Enjoying their 25th year as a band, moe. continues to impress on a regular basis. With a deep repertoire and passionate enthusiasm from their loyal moe.ron fanbase, the jam band from Buffalo, NY have shown no sign of slowing down. In fact, quite the contrary, as their 2014 No Guts No Glory solidified their place in the live music scene.Our very own Rex Thomson, aka the Mayor of moe.down, spoke to the band’s drummer Vinnie Amico about just about everything, ranging from anniversaries to Phases of the Moon and Star Wars Halloween, to cooking Chicken Reggies and his favorite flavor of gum to chew on stage! Read on for this in-depth conversation:L4LM: Let’s start with congratulations on the big milestone! When you first joined moe., did you think you’d be part of a 25th anniversary celebration? VA: Y’know, I never even thought about it. I never thought about even getting to play music, that I would get this chance. It’s always what I wanted to do…then it all just happened like this and we just kept going. I was never really thinking, like, “Holy Shit! This is what we’re gonna do!” I just thought this is what I do. Plus…I don’t think any of us can do anything else. (Laughs)L4LM: This is a year for big anniversaries. The Grateful Dead turned fifty, and moe. turned twenty five. In those years your band has come to mean a lot to the people, but what does moe. mean to you?VA: Huh. That’s a hard question, but it’s a good one. It’s become my family as well as my career. We were always buddies…when we weren’t always buddies, we were just dudes who knew each other (Chuckles)…but we’ve become a family. We’ve grown together, big time, as people. We had all our kids together, we’ve built families together, we’ve had deaths together…it’s wild. They’re about the closest people to me in life. You’ve hung out with us, there’s a lot of ball busting, a lot of camaraderie, but I’d say we all love each other.L4LM: Do you have a sense of the impact you’ve had on so many people who’ve found joy in your music?VA: You know, I don’t really think about it much. When I’m yelling at the kids for not putting their dishes in the dishwasher, sometimes you forget…Y’know…in a way it’s your job, it’s what you do, you spend time away from your family…But then you get to a gig, five thousand people in front of ya going nuts, calling your name and saying they love you. It’s like, “Oh, right! People give a shit about us!” It’s pretty awesome to be a part of that love. I’m pretty psyched whenever I meet a fan, I thank them. If they get weirded out about meeting me, I just say “Look, I’m just a normal guy, it’s great that you care!”L4LM: After all these years, do you guys even NEED to practice anymore? Can’t you just coast on muscle memory?VA: We don’t do a lot of practicing. We’ll run some newer songs; we’re getting ready to write a bunch of stuff, which is fun because we haven’t for awhile. That’s all the practicing we need to do. We’ll run something at soundcheck if we’re busting something out we haven’t played in awhile just to make sure Rob [Derhak, bassist] remembers it…(Laughs) but other than that we don’t do a lot of rehearsal. If we’re working material for a new album we’ll rehearse, we’ll have writing sessions.If we need to come up with something like a Halloween show, we’ll spend a week putting that together, making sure that what we’re thinking about doing will fly.L4LM: You’ve chosen a “Star Wars” theme this year for Halloween, a film series near and dear to your hearts, it seems. How did it take this long for you guys to do kinda obvious choice?VA: I think it’s been getting kicked around for a couple of years, but this year was the year. There’s gonna be a new one coming out and there’s a lot of hype going on right now, so it’s probably the right time. L4LM: How excited are you for the new Star Wars film?VA: I love the movies…I’ve seen them…maybe twenty times apiece…I mean the first three I didn’t see the last three, and I’m probably the least biggest fan in the band. I will say I think we’re coming up with some cool shit to do for the show.L4LM: You guys dress up for the shows yourselves. A couple of the costume choices seem pretty obvious, but we all wanna know…who’s gonna be Slave Leia?VA: (Laughs) Rob! (Laughs)L4LM: That’s what I was calling! A lot of folks don’t realize how boring life on the road is. Do you have a favorite way to pass the time?VA: I lay on my bunk a lot… (Laughs)…I do nothing because I’m lazy. (Laughs) I’ll run, or go exercise or find something to do to keep busy, keep my strength up. I talk on the phone to my wife and kids…that’s about it. Plus the day is pretty long…you get in there at 2 o’clock, the crew has been there for hours already…we do a soundcheck, write setlists, get a quick dinner then warm up and get to play for a couple hours. It’s like an eleven or twelve hour