Work by Raychel Severance. [entries|archive|friends|userinfo]
VIVA LA JOY.

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Work by Raychel Severance. (http://www.livejournal.com/users/_bulldoze) [Jan. 1st, 2030|04:36 pm]


All images are ©Raychel Severance (unless otherwise credited).
Email me if you're interested in purchasing prints or high-res files.
Click the image above to return to my portfolios.
If you use any of my photos, please remember to give credit.

It's polite. Thank you!

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Long time no nothin'. [Jan. 19th, 2014|04:19 pm]
Still alive.

It's Winter. First one in a while for me.

I'm engaged now. He's awesome.

That's all the news I can think to share right now.
Here's some fuckin' pictures.

SUDBURY.







The Pro Shop & Locker Room.

RICHMOND.





The older of the two massive red barns that sit alongside I-89. The director of the garlic operation told us the history of the two barns, and how they were a product of rivaling brothers who competed to see who could build a bigger barn. The younger of the brothers, who built the other, more recently renovated barn, won only because he attached a cow-shaped weathervane to the top of his barn, beating his brother by a matter of inches. What a douche.

PLAINFIELD.





Meg's house. Meg was cool.

LYNDONVILLE.







HUNTINGTON





The Huntington Gorge, and a truck dead in a river of poison ivy, sitting outside of what I am convinced must be the fucking creepiest and most fucking haunted abandoned house I've ever been in. Adventure!

EAST FAIRFIELD.







CORNWALL.
(I had seriously never heard of this town before.)







This abandoned house still had liquor in its cabinets. Completely abandoned, but everything left untouched; everything with a solid layer of dust on it like it hadn't been touched in decades. It was GORGEOUS inside.

MILTON.



GLOVER.













Bread & Puppet (obviously) on the finale of their 50th Anniversary. Fuck, this place is unreal.

GEORGIA.







Keith and I stumbled upon this the other day, and really, it's almost impossible to do it justice in a photo. An entire lake, stretching as far as the eye can see, of these massive chunks of ice, some of them nearing a foot thick and stabbing the sky in every direction. Something I'd never seen before and one of those things that just kinda makes you tip your hat and applaud Mother Nature's superiority over everything else, yourself included.

Operation 251 Club. Vermont.

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New City Galerie. [Jan. 19th, 2014|02:53 pm]








New City Galerie.
Burlington, Vermont.

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The 251 Club. [Jul. 16th, 2013|06:16 pm]
I saw an article in the newspaper a few weeks ago about a woman who was on an adventure to photograph all 251 towns in the state of Vermont. While she was trying to do so within the course of 365 days, I realized that a similar project without such a tight deadline might be a good way for me to force myself out there more often to take photos. So alas, on Sunday we began our journey into the boonies and back roads of Vermont on a quest to make our way into the 251 Club. Hopefully I can keep this going.

JONESVILLE.



Boys Club Road.

MIDDLESEX.





Phil's house.





STOWE.







Secret waterfalls.

WATERBURY.





The lawnmower graveyard.

Operation 251 Club. Vermont.

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Hello, Strangers. [Jul. 16th, 2013|06:08 pm]
Well. It's been a while. Let's play catch-up. I haven't been photographing much which I try not to let bother me, but I'm trying to ease my way back into it. So here are some fucking pictures (finally) to prove I am still alive and still possess the desire and the ability to capture how cool it is to be so.











Burlington, Vermont.

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(no subject) [May. 18th, 2013|06:22 pm]
Holy shit I haven't taken a recreational photograph in fucking months.

I love my job, but this is why I hate jobs.
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My Dear Friends: [Mar. 12th, 2013|09:48 pm]
My dear friends: if you would please take some time to read this I would greatly appreciate it, as it regards something that has plagued me a lot over the last couple years and concerns all of you who wish to acquire my services, be they photo, design, or type-related.

