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Soundbites: Neil Cleary, L.J. Palardy, Sessions at 136 1/2


Published July 11, 2007 at 4:00 a.m.

I had big plans this weekend. Big plans. Live shows, traveling to new venues, seeing Transformers. But sometimes life lays waste to your best intentions like Megatron tearing Autobots to pieces. In case you’re wondering, yes, I did see the movie. And yes, it’s totally awesome.

Michael Bay’s semi-corny masterpiece aside, the bulk of my weekend’s agenda was thrown out the window early on, and I have my dog Buckley to thank.

Friday, I returned home after a great night at The Monkey House in Winooski watching the estimable Neil Cleary, the matrimonially rockin’ Cave Bees and Ghosts of Pasha — who may have set a new local record for the quickest club clear-out in history. It’s not really GOP’s fault, though, as most of the crowd was celebrating the impending marriage of Bees’ founders Steve Tremblay and Rebekah Whitehurst. That’s a tough act to follow.

Anyway, I returned home rather late to find my sweet little guy crossing all four of his legs in an effort to hold back his bladder. Just as I was turning the knob to the back door to let him out, Buckley burst past me like a streak of fuzzy white lightning into the back yard. Before I knew what was happening, I heard a horrifying squeal as my normally non-aggressive dog attacked and killed an adolescent skunk, snapping its neck like a toothpick. The sound was shockingly loud, like David Ortiz smoking a 3-1 fastball into the right-field grandstands.

The skunk had the last laugh, however, as it sprayed its attacker directly in the snout, effectively incapacitating Buckley and causing him to profusely foam at the mouth for several minutes, which to me seemed like hours. I can only imagine what it felt like in dog years.

We spent the rest of the night — and well into the morning — repeatedly bathing in the shower. The remainder of my weekend was spent similarly, but with the added pleasures of watching for symptoms of rabies and being cooped up in a skunked apartment.

Honestly, it could’ve been worse.

A few weeks ago we received an email from avid reader Susie Dudek about the unfortunate fate of her beloved dachshund, Homer. An active outdoor dog, he awoke one morning to find he no longer had the use of his hind legs. Homer had a ruptured disc and would require surgery to alleviate the pain.

Faced with every pet owner’s most frightening dilemma, Dudek had to choose between her treasured companion and $4000. As she says in her letter, that’s not a choice at all.

Homer underwent the surgery and is recuperating well, though he’ll likely be confined to a canine wheelchair for the rest of his life — at an additional $300.

Michael Moore probably won’t do a documentary on animal health insurance — though it does exist — but if he did, Homer would be a good subject. In the meantime, Burlington’s champion of downtrodden four-legged friends, The Bubba Foundation, has decided to step in.

This Friday, Red Square will host “Homer’s Lucky Day,” a fundraiser designed by foundation founder — and Seven Days art director — Diane Sullivan to help offset the cost of the dog’s operation. Cheekily featuring a weenie roast — real and tofu — the event starts at 6 p.m. and will go all night with Joe Adler, Starline Rhythm Boys and DJ Tricky Pat providing the tunes. All the donations will go towards Homer’s medical costs, and though there’s no word on whether the freewheelin’ robo-pooch will be in attendance, all wiener dogs are welcome.


After 20 years nestled in the basement of UVM’s Billings Student Center, the venerable free-form college radio station WRUV is moving.

Perhaps you’ve noticed the gigantic building that recently appeared at the top of the hill while driving along Main Street? If not, put down the cellphone and pay attention, dammit.

The Dudley H. Davis Center will be the new home for many an aspect of student life. The 50ish-year-old radio station is no exception; it will now take up residence next to Brennan’s Pub & Bistro — named for alumni couple Robert and Carolyn Brennan, not the school’s legendary basketball coach — and will feature a DJ booth with an open window to passersby. Kinda like West Beverly High from “90210.” Not that I watched.

While new digs are often something to get excited about, it appears the folks at WRUV are skeptical at best. According to long-time station DJ and Seven Days Jazz Mafia don L.J. Palardy, the new space is significantly smaller and will require the station to considerably pare down its 60,000-piece library. Bummer.

Already delayed by several weeks, the move is scheduled to be completed by the end of July. There is still no word as to how deeply WRUV will have to cut, or what will become of its extraneous albums. But just so you guys know, a certain music editor at a certain local alt-weekly has a spare room . . .


Perhaps WRUV’s excess titles could find a permanent home at the 1/2 Lounge.

The cozy venue has just begun a new night of entertainment specifically geared toward the area’s most devoted music geeks, called “Sessions at 136 1/2.”

The gist is that every Monday night, local music luminaries dig through their personal stacks and play DJ for a night. Last week, Rich Cook, Ben McIntyre and RAQ’s Chris Machetti dropped the needles. Future installments will feature musicians and other local music types such as the Chrome Cowboy himself, Brett Hughes, alt-country heartthrob Lowell Thompson, indie-chanteuse Marie Claire and Deep Soda’s Rob O’Dea.

Each night will be eclectically themed and guaranteed to provide a window into the soul of your favorite local artists. Some working ideas: “Sexxxy ’80s R&B,” “Hair Metal and Hessian Hard Rock” and “Lost in Love: A Celebration of Soft Rock.”

Maybe I’ll show up one night and do “From the Vault: The Worst Submissions to Seven Days.” Stay tuned.