workday, it just doesn’t start til 2 o’clock in the afternoon.L4LM: One of the biggest rewards of a long life is seeing the next generation spring up. Fans who’ve been seeing you have started families and have adult children, most of the band have children as well. Do you ever worry that you’re getting too old for this?VA: You know me well enough to know I act like an eighteen year old. Yes, I’m 46 years old…I didn’t think I’d still be acting like a teenager, but I still FEEL like a teenager so…I don’t know…when I go to certain gigs and I see all kids there…I start to feel a little old. (Laughs)L4LM: To ring out your 25th year, you’ve chosen The Palace in Albany again. You guys must like the place.VA: It’s a great place, and it’s a stronghold of our fans. As far as upstate New York goes, it’s one of the most fan and musician friendly venues. plus we know all the promoters and it’s my home town, or pretty close to it, so I love it!I’m pretty psyched myself. (Laughs) I’m close enough to drive home, though I get a designated driver.L4LM: Looking at your schedule, besides the Holiday shows, you’re one of the headliners for the upcoming Phases of the Moon Festival (more information here), and you’ll be jamming under the stars. Do you have any preference to playing outside or in?VA: Playing outside is always awesome. There’s room for more people. The sound is great…moonlight on your face, the stars are out…It’s always cool.10 Not-To-Miss Performers At Phases Of The Moon Festival… #3 is moe.L4LM: The band take turns writing setlists. How do you approach writing a festival set?VA: Everbody has a little different approach for that. I usually just do what I always do, and try to write for a flow…some people will lean more towards writting a greatest hits show but I usually try and go for the groove.I make sure there’s still enough big strong tunes in there but I just try and make something that flows from start to finish.L4LM: You have a partner in crime with your fellow guys who hits things with sticks, Jim. How has working with him keeping the beat evolved over the years?VA: It’s fun to bounce ideas off of each other. Also, over time he’s moved a little bit more away from the timbales and congas more to the melodic side with the vibes and stuff…Which I like. They’re melody instruments and it gives me a little more to play off. We have some grooves that we get into on the jams, and we definitely lift each other up.The drive…when we’re both feeling a groove…the way we drive together is kinda crazy.L4LM: You’ve started a jammy bluegrass side band, Floodwood, with one of your bandmates, Al. Do you just not see enough of him?VA: I know right? (laughs) We were interested in that sound…and there’s not a lot of bands like that up in the Northeast. We started spreading it out more, but lately we’ve pulled it back a bit, just keeping it up in the north east, which was our original idea for how it was supposed to be. With our schedules it can be too much to deal with, just trying to go out on the road on breaks from being out on the road. You don’t see your wife and kids…no good comes from that…L4LM: I’ve heard that Chuck Garvey is an excellent marksman and that you’re his favorite target when it comes to throwing guitar picks.VA: (Laughs) He gets me quite a bit. Sometimes I catch them and throw them back, but because of the lights I don’t see them until it’s too late. I’ll feel them bounce off my head or see them hit cymbals. He never really gets me in the eye or anything! (Laughs) Yet! (Laughs) I wear protective eye wear anyways (Laughs)L4LM: I asked the .rons to give me a few questions, do you mind answering a couple from the fans?VA: Go for it!L4LM: By far the most asked…You’re always blowing bubbles while you play. What is your favorite brand of gum?VA: I like the sweet mint gums, like the Trident sweet peppermint. Pretty much anything, I just need something in my mouth so I don’t chew my tongue off. L4LM: I hear you’re quite the cook. What’s your signature dish?VA: Probably Chicken Riggies, it’s a regional dish from Utica. My father was friends with the two guys who originated it so I got the recipe before it was ever a restaurant staple in the New York are. My dad started making it and we picked it up. I started cooking it when I was 16, so like thirty years ago. When I went to college, if you ask my buddies, they’ll tell you mine was best.That being said, anything Italian, if you cook at all you know, if you know how to make a base you klnow how to cook like twenty dishes right off the bat. You kinda know how much wine to add, how much chicken broth, how much cream…L4LM: When you’re home, how much of the cooking do you do?VA: ALL OF IT! (Laughs)L4LM: Earlier you said you didn’t think you had any other skills, but it sounds like you’ve got that going for you!VA: I never worked in a