Twist and Shout

Twist and Shout
Life is never straight (Joey Kulkin photo)

Monday, November 19, 2012

Vignettes from Vermont: American Graffiti 5.0

Welcome to the Graffiti Vault (all photos by Art Gallery Dude)

BENNINGTON -- Trey Anastasio's new CD "Traveler" has played 37 days straight, a streak that began October 13 during a listening party inside the old marble bank turned art gallery.

Art Gallery Dude just began the strong CD again, for the 420th time, but this is going to be the last time for a long time because it's time to move on. 


The first song is "Corona" and AGD loves it like he loved it from the start. So dreamy and Noel Gallagher'y, and it's one of the best three songs.

Every song is strong except the seventh song -- a cover of "Clint Eastwood" by The Gorillaz -- and AGD skips past it every time. The track does not belong on Traveler.

"Let Me Lie" follows Corona. It is another top three. "I don't care what you did, but I can tell that it's hanging over you" reminds me of a father consoling his child in the type of way that never happened during my childhood. The song can easily be the title track to a family movie or about a gadabout trying to slow down and live a responsible life.

Maybe Jim Carrey plays the lead role there.

"Frost" is the third song, and while not top three material it spawned this blog entry about former NBA player Bison Dele, who may or may not be dead. Close to 700 people have read it, which makes it one of the most-clicked pieces here. AGD found a few interesting links about Dele and the aftermath of the mystery, including a piece (HERE) featuring the girlfriend of Dele's dead brother explaining Miles Dabord's spurious story.

The fourth song playing right now is a bizarro horn-heavy tweaker called "Land of Nod" -- and fans of Danny Elfman might interpret it as a silver screen production from the former Oingo Boingo frontman who composed the theme for The Simpsons and several Tim Burton blockbusters and Weird Science. Indeed, I'm willing to bet that Land of Nod will be on a movie score, but it won't be the only song off Traveler with that distinction.

"Pigtail" is the fifth song that just began, and AGD sees the upbeat single being a staple in EQX's rotation for several months.

"Scabbard" is the sixth song -- the last of the top threes even though AGD disliked it at first. Now he loves it but not so much for the first four minutes, which is strong, but he loves Scabbard for the final 90 seconds of cascading beauty. #musicalmarrow. AGD has rewound that song the most just to hear the final 90 seconds over and over and over. 


He wants the final 90 seconds on a 20-minute loop. It's intoxicating, the type of spacey-tingly melodica that, like good scotch, smooths the edges out of a restless night.

Just hit rewind. Oh, yeah, it would make a great song for the closing credits of a movie, especially the final 90 seconds of credits.

The seventh song is The Gorillaz cover and ...

... AGD just skipped past it to the eighth song "Architect", which he likes a lot. It's a song of giving thanks to the creator of the beauty of life. That doesn't necessarily make it a religious song because through 420 listens he has yet to equate Architect and God. "Because it turned out better, so much better, than we ever did expect" can mean so many things -- somehow I think it's Trey's love letter to his wife vis-a-vis the life and family they have created and sustained through good times and bad.

"Valentine" is the ninth song that just began, and it's a wonderful song -- top three material even. Type of song you want to rollerskate or ice skate to. It reminds me of John Mayer with an ever-slender "humiliating kick in the crotch" riff from "Synchronicity II" by The Police.

The final song is the title track. Trey talks to his kids, and their kids, and explains the importance of finding the right yin to someone else's yang. The song fades to an end until it resurfaces a minute later and ties the album closed with a sweet little riff. "It's there, can you see it? It's there can you see it? It's there, can you see it?" 


Exit stage right.

Traveler has gotten mixed reviews HERE and HERE and HERE and HERE.

With that being said, it's time to change the music at Fiddlehead -- so it's back to the Grateful Dead. First show playing is Oakland (12/26/79).

And with that being said, another historic event took place during the Traveler listening party: Fiddlehead at Four Corners unveiled the only Graffiti Vault in the country -- and maybe the world.

Gallery owner Joel Lentzner painted the big vault walls into chalkboards a week before the listening party and provided a big box of colorful chunky chalks ...

... then invited the world to Chalk It Up!

For 37 days that is what Fiddlehead customers have done. 


Art Gallery Dude has been there to chronicle many of the scribbles, sayings and drawings that are every bit as eclectic as the people who drew them. They walked out of the Graffiti Vault with dust-covered fingertips and smiles.

Brits. Dutchmen. Buckeyes. Cutie pies. Cannoli lovers. More Buckeyes. Alabama lawyers. Artistas and crunchy boyfriends. Giddy college girls from Collar City. Bennington College puppy lovers. More artists. Massachusetts farmers. Fans of Flowers for Algernon. Hipsters. Grandparents. Greenfielders. South Dakotans who explain Hooker's Girls. Hot dog cart newlyweds who still haven't told their parents. Heart transplant survivors. More puppy lovers. Bennington College lesbians. Hurricane Sandy refugees. Bronx Serbians; Serb Bronxians? Newlyweds celebrating their 1-year annivesary. Bennington football wife and her artistic daughter. More young lovers. Kristen Stewart wannabes. A Norf Londoner who gets pervy with Little Billy. And that's just a small segment of the graffiti artists.

Indeed, Art Gallery Dude has shared bits of their lives in words, photos and videos.

You can go back to read some of the stories that go with the photos. Click to enlarge.

The woman on the bottom, a banker, summed it up best the other day:

"Finally a bank that doesn't kill creativity."

Indeed. Fiddlehead at Four Corners encourages creativity.

Happy Holidays. Check out Fiddlehead's website www.getartbehappy.com and stop into the gallery to save up to 20% off items.

Give the gift of art. And while you're at it, walk into the Graffiti Vault and Chalk It Up!