I am changing the way I do things. I have gotten to a point where this is beyond necessary. Every day, I have people coming to me asking if I can photograph this for them, or design that for them, or write these letters for them. For a long time I've had trouble saying no, but I am going to have to start. Friends, I did my pro-bono time. I worked for a long time, produced a lot of great things for my community and the people around me, and never asked for a dime. As a result, there is a good chunk of my work out there, floating around and making people money, that neglects to give me credit where it is due or provide me with any sort of compensation.

I am so honored that so many of you want my skills for your projects, your bands, your boards, etc. I'm so glad you like my work, and you all have helped me grow so much as a photographer, designer, and typographer! But some things need to change. I am a busy lady and don't have time to take on every project, not to mention some of them I am just flat-out completely uninterested in. Just because you think your new magic trick is the cat's pajamas, or your cheddar & olive quiche is worthy of a food-porn award, or your dog does this really cute thing when you smack him in the face, doesn't mean I am going to drop everything I'm doing to document it. So here is what changes:

I do not work for free. Period. Been there, done that, did my time. I'm sorry to all of you who figure that just because we are close friends means that you don't have to pay me or that I will cut you a deal. Cutting deals not only leaves me underpaid, but makes charging other people full price in the future more difficult.

I do believe in the barter system, firmly. BUT I will not photograph you or your band or your anything for BEER or FOOD. I get enough free beer from my boards and I have foodstamps, not to mention I am a socially awkward person and the thought of sitting in an acquaintance's house while they awkwardly cook me dinner and I struggle for small talk to make gives me a panic attack and kind of makes me want to die. These offerings are of no help to me. Beer does not pay my rent. Unfortunately. You can't pay your mechanic or your hair dresser or your carpenter or your gynecologist in beer, so you can't pay your photographer in beer either. Don't let the common knowledge that I am a lush make you think otherwise. Honestly folks, the only thing that pays my rent is cold hard cash, and that is, ideally, the form of payment I want. I have busted camera parts and a flash that needs repairing, bike tires that are worn to almost nothing, and let's not forget that nice signage requires nice markers and those bad boys ain't cheap. I love a case of PBR as much as the next guy, but it does not pay for repairs to my equipment or the supplies that I need in order to do the work I do.

From now on, I require payment in one of two methods, either fully up front BEFORE we work together, or on a contract that WILL state that if I do not receive payment within two weeks of completing my work for you, I WILL CHARGE YOU A LATE FEE. I am sick to death of waiting for a month after a project is done to finally see any payout. There is a handful of you out there who still owe me money for projects I did for you nearly two months ago.

No more "can you send me that picture you took of me last year at that thing?" No. One gig I just had paid me $150 for one file. Yeah- one full-res file. That is how much these things go for, people. So think again before you ask me to give it to you for free. If you want it for your facebook or your archives, find it on my website and feel free to grab the small version of it that I post there. Giving you a full-res photograph of you makes it possible for you to use it in the future to promote yourself, which is what you are supposed to be paying your photographer for. It's easy: you're not just paying me for the file, you're paying me for the rights to use the photograph however you please.

I consider my rates fairly decent and am always willing to work with what people have, especially for my community. I obviously still get involved in projects that I am interested in and donate my work and/or services to certain causes, but seriously, people, it seems like you don't realize how inconsiderate it is to just flat-out ask me to do something for you and offer no compensation or even imply that it's crossed your mind. If you're unwilling to pay someone for these kinds of things, I suggest you buy your own equipment and start teaching yourself.

Thanks for reading.

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Things are a'changin'. [Mar. 9th, 2013|12:21 pm]
I realize I haven't posted anything in a long time. Winter is long, cold, and grey.

I worked a ton of freelance for a while but saw little payout, so I got myself what could possibly be the coolest job I could've imagined getting, at a hard cidery known as Citizen Cider. I've taken over management of marketing and design and also will be managing our bar/tasting room there, pouring some of the best hard cider I've ever had the pleasure of tasting.





Perhaps once it gets warm again and things start happening, and I move back to the Play Palace known only as 19 Decatur, I'll be once again inspired to take my camera out and get some captured eccentricity up here again. Until then, fret not; I still carry my camera with me everywhere I go.

