Soundbites: Combatting the Opioid Crisis and Looking for Sasquatch | Music News + Views | Seven Days | Vermont's Independent Voice

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Soundbites: Combatting the Opioid Crisis and Looking for Sasquatch


Published September 25, 2019 at 10:00 a.m.

Phil LaCroix in No Easy Mile - COURTESY OF RUPPLEBON
  • Courtesy Of Rupplebon
  • Phil LaCroix in No Easy Mile

Running Man

If Vermont's opioid crisis hasn't directly affected you, consider yourself lucky. Those who've lost family members and friends to drug overdoses have been speaking out in a variety of ways. From fundraisers to brutally honest obituaries — like that of Madelyn Linsenmeir, penned by her sister and Seven Days writer Kate O'Neill — people are speaking up and fighting back against the epidemic.

Take West Bolton-based auto mechanic and long-distance runner Phil LaCroix, for instance. After losing many loved ones to opioids, he recently trekked Vermont's Long Trail — all 273 miles of it — in only 10 days to raise money for the nonprofits Vermont Foundation of Recovery and Vermont Recovery Network. His story is chronicled in the soon-to-be-released documentary feature No Easy Mile, which debuts on Wednesday, October 2, at ArtsRiot in Burlington. 

The film's soundtrack features material from a few Vermont artists: instrumental funk-hop outfit Japhy Ryder, plus solo material from the group's guitarist, Zack DuPont, and its trumpeter, Will Andrews, who makes electro-R&B as Willverine. Brad Barr of Montréal's the Barr Brothers also contributes tunes from his 2008 record The Fall Apartment: Instrumental Guitar.

To reiterate: LaCroix ran more than 27 miles per day during his journey — aka more than a freaking marathon per day. Directed and produced by Rupplebon — the production trio of Nate Steinbauer, Al Teodosio and Bob Wagner — the film combines dramatic, scenic footage of the Green Mountains and interviews with LaCroix as he completed his passage.

The film is the first of its kind for the small production company. Wagner, who some may know as Kat Wright's guitarist, says his team, which had exclusively produced commercial video, wanted to tell "real stories" that are more "personally fulfilling."

After the screening, LaCroix, members of the local recovery community and the film's production team will hold a Q&A.

Keep NY Weird

This is a bit beyond the normal Seven Days music beat. But when you come across something as amazingly strange as the annual Sasquatch Calling Festival in Whitehall, N.Y., you just have to share. The free shindig takes place on Saturday, September 28, 10 a.m. to 5 p.m., just over the Vermont state line in Whitehall's Skenesborough Park.

To be clear: The impetus for this music, food and craft fair is the elusive, mythical Sasquatch. Apparently, Whitehall is known for a spate of woodland ape sightings over the last 40 to 50 years. ESPN even covered the phenomenon earlier this year. (Clearly it's no coincidence that Bigfoot Wine & Liquor is nearby.)

A YouTube video from travel channel NYup shows a map of the town covered in multicolored pushpins, each denoting a close encounter of the Bigfoot kind. The colors indicate the type of interaction: blue for vocalizations, pink for rock-throwing, red for tracks found and black for visual sightings. The majority of pins appear to be black.

The main event — aside from tons of vendors and musical performances from singer-songwriter Jason Irwin and rock outfit Dirt Cheap Duo — is a Sasquatch-calling contest. Contestants have the chance to show off their finest guttural yowl in hopes of attracting the area's population of fictional, entirely fabricated primates. Oh, and the winner takes home a cash prize.


  • Courtesy Of Dwight & Nicole
  • Dwight & Nicole

Also on Saturday, the Flynn on Fire Festival returns to Switchback Brewing in Burlington's South End. A convergence of street food, live music, art demos, maker wares and fire spinning, the festival's raison d'être is the brewery's line of smoked beers. Performers include fire artisans Cirque de Fuego, plus singer-songwriter Jacob Green, bluegrass band the Wormdogs, and Led Zeppelin enthusiasts Nico Suave & the Bodacious Supreme.

Additionally on Saturday — hey, it's a popular day of the week for entertainment — Dwight & Nicole return to ArtsRiot. The bluesy trio of Dwight Ritcher, Nicole Nelson and Ezra Oklan celebrate the release of the group's new single, "Wasting All My Time." The song precedes a new full-length album, due out in spring 2020. Technically, you won't be able to hear the recorded version of "Wasting All My Time" until Thursday, October 3, when it hits all major streamers. But you can hear it live on Saturday.

Speaking of Oklan, his new rock band, Matthew Mercury, begins a monthlong residency on Wednesday, October 2, at Orlando's Bar & Lounge. The longtime sideman fronts the pop-rock outfit, whose self-titled debut album came out in June. Revisit Seven Days' coverage here.

Are you a star in the making? Do you have a secret hidden talent? On Monday, September 30, the crew at the Light Club Lamp Shop hosts the next installment of BVT Star Search. In the last year, the club overhauled its open mic format, offering a different theme on any given Monday. And when a month has five Mondays, the fifth is an elimination-style talent show. Are you secretly an amazing juggler? Were you born to yodel? The contest is open format, so anything goes.

Listening In

If I were a superhero, my superpower would be the ability to get songs stuck in other people's heads. Here are five songs that have been stuck in my head this week. May they also get stuck in yours. Follow sevendaysvt on Spotify for weekly playlists with tunes by artists featured in the music section

Bran Van 3000, "Drinking in L.A."

Mabel, "Don't Call Me Up"

Teenager Forever, "#fake"

Joyeur, "Fast As You Can"

Mariah Carey, "Giving Me Life (featuring Slick Rick and Blood Orange)"