kitchen before…I don’t know if I wouldn’t end up in the weeds. Man, you get on the line in a good restaurant and dude, the hustle. Lotta pressure. I like my job! (laughs)L4LM: Are you aware that there is a moe. fan group dedicated to their cats?VA: I had no idea. (Laughs)L4LM: Are you a cat person?VA: I’m a cat freak. My wife and I are cat people, we have three right now, it goes from three to five. We talk to them all the time. They jump all over us…never seen anybody’s cats like ours they have to be on us at all times. Next time I see you I’ll show you like a thousand pictures of my cats! (laughs)L4LM: When you’re not on the road, do you go see shows, or are you ready for a break?VA: Sometimes, but it depends. If it’s a really good band that I really want to see then yes, and if it’s friends of mine coming in I go, but I do a lot of side gigs. I’d just as soon be playing. L4LM: Favorite mayor of moe.down?VA: I’m gonna say Hodge, he’s my buddy! (Laughs) Oh wait, you know who my favorite mayor was? Bob Weir.(As a joke, Vinnie nominated Bob Weir for the annual “mayor of moe.down” election, torpedoing Rex’s campaign. He seemed to think it was funny…)L4LM: Yeah…he was great. I bet you like him best ’cause you nominated him…VA: (Laughs) Yeah, was that your first or second year running that I totally screwed you? Sorry! I love you too Rex. I can say you too because you tried the hardest, I’ve talked to you the most…L4LM: Anything you’d like to say to the moe.rons who’ve followed you around the country and across the decades?VA: I think we all really appreciate that we’ve gotten to have this career and I hope we never disappoint. I hope we can continue to please them, and make good music that we can be proud of.L4LM: Thanks for talking with us, and for all you do!VA: No problem! See you soon.Don’t miss moe. on the road this fall, as the band has a number of tour dates and festival appearances scheduled to celebrate the remainder of their 25th anniversary in 2015! The group will also be headlining the Phases of the Moon Festival, alongside STS9, The Disco Biscuits, Warren Haynes, the Lunar Landing Conspiracy ft. Matt Butler, and Yonder Mountain String Band. Check out the full lineup here!
View Comments Alexander Hanson(Photo provided by the National Theatre) West End stars Alexander Hanson and Joanna Riding will take on the roles of Ben Stone and Sally Durant Plummer in the upcoming return run of the National Theatre’s Olivier-winning production of Stephen Sondheim and James Goldman’s Follies. They take over for Philip Quast and Imelda Staunton, who originated the roles in the production. Dominic Cooke directs the musical, set to run from February 12 through April 6, 2019 at the Olivier Theatre.Hanson is an Olivier nominee for his turn in Trevor Nunn’s acclaimed staging of Sondheim and Hugh Wheeler’s A Little Night Music. Hanson made his Broadway debut reprising that performance.Riding is a two-time Olivier winner for Carousel and My Fair Lady. She was also nominated for her turns in Guys and Dolls, The Witches of Eastwick and The Girls.They will be joined by original stars of Cooke’s staging, including Janie Dee as Phyllis Rogers Stone, Peter Forbes as Buddy Plummer and Tracie Bennett as Carlotta Campion, along with Julie Armstrong as Christine Donovan, Lindsay Atherton as Young Carlotta, Rosanna Bates as Young Emily, Jeremy Batt as Young Theodore, Billy Boyle as Theodore Whitman, Anouska Eaton as Young Deedee, Vanessa Fisher as Young Stella, Caroline Fitzgerald as Sandra Crane, Geraldine Fitzgerald as Solange LaFitte, Bruce Graham as Roscoe, Adrian Grove as Sam Deems, Harry Hepple as Young Buddy, Aimee Hodnett as Young Sandra, Dawn Hope as Stella Deems, Liz Izen as Deedee West, Alison Langer as Young Heidi, Sarah-Marie Maxwell as Young Solange, Ian McIntosh as Young Ben, Claire Moore as Hattie Walker, Gary Raymond as Dimitri Weismann, Rohan Richards as Kevin, Joanna Riding as Sally Durant Plummer, Lisa Ritchie as Young Hattie, Myra Sands as Emily Whitman, Gemma Sutton as Young Sally, Monica Swayne as Young Christine and Christine Tucker as Young Phyllis. Felicity Lott will play Heidi Schiller from February 22 until mid-April, after which Josephine Barstow will assume the role.The ensemble will include Kaye Brown, Liz Ewing, Alyn Hawke, Jasmine Kerr, Ian McLarnon, Tom Partridge, Michael Remick and Liam Wrate.The National’s Follies features Olivier-winning costume design by Vicki Mortimer, with choreography by Bill Deamer, musical supervision by Nicholas Skilbeck, orchestrations by Jonathan Tunick, additional orchestrations by Josh Clayton, musical director Nigel Lilley, lighting design by Paule Constable and sound designer by Paul Groothuis.Gear up for the London return of Follies with Tracie Bennett’s showstopping performance of “I’m Still Here” at the Olivier Awards ceremony.