And although it's cold, and Winter goes on forever, I know I made the right decision to leave New Orleans, because I am happy. Until then, if you're having withdrawals, I compiled a portfolio website upon moving back to Vermont, which you can see at RaychelSeverance.com.

At least in the meantime I get to hang out with this mythical creature.



And in the spirit of knowing that nobody really giving a fuck what anybody has to say about their personal lives on a blog, I'll leave it at that.



Burlington & Essex, Vermont.

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Ridin' Dirty 2012. [Jan. 2nd, 2013|01:56 pm]


Every year on New Years Eve, Black Label hosts Ridin' Dirty, an afternoon of bicycle-inspired and induced debauchery, where almost every bike you could ever imagine falling off of is provided for you, along with every possible means of falling off of it.























































Black Label's Ridin' Dirty.
New Years Eve, 2012.
New Orleans, Louisiana.

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Cat people, Dog people, Fish people. [Dec. 29th, 2012|04:02 pm]








"Insanity is doing the same thing over and over and expecting different results."

I leave New Orleans for Vermont on January 9th.

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Clouet Street. [Dec. 29th, 2012|03:59 pm]












In an attempt to ward off depression, Elena has been giving me daily tasks to occupy myself with and get myself away from my uninspiring habit of staring at my ceiling and waiting for things to get better. This day she told me to photograph the houses on Clouet.

Clouet Street, New Orleans, Louisiana.

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Life in the South. [Dec. 17th, 2012|01:46 pm]


















New Orleans, Louisiana.

Life in the South is warm, but I'm not very satisfied with it.
At times I'm happy, when I can manage to surround myself with the right people, which I try to do as frequently as possible, now that for the second year running I've been kicked out of Yes Ma'am (this year for reasons I'm not even sure of...). I do alright on the daily, but I find myself constantly reminiscing of when I was at the top of my game, happy and surrounded by good community and gigs I really enjoyed. I want to move forward, not constantly expect different results from doing the same things over and over again. I have more potential than I am currently using in this town.

So I'm very likely moving back to Vermont.
Yeah ... In January.

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Superband. Again. [Dec. 4th, 2012|02:38 pm]




For Drew's birthday we gave him a superband.









It was profitable, to say the least. Also, fun. Also, drunk.

New Orleans, Louisiana.

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Thanksgiving at the races. [Nov. 24th, 2012|02:33 pm]


Like I said last year, on Thanksgiving day in New Orleans, it's tradition for many people in the city to dawn ridiculous hats and head to the racetrack to bet on some ponies. Oh, and get completely drunk in the middle of the day (because this is typically not condoned in New Orleans...).





















Thanksgiving day at the races.
City Park, New Orleans, Louisiana.

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Day of the Dead 2012. [Nov. 24th, 2012|02:26 pm]


So I lost half of my Day of the Dead photos because I formatted my camera before realizing that most of them hadn't imported to my Lightroom library. Not the end of the world, but here are a few that were saved. This year there were over 600 people reported in attendance. And no riots! Progress, people.















Day of the Dead 2012.
New Orleans, Louisiana.

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Apologies to my mother. [Nov. 6th, 2012|05:26 pm]
^Photo by Nate.
Well. I couldn't stay away. New Orleans called me back to its treacherous borders and whether listening to its manipulative calls was the right decision or not, I'm still not sure. I've been here for about a month now and even with the strength and empowerment achieved from having what I'm sure was the best Summer of my life, this place will still knock you on your ass. I've learned that insanity is doing the same things over and over again and expecting different results every time. I came here with the intention of doing things differently this year, and while my confidence is a tad higher than before and my strange ability to stand up for myself even when intimidated shows itself every once in a while, it's hard not to fall back into the same unhealthy routines. I've made some new friends and am officially pursuing my lifelong goal of becoming a cocktail waitress at a strip club on Bourbon Street (joking about the lifelong dream part, it just pays the bills), but to say all my decisions have been excellent would be a lie. Regardless, I'm trying, and some good changes are steering me in the right direction. So at the risk of beginning a tangent, here are some photos from the last month with vague captions.

