… It’s the middle of the summer, your standing in the field of a park which overlooks a shimmering lake with flowing tiers of greenish blue mountain ranges behind it. It is 80 degrees, with a subtle breeze passing over you occasionally. You look around and see groups of people laying on blankets, eating snacks, playing with their kids, and chatting with friends. In the middle of this field stands a concrete amphitheatre. As the person next to you turns and says “What a perfect day for outside music”, a voice is heard welcoming and thanking everyone for coming to the Burlington City Arts Free Summer Concert Series at Battery Park. Enter The Barika Ensemble… The sound of the Kamel N’goni pours out of the speakers with a soft melodic riff. (To bring everyone up to speed…it is a Malian

pentatonic harp, and comes through to have the collaborative sound of a harp & a classical nylon guitar, with percussive aspects as well. The Kamel N’goni is a hollowed out & decorative gourd that is given hand posts, a bridge, a wooden neck, and strung up with 8-12 nylon strings. For those of you out there who have never witnessed this instrument in action, Craig Meyers is the man to break in your eardrums.)

“As the sun starts to fade, the music just gets even more powerful” Back to the story…Right on time the snare drum pops, and in comes the fast high hat and locked in bass drum of Caleb Bronze setting the pace for the song. JP Candelier pulls that first hard note on his bass, then falls right into a nice progression. The whirling sound of an organ fills any empty space, as Andric Severance goes back and forth between pounding and tickling the keys. Right when you start to feel the groove and rhythm, and you don’t think it could get better, a 3-piece horn section drops into the mix with Jacob Deva Racusin on tenor saxophone, Dave Purcell on trumpet, and Gordon Clark on trombone, all in unison ripping up bold and exciting lines. As the sun starts to fade, the music just gets even more powerful. You witness this 8 piece band man-

aging to play as such a tight unit, always staying in the pocket and hearing one member picking up right where the last person left off. Look around to see hoards of little kids flailing their arms and bodies in pure joy in front of the stage, people popping up from their chairs & blankets to dance and be social. Getting to hear the powerfully rooted Afro-Beat music of such artists as Fela Kuti or King Sunny Ade, with the modern edge and pop of the more recent Toubab Krewe. You come to realize that you are standing in an incredibly picturesque environment, surrounded by people that are in such high spirits, with a band that is just doing a fantastic job at their craft, and it is all for free. As the show comes to an end a friend turns to you and says, “well, it doesn’t get much better than this”, and all you can do is simply nod your head and say, “I couldn’t agree more”. After all, that is what happened to me that night!



the studio

The Burlingtone’s must-hear recent local album releases

Myra Flynn Something With Strings Zach Dupont & Pat Melvin The O-Line The Villanelles Jatoba Lynguistic Civilians Waylon Speed Parmaga Reverse Neutral Drive The Eames Brothers Band Lowell Thompson & Crown Pilot Bearquarium Vermont Joy Parade Tiffany Pfieffer & The Discarnate Band 46


the streets For the Record (August 2011) Something with Strings (July 2011) Duo (July 2011) The O-Line (April 2011) Kiss My Grits (April 2011) Death, Fire, and Picnic Tables (March 2011) Organized Procrastination (March 2011) Horse Shoes & Hand Grenades (March 2011) Ghost Pops (March 2011) Bringing Down Babar (2010) Down to Change (2010) Lowell Thompson & Crown Pilot (2010) Bearquarium (2010) Kicking Sawdust (2010) Amor Frio (2010) 47

Ask oil painting by Greg Forber

Mego Dear Mego,

I was recently at the Otter’s Place (alias), a bar I frequent and consider my second, if not first, home. I was minding my own beeswax, sipping on a mimosa, and doing the crossword in the open window when a guy approached and asked if he could sit next to me so he could get the fresh air. I didn’t mind seeing as how this is a free country and we didn’t start a war in Iraq so a guy couldn’t sit where he damn well pleases at my favorite watering hole. After a minute he started talking to me about how his grandmother does crosswords all the time and then he tried helping me (which I DO mind). Then we started to talk a bit and when he was leaving he asked if he could have my number. I panicked and gave it to him and since then I have been getting barraged with phone calls from this guy. He is pretty dull and too old for me, but I still feel bad putting him down and I keep making excuses to not have to ever see him again. I’ve told him I’m too busy with school, that I might get back together with an ex, that I’m not comfortable dating right now, yet he still calls and has even said “I hope things don’t work out with your ex!” What do I do to get the point across and why do I feel so guilty about this? Please help me to help him get lost! Your pal, L. Simpson (wait that’s too obvious) Lisa S.

Dear Lisa Simpson,

Let’s get one thing straight. You don’t owe this clown anything! You have been nice up to this point and have made every excuse possible and the guy just doesn’t get that you aren’t interested. Here is what you can do. You can continue to ignore his annoying and pathetic calls OR you can say “Listen, guy, I am not interested period. You’re too old for me and ever since I met you I have considered batting for the other team. I even contacted the Witness Protection Program to see about getting a new face.” Or something along those lines. Here is the problem with situations like this. Women have a soft spot in them and it is called a heart. Your heart feels bad for this guy even though he is driving you mental. Were the situation reversed, guys generally don’t have a problem ignoring psycho-hose beasts and won’t think twice about them. And let’s be honest, this has been done unto women for centuries. It is our turn to not give a flying care about someone we barely know. Continue going to the OP (abbreviation) and living your life. This guy doesn’t have to be your problem anymore. See if you can’t pawn him off unto an unsuspecting friend if you ever run into him again as a last ditch effort. Hope this helps. Your awesomeness, Mego Need advice? Email Mego at


Bright Eyes

& The Mountain Goats at Shelburne Museum by, Kara Brown

When it comes down to it, music is about an experience. Whether it’s dancing alone in your apartment, having a drink with a dear friend, or going to a live show, you want the memory of a song to be tied to the tangible. The Mountain Goats and Bright Eyes provided this experience on Friday night at the Green at Shelburne Museum as they performed in front of a gorgeous sunset breaking through rain clouds. Both artists are known for sincere, unveiled lyrics, and at this show they delivered on that intense emotional content, obviously invested in their music, jamming with their bands, but also drawing the crowd in, feeding off of their energy, bringing the whole group into the experience. Many things could be said about Conor Oberst, the headliner of the evening--young musical prodigy, popular band, own record label, being declared the next Bob Dylan, going solo, building new bands from scratch, and finally coming back to the beginning and reforming Bright Eyes. Like anyone in the spotlight, his personality is dissected as much as his music, but ultimately his persona fuels the music, rather than leeching from it. Oberst played his hits, thrashed his guitar, and made jokes (lightheartedly?) at Ben & Jerry’s (the evening’s sponsor) expense: “There are just too many chunks...”. Standouts of the evening were “Landlocked Blues,” a heartbreaking tune, and the next to last song, “Road to Joy,” which he and his band tore up. He closed the encore with a song from the new album “One for You, One for Me,” an anthem of collectivism, harmony, and shared experience, the singer almost roaring the words from his gut. True to his words, Oberst fucked it up and made some noise, and you walk away with an indelible new memory of a song you love.


51 @threadvt

Thread Magazine  

Issue #1 of Thread Magazine Burlington, Vermont's brand new arts|culture|music magazine. Late Summer 2011 10% to charity with each issue

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