ARTBITS by Richard B. Harper

VOLUME 18 * * All Arts News On the Web * * March 27-April 2, 2014


      ArtBits always features a calendar of the goings on of Franklin County artists. Check out these events around Franklin County. Each issue includes the entire text of our weekly newspaper column.

     Franklin County's arts and music gatherings bring new opportunities, gossip, "show-and-tell" and occasional workshops. There are also booked and acoustic Open Mic Nights that feature music, readings, and more from the best new artists in Vermont.

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      The Bakersfield & East Fairfield Caravansary Art Festival opens with a reception at the new East Fairfield Arts Center next Tuesday, April 1, at 5 p.m. The show will run through Sunday.
      For centuries, travelers on the Silk Road stopped in "caravansaries," the bustling caravan stops that were the center of cultural as well as commercial exchange. Caravansaries brought together adventurers, artists, entertainers, monks, nomads, pilgrims, and traders from around the known world to share their art, their music, and their stories around a bonfire.
      Burning Man.
      70,000 "Burners" will come together on August 25 in the Black Rock Desert of Nevada to create a community of art, music, self-expression, and self-reliance. They will disappear September 1, having left no trace whatsoever.
      That week will see sculpture, installations, performance, theme camps, art cars, and costumes all with the caravansary theme.
      We can preview some of the traveling art and music at the Bakersfield & East Fairfield Caravansary Art Festival as well as a quartet of art cars plus the All Arts Council's own burning art exhibit.
      The AAC burning art exhibit includes a pyrosculpture by Vermonter Kate Pond, a dish flambee from Kitten Ellison, and the Burning Bush, a new image by Highgate photographer David J. Griggs.
      It's all about the camel. Or the wheel. Caravans require one or the other (it's a law) so the event will feature the Austin Bike Zoo fresh from Spark! Mesa, Arizona's, Festival of Creativity. Bike-builders, puppet-makers, and performers have created a nine- or ten-seat bicycle with a frame as thick as my thigh, eight-foot tall wheels, an old-fashioned bike bell, and training skis, just in case. They will bring butterfly bikes that range from 10-18 feet in height plus animated bat and owl bikes. The centerpiece is the giant rattlesnake bike that measures 80 feet in length and will offer rides for all attendees. There is no truth to the rumor it will be pulled by a camel.
      "We have to have music!" Maple Festival main stage organizer Andre Maquera said.
      "Bassnectar, the Mutaytor, and the March 4th Marching Band will share the stage with a one-night only reunion of 8084 plus a special solo performance on the big screen by jazzman Will Patton," he said.
      "I've spent the winter working on dub-step," Mr. Patton said from Paris, France. He has also been exploring house, witch house, dub, hardstep, dancehall, dance-floor, punk, post-punk, "Noise," new wave, nu wave, No Wave, emo, post-emo, hip-hop, conscious hip-hop, alternative hip- hop, jazz hip-hop, hardcore hip-hop, nerd-core hip-hop, Christian hip-hop, crunk, crunkcore, metal, doom metal, black metal, speed metal, thrash metal, death metal, Christian death metal, and, of course, shoe-gazing, among others on the mandolin. He expects to have several other local musicians back him for this set.
      Joni Mitchell and Grace Slick are scheduled to appear later in the week in a series of acoustic music and other performances at the new East Fairfield Arts Center Camp Café.
      The Arts Center is a multi purpose organization and building that includes prime performance space for music and art exhibits.
      According to the rule of desert hospitality, the Festival will provide free entry and water for travelers who stop at our tents. The Bakersfield & East Fairfield Caravansary Art Festival is open to all and admission is free but you need a free ticket to get in the gate. Tickets, schedules, and other background materials are available at Admission is FREE but you must have an advance reservation to participate. Proceeds will benefit local art projects in Franklin County.
      This event is not sanctioned by the 334 Green Mountain Burners (find them on Facebook) or the Bruleurs de Montreal.


BAKERSFIELD AND PARIS--Mandolin magician Will Patton is in Paris "for some gigs and recording" through April 6. He will visit the Chope aux Puces at 122 Rue des Rosiers, St. Ouen for jamming with old friend Ninine Garcia and other gypsy players. They probably will not play any nerd-core hip-hop but you never know.

WINOOSKI--The Monkey House hosts Townsend Revenue and Troy Millette this evening at 8 p.m.
      Townsend Revenue is a punk rock, rock & roll, blues and psychedelic Vermont band from Essex with Bryant Crocker, lead guitar/vocals; Tyler Herrity, drums/lead vocals; Max Mashrick, guitar/vocals; and Ryan Mills, bass/lead vocals. Fairfax resident Troy Millette is a singer/songwriter in with Love, Anonymous and the casual-rock group the Cavemen.

ESSEX JUNCTION--On Tap has the Contois School of Music Band on stage on Saturday at 5 p.m.
      The CSM Band is a live performance band made up of students and teachers of the Contois School of Music. Members include Kaylee Contois, guitars/keyboards/vocals; Trevor Contois, bass guitars/keyboards/vocals; Ian Koeller, drums; Mingo Maquera, guitars/keyboards/vocals; Rosie Newton, keyboards/vocals; Elysia Way, guitars/vocals; and Pete Willett, guitars/vocals.
      Call 802.878.3309 or email for more info.

ST. ALBANS--Twiggs presents the high energy, string bending guitar of Jack Grimmer tomorrow evening at 7 p.m.
      The Twiggs Comedy For A Cause series continues on the Main Stage tomorrow evening at 7 p.m. The evening will raise money to support the MVU Thunder Basketball Team. The stand up show celebrates one year raising funds to support nonprofits in our community.
      Colin Ryan of A Stand Up Life produces the show. Admission is $15. There are just 75 seats available at the restaurant. Call Lora McAllister (802.355.9332 or Email for tickets. Make dinner reservations prior to the show since only drinks, appetizers, and desserts will be served during the show.
      Twiggs offers Music to Dine By with relaxed music and the arts. They have three stages with live piano, violin, or light guitar any day of the week in the dining room, the Window, or the main stage. The Cabaret offers live performances by musicians, visual artists, poets, and more.
      The regular Open Mic Night repeats next Wednesday and on the first Wednesday of every month.
      Call 802.524.1405, email, or click here for more info or booking requests.


     The Burklyn Ballet Theater in Johnson is beginning its 38th season. The summer dance workshop brings dance to Vermont audiences for six weeks in the summertime; their main program is for 12-25 year old pre-professional dancers. They begin their summer program in June. The site includes programs, the teachers, a photo gallery, directions, schedules and pricing, the audition tour, and the Edinburgh Connection.


      ArtBits features a quick weekly peek at the bookshelf or night stand of the folks you know in and around Franklin County. That popular feature has a page of its own at the Franklin County Bookshelf here on the AAC site.


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      This article was originally published in the St Albans Messenger and other traditional print media. It is Copyright © 2014 by Richard B. Harper. All rights reserved. Archival material is provided as-is. Links are not necessarily maintained (if a link in this article fails, try or your favorite search engine).
      Thanks to recent misuse of copyright material on the Internet by individuals and archival firms alike, we emphasize that your rights to this article are limited to viewing it and printing it for personal use only. You must receive explicit permission from the All Arts Council and the author before reprinting or redistributing this article in any medium.