Apologies to my mother, who I apparently forgot to say goodbye to. I still love you, Mom.





There was a fire. No one was hurt. The house was abandoned.





Burned a sign for Nate's house, which is named after the star system that Yoda lives on. Obviously.







Started hanging out with this handsome man again who lives as the Treehouse Troll of one of the art houses, but I broke his heart because sometimes I'm a bad lady.



This is Nate's dog, Huddie. Huddie went into my pack one day when I wasn't home and ate every single pair of underwear I owned. Nate was too broke to go to Family Dollar to buy me some new underwear. Huddie also enjoys cigarettes and condoms.



This is Dagobah. Nate thought it would be a good idea to throw some shoes over the power lines. The neighbor didn't like that at all.





Here is a crew of babes.



Started playing a twice-a-week gig at the Spotted Cat with a girl by the name of Sarah McCoy who's pipes will make your soul explode. I look forward to it all week and am super excited to be playing with a band that ISN'T riddled with the drama of a bunch of couples who used to sleep together.







Speaking of Yes, Ma'am, here is a painting a guy named Skip did of us when we were busking the other evening. Fuck yeah.

I can't tell if it's home yet.
Or what the hell I'm doing with my life, for that matter.
But it's about that time for my quarter-life crisis where I contemplate that, anyway.

There, now i'm caught up. Day of the Dead photos coming soon.

New Orleans, Louisiana.

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Keeping with the clown theme. [Nov. 6th, 2012|03:57 pm]


Stuck in traffic on your way to the Big E? Might as well paint your face, turn into a clown, and take over the highway terrorizing people in their cars with a clown horn. At least... that's what WE would do...





















The Big E.
Springfield, Massachusetts.

This was our last stop on our tour 8000 miles around the country in a veggie-powered school bus, seeking out the most amazing people that exist in this sometimes jaded place and asking them how we can all work together to manifest a better world. It was a pretty incredible experience that at times had us all sure we'd kill each other. There were ups and downs of every variety and we saw some incredible landscapes and experienced some pretty special things. But after 45 days of being on the road, I think we were all happy to get home. Unfortunately, 30 miles outside of Burlington, we ran out of gas, because the universe is funny like that.
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Jim Moore! [Nov. 6th, 2012|03:45 pm]


We interviewed a personal hero of mine, Jim Moore, who's a legendary circus photographer who has traveled all over the world with different acts and circuses photographing clowns and generally eccentric people (sound familiar?). So obviously it only made sense that we interview him in full mime mode.







Jim Moore in Brooklyn, New York.

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Bus Race. [Nov. 6th, 2012|03:35 pm]


It's exactly what it looks like:
A bus race.
With a fellow traveling documentary team called The Unchained Tour. Only, this time it was to see who could get to the finish line the slowest without stopping.
Of course, The New World Manifesto took the trophy home. I'd elaborate on these events, but considering they happened over a month ago and I'm really just trying to catch up with my own god damn life, that's what you get. It's a bus race.







Winston Salem, North Carolina.

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Fast-paced and forgotten about. [Nov. 6th, 2012|03:26 pm]
Through Mississippi we flew! Alabama was nothing but a blur interrupted by a BBQ stand and us finally running over our Las Vegas cinderblock chalk and letting out a celebratory cheer! Georgia was behind us before we even realized it was ahead of us! Onward we sailed, covering ground like all other roadblocks we'd faced in the past had fallen beneath us and we were unstoppable! Miles and miles whizzing by us with our mission driving us without an obstacle in sight until...


Suddenly on a busy state highway an hour outside Asheville, the bus screeched itself to a halt at a stop light. It jerked forward and backward, seemingly confused by itself and which direction it wanted to go. At a standstill, we tried to move forward again, but the bus would not budge. The engine revved and revved but forward it would not go, and then suddenly, we shifted, and moved, but...

...Backwards.

Yup. This was the day, folks, that our bus suddenly decided it only wanted to move in reverse. Terrified by the possibility that this meant we'd have to drive ALL the way back around the country in reverse, back to Alabama, back to Louisiana, back to *shutter* LAS VEGAS, we backed the bus up onto a side street and assessed the damage. To our dismay, this meant only one thing, one expensive thing, the word no car or bus owner ever wants to hear: transmission.












