Twist and Shout

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

Thursday, June 6, 2013

Vignettes from Vermont: Graffiti Vault Unplugged! (The Test)

Seth Bartholdi (left) and Brandon Olson of Vice-Versa
(Art Gallery Dude photo)

BENNINGTON -- Two of Bennington's rising rockers performed for 38 minutes last night during the launch of "Graffiti Vault Unplugged" at Fiddlehead at Four Corners art gallery. The only way you could have watched their 8-song set live was by tuning into this blog. 

It's the only way you'll be able to appreciate Bennington's music scene -- acoustically speaking -- when GVU! becomes official Sunday night.

Seth Bartholdi and Brandon Olson of the band Vice-Versa helped Fiddlehead's manager work out a few kinks by playing and bantering in the Graffiti Vault -- the old bank vault turned nouveau music stage surrounded by tons of impenetrable steel that provides beautiful acoustics. Back when Fiddlehead at Four Corners was Vermont Federal Bank, from 1929 to 1997, it was the vault they used for big cash, gold and personal safe-deposit boxes.

Fiddlehead owner Joel Lentzner painted the interior walls into chalkboards last October, provided a big box of fat chalk and encouraged customers to go big and colorful. That led to the "Chalk It Up!" book series and then the idea for Graffiti Vault Unplugged! emerged last month when "The Poughkeepsie Kid" -- Robb Bower -- used his 6-string and performed a song he wrote for his mom. The acoustics were phenomenal, as was the song, and here we are.

Seth and Brandon covered Pink Floyd, Men at Work, Bad Religion, Led Zeppelin (twice), America, Dylan and performed 2 original songs, one written by Seth ("First Time") and the other by Ron Olson ("Two Hearts").

Art Gallery Dude produced the test-run using the built-in cam on his MacBook Pro.

Live-streaming is nothing new to ex-journalist Joey Kulkin, whose newspaper career went into the shitter last June after 23 years, but not before created two live-stream productions -- Trentonian TV, El Latino TV en Vivo! -- at The Trentonian and spent much of 2011 and '12 building and engaging audiences, and mending fences, through talk shows, breaking news events, poetry readings and music. 

Two of the music performances are below with Kelly Carvin (during the L.A. Parker Show) and Oscar Torres (during Carlos Avila's Spanish talk show).

Kulkin planned to expand with live-stream music shows showcasing Greater Trenton's strong music scene. Then the ax fell. It happens.

But one thing leads to another and ...

... a year later AGD is resurrecting his plans for live-stream music that showcases the many diverse talents in Greater Bennington with Graffiti Vault Unplugged. 

Early performers will be guitar god Tommy Marshall of North Adams and Ben Mackin of Bennington. Without getting too technical, it's a Google+ Hangout streamed through YouTube and embedded into this blog. You click on the link to this blog, hit play in the YouTube box and watch musicians perform and banter.

But GVU is not limited to music. Storytellers and poets are encouraged to perform in the Graffiti Vault as are newsies who want to interview Vermont newsmakers.

The only thing AGD plans to change for Sunday's official launch of GVU! is a USB webcam to provide a crisper visual and USB mic for better sounds.

There is a ton of music talent in the Bennington region and Graffiti Vault Unplugged! plans to showcase as much of it as possible. Want to perform music or tell stories or read poetry or interview newsmakers? Email and we'll start the process.

GVU! will air live at 7 o'clock Sunday nights on this blog. Vice-Versa will perform for real as if it was MTV Unplugged or something.

AGD also set up a Graffiti Vault Unplugged! Facebook page HERE.

Here are photos from last night's set followed by examples of music on Trentonian TV and El Latino TV en Vivo! followed by the 38-minute performance by Seth Bartholdi and Brandon Olson of the Bennington band Vice-Versa.