by Bruce Lisman Good public policy badly executed is not better than bad public policy executed well. The outcome is often the same for Vermont citizens—bad. And, of course, bad ideas executed badly are a special hell for Vermonters. We’ve just re-elected a government that has made bad ideas, bad management, and bad leadership seem ordinary. No whining here. The people voted to return many of them to office—but protested by withholding support for our Governor and reducing the ruling party’s majorities in the House and Senate.It’s a rebuke and a fair warning to those just elected. The Governor is wrong: we don’t want ‘bold’ leadership; we want competent leadership. We expect them to act as fiduciaries for the public’s money. We want them to take seriously the embedded philosophy of Vermont that would offer a helping hand or a comforting hand to those in need but balanced with those other great Vermont characteristics, frugality and commonsense.My colleague, Tom Pelham has written and spoken often of our government’s unwillingness to restrain their passion to spend money without regard to the state’s constrained resources, its modest economic growth and the obvious uncertainties in the broader economy.The Governor proposed budget increases that averaged 4.8% over the past three years; he and the Legislature reached agreement on budget increases that averaged 4.5%. Of course, those increases far outstripped economic growth and could only be accomplished by using one-time stopgap funds, cost shifts and other budgetary gimmicks. With disappointing tax receipts, the Governor was forced to rescind $20 million of spending and employ yet another $10 million in one-time funds and, 5 years into an economic recovery now faces a more than $100 million deficit. Worse, our government doesn’t have the capacity to invest in the very priorities they’ve outlined. Delusional leadership. Vermonters pay the price.Now, everyone seems to know about the education funding/property tax crisis after thirty-five towns voted down their school budgets in protest, with more protests likely to come next March. We don’t expect our elected leaders to predict the future, but we don’t expect them to create a future crisis, either. That’s exactly what the Governor and the Legislature did in 2011 when they transferred $27 million to the general fund that should have gone to the education fund. It caused the growth rate of property taxes to accelerate, even as they hung more mandates on school budgets. A lack of transparency and short-term thinking gave us long-term problems. The Governor is now proposing consolidation but without data that would support that strategy; and the Speaker of the House has a secret plan. That’s like someone breaking your leg and then offering you a crutch. It’s the people who pay for bad ideas.Vermont Health Connect is a catastrophe of major proportion—its poor execution is already legend; the $100 million spent is astronomical, the loss of credibility is nearly complete. However, those Vermonters who use the system are paying the price – incredible delays, lost information, uncertainty, questionable access to services and medicines, and higher premiums and out-of-pocket costs for many.Campaign for Vermont believes that our government has an obligation to tell taxpayers not only where money is spent, but how well it’s spent. Our government can’t do that. Our leaders don’t have critical information when analyzing current challenges, so they make decisions blindly. They can’t manage our government to serve the people.And, the implications of this are significant. Problems cannot be properly analyzed, the costs of the cure cannot be measured, and the benefit value of real solutions for real people cannot be evaluated. I know of no successful enterprise that operates without data to support decision-making, the capacity to execute policy, and the willingness and ability to measure outcomes. Because of such dysfunction, Vermont leaders and managers in our government are handicapped and Vermonters pay for their failures.Bruce Lisman lives in Shelburne and is a co-founder of Campaign for Vermont Prosperity, Inc.