Was this the end of our journey? Was this the moment when we had to strip the bus of our belongings and its veggie system and abandon it somewhere in South Carolina and figure out our own ways home? We dreaded the possibility and wept at the thought, and kept ourselves distracted with roadside bubbles and peanut butter and jelly sandwiches, but the truth we all knew was that this would be no easy fix. Luckily, Papa Bear Phinn has a heart the size of a third-world country and he, like the rest of us, couldn't stand to let the bus go.

So the next time you see that infamous big red Vermont Joy Parade school bus, the one all you Burlingtonians thought you'd never see again the day we drove it away, you give her a tip of your hat, because this lovely lady is now equipped with a new radiator, new transmission, bike racks, solar panels, and we must admit, she is lookin' and runnin' pretty damn sexy.

Also, as a side, there is something very challenging about having to give a cab driver directions to where you are when you're in a giant red school bus parked next to a giant red monkey and everyone in the background is laughing because the funniest part is that you are not lying.



Failing.
South Carolina.
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Going back to get forward. [Nov. 6th, 2012|03:19 pm]






New Orleans, Louisiana.

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Earthships on the Mesa. [Sep. 17th, 2012|08:46 pm]


We visited the home of a younger family who lives on the Mesa, which is a flat secluded land outside of Taos. What's amazing about most of the houses out here is that they're Earthships, which are houses that the landowners make completely out of recycled materials. While theirs isn't the most tidy of an example, and not entirely finished, it's because these folks get flown all over the world to build beautiful renditions of these Earthships in unbelievably short amounts of time. These people are the real fuckin' deal.

























The Mesa.
Taos, New Mexico.

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Magic stuff. [Sep. 17th, 2012|08:38 pm]


In Taos we ate no less than a billion of these berries because they are magical and taste like Nerds.



Also, a photo of Anestis nursing a hangover. For good measure.

Taos, New Mexico.

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The Lama Foundation. [Sep. 17th, 2012|08:36 pm]










The Lama Foundation.
A Buddhist meditation community atop a mountain outside Taos, New Mexico.

It's fucking beautiful.

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So... this happened. [Sep. 8th, 2012|10:12 am]


After many years of just hearing stories, I finally made it to Burning Man.

And all I have to say is Holy. Fuck.























































(Prints of these images not available for purchase.)

Burning Man, 2012.
Black Rock City, Nevada.

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We're not dead yet. [Sep. 7th, 2012|11:54 pm]








This is where we last spoke. Behind an offbeat gas station run by an obese feline in some Podunk town 500 miles outside of Denver, I somehow acquired enough Wifi to tell you the story of Fairfield, Iowa. And since then, there's been an entire universe between our story and the possibility of telling it.


The desert's gone on forever. We're dehydrated, irritable, weak and deteriorating. It's a school bus's seventh circle of Hell and the landscape is unforgiving and never seems to seize. We're holding ourselves together with a rapidly deteriorating supply of glue that feels like the last precious drops of water in our canteen. We're snapping; crumbling to pieces in the merciless heat, and just when I tried to keep my head above the ground and hydrate on the idea that it would all be alright, two have separated from our group of nine with the expression of a different intention, their actions proof of a separate interest. Whether we'll become nine again come New Orleans remains to be seen, but now we are seven.

For the last week and a half, our team has been off the grid. We booked it from Fairfield, Iowa to Denver, Colorado after scooping up an extra four en route to Burning Man, an intense festival of art, culture, and spirituality in the harsh Black Rock City desert of Nevada. There is so much to say about what has happened to the dynamic of our group and project in that time, but it can be somewhat summed up in a pillar we all expected to approach at some point in this trip: the point where we all lose our fucking minds. I assume it happens on every long tour that involves a slue of backgrounds and personalities, where the road seems to go on forever and the thought of listening to the same voice say anything from "You're wrong" to "I love bubbles" only makes you want to stab your eyeballs out with plastic kitchen utensils. The point where all the coffee tastes like sludge and the thought of jumping in another hot dumpster triggers your gag reflex. The point where true colors sneak to the surface and the hardest decisions show their ugly faces and demand addressing. And what better place for this to happen to any team than that unfathomably long stretch of the United States that is covered in desolation and nothingness? What better place than the God forsaken barren wasteland that is the desert?

