Soundbites: They Shoot Vermonters, Don't They? | Music News + Views | Seven Days | Vermont's Independent Voice

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Soundbites: They Shoot Vermonters, Don't They?

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Campers at Zeno Mountain Farm - COURTESY OF ZENO MOUNTAIN FARM
  • Courtesy Of Zeno Mountain Farm
  • Campers at Zeno Mountain Farm

Have I mentioned how much I love unusual, competitive feats of endurance? I'm not talking about marathons and triathlons — though I have much respect for those who swim, bike and run their way to glory. I'm talking about situations when everyday people subject themselves to quirky yet grueling acts of tenacity — like in Hands on a Hardbody: The Documentary, a 1997 film that chronicles a competition in which contestants have to keep one hand on a pickup truck the longest in order to win it. Or, you know, all that crazy stuff they do on "Survivor."

The folks at Lincoln's Zeno Mountain Farm are gearing up for a beast of an event — and tenacity is the name of the game. The nonprofit, tuition-free summer camp for adults with disabilities and their allies hosts its first-ever dance marathon fundraiser on Saturday, February 10. The overnight shindig concludes the following day and invites brave revelers to shake what the good Lord gave them for one day straight. (It sounds like a way more fun version of the bleak AF 1969 Depression-era film They Shoot Horses, Don't They?, which focuses on a similar daylong contest.)

Money raised bolsters the program's annual summertime session as well as other assemblages throughout the year. Fundraising works the same way it does in a regular marathon: Participants collect pledge money from their friends and family. But, instead of running like the wind, entrants dance like nobody's watching — for a day straight. I can't stress that enough.

A few nitty-gritty things to note: This is not an exhibition. You can't just come to watch. But it is open to anyone who wants to get involved, and slots are still available. Additionally, it's a relay-style team sport. So, depending on the number of people on your team, you may not actually have to dance for 24 hours straight. And if you want to enter but don't have a team, the organizers will match you with a group in need of an extra person.

Aside from raising funds for the camp, it's also a lighthearted competition. Trophies and awards go to best dressed, best moves, most money raised and whoever burns the most calories. Team members will be outfitted with Fitbit activity trackers.

Here's the coolest part: Some of the most kickass bands and artists in the state (and beyond) are on board to provide dancers a live soundtrack. It's an eclectic crew, and I have some suggestions about how best to dance to each act, since you'll probably want to vary your steps so as not to get stuck in a dance rut.

Kat Wright: Soul train. Everyone forms two opposing rows, and dancers strut their stuff down the middle, either one at a time or in pairs.

Rough Francis' Bobby Hackney: Mosh pit. Without hurting yourself or others, fling your body into the fray and thrash around.

Paper Castles and Swale: Indie sway. Move your hips, close your eyes and gently nod your head. Or, you know, do your own chill thing. Whatever.

Matt Hagen MC: Hype circle. Everyone forms a tight ring around a featured dancer who busts a move at the center. Everyone gets a turn in the middle.

Brett Hughes: Line dance, two-step or do-si-do. Grab your partner, swing 'em round, etc. You might find yourself similarly compelled during Michael Chorney's set.

Heloise Williams of Heloise & the Savoir Faire: Disco and go-go. Work it like you're at the hottest nightclub, and make sure to include a lot of shoulder-shimmying.

James Kochalka: Dance like a toddler. The zany singer-songwriter's work has an undeniably childlike quality — and so should your dance moves.

Josh Panda: Loose groove. Let it all hang out.

Chetro Stokes (aka Chad Urmston of Boston's Dispatch): Loner's wiggle. You know how, when you go to an outdoor concert, there's always that one dude off to the side working it out in his own little universe? Do that.

Guster's Ryan Miller: Unpredictable — unless he plays a cover of Henry Mancini's "Moon River," one of his all-time favorite songs. If he busts out the retro slow-jam, couple up and get close.

Plus, eclectic DJs Lee J, Zeb Norris and Nickel-B are in the mix. Vary your moves accordingly. Hopefully you'll get a chance to pop and lock.

Final note: The event is at the mercy of the weather gods. I'm sure I don't have to tell you that snow is always a possibility in February, and the site is up in the mountains. Contact Zeno Mountain Farm on its website to register and ask questions. There's also a handy-dandy Google Doc floating around the web that has a lot of important info. You can find a link to it on the event's Facebook page.

You Make Me Wanna ... Celebrate Valentine's Day

Usher - COURTESY PHOTO
  • Courtesy Photo
  • Usher

Normally, I straight up abhor Valentine's Day. It's a consumption holiday, and it makes people feel unnecessarily shitty about themselves — whether they're in a relationship or not. Suck it, Hallmark and Russell Stover.

Leave it to local angel-voiced R&B singer-songwriter Guthrie Galileo to make me excited for the day of red and pink. On Wednesday, February 14, he takes over Burlington's SideBar for a special tribute to one of his favorite artists: Usher.

Seriously, bravo. I can't think of a sexier or more seasonally appropriate artist to cover on V-Day. Well, maybe Sade.

"Each new addition of [Usher's] discography shows us a new side of the story, a new expression of the man," the host writes on the event's Facebook page.

"But have we ever taken the time to consider what lies below the features of this superstar?" he continues. "Do we really understand each side of his character: the sensitive, the spiritual, the socially attuned, the astrologically keen?"

Damn, dude. I guess we're going to find out! That must be what he means when he describes himself as a "pretty serious" Usher scholar. And if anyone has the pipes to pull off the buttery sounds of the "U Got It Bad" singer, it's Guthrie Galileo.

A full band, including a horn section, joins the singer for the homage, which features members of the Avery Cooper Quartet, Bison, Julia Caesar and Steady Betty.

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.

WESLEE, "Boy Like You"

Autograf, Klingande & Dragonette, "Hope For Tomorrow"

H.E.R., "Volume 2"

Karó, "Overnight"

Lolawolf, "Baby I'm Dyin'"


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