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Share 149 Views no discussions Tweet Sharing is caring! Share Share EntertainmentLocalNews Sernel releases another single by: – October 3, 2016 Gospel artiste, Sernel Florent has released another single.The song, entitled ‘Attention’, was released on Friday.“I’m back again after four years out of the studio. I have just released my new single called Attention,” he told Dominica Vibes.“What inspired this song is there are times a lot of people are receiving the call of God upon their life, they are hearing that voice telling them to make a change, to make a difference but still they battle with it because they want to continue with their lifestyle,” he explained.“What the song is saying is, attention listen to the voice of God and when you hear that voice make that change in your life because one day you’re going to stumble before God and give account of the life that you lived,” Sernel encouraged.The song can be accessed via YouTube, and Sernel is encouraging “to download the song, put it on your phone, listen to it get the message out of it, it has a nice beat as well, you can dance to and enjoy the vibe”.Sernel, who is popularly known for singles like ‘Touch Me Again’, ‘I Want You’, and ‘Give A Helping Hand’, is advising the public to look out for more music from him.“That is the first single I will be working on the video very soon and also my second single,” Sernel said.
Chelsea are yet again being linked with midfielder Franck Kessie.The Ivory Coast international has been linked with the Blues during successive transfer windows, before and since a two-year loan move to AC Milan from Atalanta in 2017.Reports in Italy suggest his time at Milan could end this month and that he is keen to move to England.And The Sun claim there is interest from Chelsea, who currently have a wealth of midfield options, as well as Tottenham.Blues tipped to target Wilson and defenderChelsea remain keen on Bournemouth striker Callum Wilson and want to sign a defender, the Daily Mirror reports.The newspaper say Gary Cahill is likely to leave for Fulham, Watford or West Ham and that a replacement for the centre-back will be sought.The Blues have shown an interest in England international Wilson and are being tipped to move for him now the transfer window is open – and in light of comments by Sarri.Sarri gave a strong indication after Wednesday’s goalless draw against Southampton that he wants Chelsea to sign a striker.Related West London Sport stories:Fulham want to sign CahillSarri hints he wants strikerZola appears to confirm Wilson interestHazard speculation continuesChelsea completing a deal to sign Christian Pulisic from Borussia Dortmund has led to speculation that it means Eden Hazard could be sold in the summer.The Sun, however, believe Chelsea are still looking to persuade Hazard to sign a new contract at Stamford Bridge.Fabregas’ last stand?Cesc Fabregas is widely expected to leave Chelsea for Monaco in the coming days.The midfielder, who played alongside Monaco boss Thierry Henry for Arsenal, made his 500th appearance in English football when he came on as a substitute against Southampton.A number of newspapers note the manner in which Fabregas gestured towards Chelsea fans at the end of the match in what appeared to a sign he was saying farewell. The Sun say Chelsea are close to a deal to bring Gonzalo Higuain to Stamford Bridge in exchange for Alvaro Morata.The agreement would see Morata join AC Milan, where Higuain is currently on loan from Juventus.Juve are said to be ready to rubber-stamp a deal that would involve striker Higauin, who played under Blues boss Maurizio Sarri at Napoli, move to Chelsea with the option of a permanent transfer in the summer.On the other hand, Goal.com say Chelsea will not be pursuing a deal for the Argentine because of the complexities of negotiating with two clubs.The Sun previously reported that Sevilla are interested in Morata but that he would prefer to rejoin Real Madrid if he leaves Chelsea, who will reportedly only consider letting him go if they find a replacement.Kessie linked againEmbed from Getty Images Some of the recent transfer speculation involving Chelsea….Callum Hudson-Odoi has no intention of staying at Chelsea and has already agreed terms with Bayern Munich, according to The Sun.Hudson-Odoi, whose contract expires next year, has been offered a new deal and Chelsea are keen for him to stay.AdChoices广告But The Sun say the teenager is determined to join Bayern and that they see him as a replacement for former Blues star Arjen Robben.The Daily Mail, meanwhile, say Chelsea are unhappy with Bayern’s pursuit of the player and believe the German club have bent transfer rules by making direct approaches to Hudson-Odoi’s family, who also act as his advisers.Related West London Sport story:Chelsea reject approach from Bayern for Hudson-OdoiHiguain deal close, Sun sayEmbed from Getty Images Follow West London Sport on TwitterFind us on Facebook