The bus is being pushed to its limit, right alongside our sanity and will to continue, but we're pressing on. We're battling sickness, tears, loneliness, and confusion, with a little claustrophobia and agoraphobia thrown in, just to make things interesting. We're popping wellness pills and anxiety meds like candy and chugging watered down Gatorade with only our imaginations to chill it. Our boogers are dried out and our lips are chapped. But we approach the wetlands of the South with all the quickness we have, because we will not let this desert beat us.

There are still so many stories we want to show and tell to the world, and if nothing else, the vast emptiness that is this wretched desert trying to destroy us has made us realize even more so that this project is bigger than all of us. We've discovered the true intentions of those of us left and they are pure and unsullied, as well as entirely mutual within the group. So to the amazing people out there we're yet to find, keep looking up for that giant red school bus, because we're still looking for you. We may be a little sweaty, disoriented, and tired when we get to you, but we still want to tell your story. And to everyone else watching, wondering if maybe we drove the bus off the edge of the planet and into oblivion, fret not, because even though decompression and our return to civilization has knocked us on our asses, we're slowly picking ourselves up again and making our way back. So check back soon.



Reposted from the New World Manifesto.

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Transcendental Meditation in Fairfield, Iowa. [Sep. 7th, 2012|11:51 pm]
We almost didn't stop. One wrong turn had lead us well out of our way and back in Illinois, and we figured with the hours we'd lost having to cross the Mississippi a third time would have surely caused us to miss Transcendental Meditation Happy Hour in the small town of Fairfield, Iowa. But lo and behold, I've discovered on this trip that when you're eight amazing people traveling the country in search of other amazing people, the amazing ones just seem to find you first. Even just a few minutes before midnight, immediately upon our exit from the bus, we were greeted by numerous people asking us who we were, to which we responded with our simple fact that we were just people who wanted to know who THEY were.

Fairfield, Iowa is a unique town, because it's home to the Maharishi University of Management, which from the sound of it makes me think of a bunch of hometown heroes educating themselves to become regional managers of fast food restaurants. But it's much more exciting than that. The University is essentially a liberal arts school that focuses on the practice of Transcendental Meditation, and practically everybody in the town of Fairfield is involved in some way. We ended up with a good mix of people who were nice enough to let us shine unfathomably bright lights in their faces and interview them on a random street corner at 1 in the morning. One was an older gent by the name of Tom who was a professor of music at the University, another was a younger girl, Stephanie, who was currently enrolled in her fourth year at the University and had been practicing TM since age 5, and we met a younger guy by the name of Mike, who years before had dropped out of the school due to problems with the curriculum and a general skepticism of the practice.




The way the meditation works is by a series of mantras. There are around twelve different mantras that are assigned to different groups of people based on gender and age group. The practice consists of sitting and meditating on the mantra for about twenty minutes twice a day, and by doing so, they claim it brings them to a point where they "transcend" reality. An easier way for me to decipher it was by referencing a scene in I Heart Huckabees, where the two main characters experiencing "existential crises" sit at a picnic table and whack each other in the face with a giant inflatable ball until their minds essentially go blank and they become the earth and air that surrounds them, somewhat transcending the inevitable drama that they become so distracted by. At their constant request to "go back to the ball thing," their existential counselor reminds them not to call it "the ball thing," but "pure being." Fairfield's practitioners meet twice a day, once before breakfast and once before dinner, in two massive domes, one for men and one for women, and meditate together in giant groups, which they feel is more powerful than meditating alone.

