Twist and Shout

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

Saturday, June 8, 2013

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

Seth Bartholdi in the Graffiti Vault
at Fiddlehead at Four Corners art gallery

BENNINGTON -- Acoustic friendly vault. Good music. Streamed.

Those are the 3 components of "Graffiti Vault Unplugged!" -- the new music show that takes flight at 7 Sunday night at Fiddlehead at Four Corners art gallery in downtown Bennington.

Two members from the Bennington band Vice-Versa will play inside the chalk-filled guts of an 84-year-old bomb-proof gold vault, and the only way to appreciate the music is by watching a Google+ Hangout on this blog. BLOG!

Fiddlehead at Four Corners manager Joey Kulkin created Graffiti Vault Unplugged! to give Bennington musicians, poets and storytellers a steel-encased, graffiti-filled venue to perform live for the world. Every performance will be taped, too. 

Seth and Brandon gave the vault a test-run earlier in the week. 

Watch the 38-minute, 8-song set below.

A new webcam will make Sunday's 1st official show look and sound nice 'n' crispy.

Seth Bartholdi (19), Brandon Olson (16), Dylan Olson (18) and Michael Elliot (16) comprise Vice-Versa, which formed in 2009.

Seth (guitar, vocals) graduated Mount Anthony High in '12 and attends SVC. Dylan (keyboards, vocals) graduated from MAU and Brandon (drums, guitar, vocals) and Michael (bass) will be juniors.

Here's a little Q&A with Seth and Brandon, the mainstays in Vice-Versa:

1: How did performing in the Graffiti Vault exceed your expectations? What could have been better?

Seth: My experience was excellent. It was fun, fluid and it sounded absolutely great. I had a lot of fun delving into acoustic music and trying to do so much with so little equipment. Overall it was just great. We just need to make ourselves a set list.

Brandon: My experience at the vault was fun. I get very nervous in front of a camera but it was fun overall.

2: Who are your musical influences and why?

Seth: Led Zeppelin, Pink Floyd (lyrically, at least), the Red Hot Chili Peppers, Black Sabbath, Judas Priest, Bad Religion and the White Stripes. Basically, I'm fascinated with what someone can do with a guitar in its simplest forms. The idea of creating such diverse sounds from one machine just perplexes me. I also really dig any artist that can put an honest meaning in a song. I think if you don't want to tell the audience anything with a song, whether lyrically or musically, then there's no point in playing it.

Brandon: My musical influences are mainly Led Zeppelin, Pink Floyd and Hendrix. Pink Floyd's lyrics have meaning for me and John Bonham is just a boss and I love Hendrix's style of playing guitar.

3: Talk about the chemistry you and Brandon had last night and how you plan to deliver an even stronger set Sunday.

Seth: The chemistry felt like it always does: simple, easy, just jamming to play good music. To sound better? We know what to expect now, so we're ready to come in wiht new songs and give everyone a great show."

Brandon: Me and Seth kind of think alike when we play. When we are playing, if me and Seth are singing a melody, both of us will go to the same harmony at the time.

4: On Brandon's new endeavor ...

Brandon: I've had a drum set since I was 6 but I didn't start playing until I was about 11 or 12. And I started playing guitar about 9 months ago because I was bored and I've always wanted to learn.

Seth and Brandon most likely will play "Two Hearts" -- written by Ron Olson (Brandon's and Dylan's dad) in the '80s. Ron Olson has performed in several bands over the years. 

"Two Hearts" -- the last song in the set below -- has a great hook and easily could be on the radio today; we're looking at you, EQX.

Graffiti Vault Unplugged! 7 o'clock Sunday. Spread the word then watch it on this blog from your computer, tablet or smartphone.

Also, check out the GVU! Facebook page HERE.

Here are Seth and Brandon, half of Vice-Versa, during their test-run.

"Chalk It Up!" is the name of the book series
and you can buy all 3 volumes HERE