There was a strange and special vibe about this town, and I felt it from the moment I stepped off the bus. Simultaneously to being greeted by a flock of friendly townspeople (prior we were under the impression we'd have to "search" for these folks, HAH!), we were greeted also by a praying mantis that followed us around for a few minutes and landed on everyone if only for a few seconds, which we took as a good sign. The town breathes a good energy, even if it could easily be taken as a placebo effect; most of the townspeople are practitioners and believe that with their daily group meditations, they are successfully sending out positive energy, not just to their town, but to other places in the world as well. Whether they're all avid believers of this concept or not depends on who you talk to, but most of them will vouch that practicing the meditation has helped them ground themselves and become generally more calm, peaceful, and aware individuals.


Afterwards we headed to the 24-hour grocery store because we were told of the magical milk that came out of Fairfield. Apparently singing to their cows causes them to produce incredibly creamy and sweet milk, unlike any milk we were sure to have tasted before in our lives. And apparently that was all the convincing we needed. What began with milk soon turned into magic cereal, magic songs, magic pictures, magic food stamps, magic bananas, and our magic life in this magic town on our magic bus.



You're a very, well... magical place, Fairfield. Thanks for making our search so easy; we didn't have such luck with the Amish or the Mormons...

Reposted from the New World Manifesto.

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Madison, Wisconsin: the Bizarro Burlington. [Sep. 7th, 2012|11:46 pm]


Welcome to Madison, Wisconsin. Here you can find basically everything you know and love in Burlington, Vermont, just… in bizarro version.

We hosted our second screening at the Madison Infoshop on lovely Williamson St., which so closely resembled Burlington's downtown that it gave us chills, but in a good way. The coffee shop, the restaurant, the co-op, the people; it all reminded us of home, which was incredibly refreshing (we miss you guys!). Madison was picturesque and our screening went great, complete with impromptu juggling and musical butcherings of a few Vermont Joy Parade songs, just for fun. There we met up with our friend Ivan Klipstein, who to simply call a Character of Characters would be a gross understatement.







Our first interview during our stay was with Norm Stockwell, who's the Staff Representative of 89.9 WORT FM and has worked as a journalist for thirty years. He told us a lot about the role of independent media and community supported radio "giving a voice to the unrepresented and underrepresented sectors of our society." Following our premiere we also spent some time with Brendan Fischer of the Center for Media and Democracy, who's a lawyer working to expose ALEC (the American Legislative Exchange Council), which, in a few words, is an organization that has helped corporations to make that old idea of "government of the people" defunct by combining the forces of corporations with lobbyists and politicians. To learn more about ALEC, you can watch this video HERE or check out  ALECexposed.org.





While it wasn't exactly a "day off," Madison was a nice, homely relief for a lot of us. We stopped at Ella's Deli on our way out of town for a good ol' fashioned carousel ride, and soon found out that Madison is also home to the epicenter of children with ADD as a direct result of this restaurant. With no less than a million colorful things moving on tracks, bouncing up and down, popping out of the ceiling unexpectedly, and not to mention about twenty flavors of ice cream, I have to say, parents of Madison, Wisconsin… I do not blame your children for being, well, slightly overstimulated and distracted.













Thank you so very much to John Peck of the Madison Infoshop for letting us set up shop and give us a venue to show our work thus far, and also to 89.9 WORT for their feature on and support of our project. And let's also not forget our friend Ivan, for showing us a lovely time in Madison. We'll see you all again in the Burlington twilight zone someday soon!



Also, as I wrote this, Zelde was dosed by a child pedaling pot brownies outside a supermarket. Let's all pray for a speedy recovery, yes? Thank you.

Reposted from the New World Manifesto.

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Painting the Bus! [Sep. 7th, 2012|11:39 pm]


Spent a day in Detroit painting the side of the bus!

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Reverend Ivan Stang & the Church of the Sub Genius. [Sep. 7th, 2012|11:35 pm]


A friend of mine once told me that it was Reverend Ivan Stang who made it possible for him to marry a can of beer and become a pope in the same day and for a reasonable price. And our day in Cleveland, Ohio was truly a real treat, because we got to visit the home of Reverend Stang and his wife Princess Wei and explore the temple of Bob Dobbs that is their house.



Ivan Stang founded the Church of the SubGenius with Dr. Philo Drummond (who is now a DJ on the popular Berkeley radio show Puzzling Evidence) in 1980 with a satyrical pamphlet titled "SubGenius Pamphlet #1." What's formed in the 30 years following is an entire parody religion that, while no less real than any other religion, is thankfully only taken seriously to a dangerous level by a small chunk of people. Most followers of the Church of the SubGenius are such because of the humorous and lighthearted nature of the way it satirizes fanatic-based religion, conspiracy theories, and aliens.









The religion is based around one deity, a God of sorts by the name of Bob. Nobody knows exactly who Bob is or what exactly it is that he knows that we don't, but the playfulness of it all is somewhat of a relief in the world of thinking about religion and knowing those who take it and themselves too seriously. As Stang himself said, "Bob isn't interested in your sins, unless it's one he hasn't heard of yet." Stang's attitude towards the whole concept of religion is that it's his job and duty to piss off the fundamentalists, and it seems at this he's had tremendous success, if in nothing more than his devotion to the joke of it all. The big lesson we learned from the Reverend? "Fuck 'em if they can't take a joke."









Nowadays Stang is able to make a living promoting and "practicing" this comedic religion. Any Joe can walk up to their home and pay their $35 to become an ordained minister (or Sir, or Pope, or Princess, or pretty much anything you want) of the Church of the SubGenius. He markets his belief in the cause (or lackthereof) but with the lingering fear that some people in the world of religion take this stuff too far, and his greatest concern is of its potential transformation into a cult. Being that so many people in the world will eat whatever bullshit is spoonfed to them, Stang realizes that this concern is a legitimate one, but hopes that in the grand scheme of things, it can be used as a tool to help people to stop every once in a while and laugh at reality's joke that is organized religion.



Reverend Ivan Stang & the Church of the SubGenius.
Cleveland, Ohio.

Reposted from The New World Manifesto.

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M&M Robertson Farm. [Aug. 20th, 2012|07:36 pm]

We awoke Sunday morning to a gaggle of cows chomping away at their grassy field which we were parked almost directly in the middle of, staring at our bus as if to say, "who the fuck are these guys?" Really it was just a pleasant welcoming committee on the farm of Mik and Maggie Robertson in Paint, Pennsylvania.

Maggie picked us up at a Sheetz gas stop outside of Harrisburg while we were on a hunt for Amish folk. Unfortunately (and obviously), it seems the Amish are a little turned off by being approached by a dreadlocked Australian in a Hawaiian t-shirt holding a recording device and asking to take their picture. So we decided to break out our big guns and get their attention by playing our instruments while Phinn juggled in the gas station parking lot. While it did get them to stop for a few seconds, they quickly scurried back onto their coach and one short interview with a martyr was looking like all we'd get for our episode on Pennsylvania's Amish community. Other aspects of the universe were however in our favor, and our Vermont license plates grabbed the attention of an "Eat More Kale" t-shirt-wearing woman who said she lived on a farm about 4 hours away that we were welcome to park our bus on that night, just outside the Ohio state border.

Well it worked out in our favor. Not only were Mik and Maggie able to tell us some more information about the Amish and what it's like to coexist in the same area as them, but they cooked us an elaborate pancake breakfast, stocked us full of veggies from their gardens, and let us poke around their beautiful land and play with their animals, of which there were tons.















So a HUGE Thanks again to Mik and Maggie of M&M Robertson Farm for their incredible hospitality and for not thinking us entirely insane when they ventured up the field to find us working diligently...
with their cows.



Paint, Pennsylvania, on our way to Cleveland, and then Detroit!

Reposted from The New World Manifesto.

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Hunter Hill Farm. [Aug. 20th, 2012|06:58 pm]


A big fat Thank You to all the folks at Hunter Hill Farm in Easton, Pennsylvania for letting us park our bus on their beautiful land. They also took us on a grease hunt and to the Easton Farmer's Market, which is the oldest consecutive running outdoor farmer's market in the country.







Hunter Hill Farm.
Easton, Pennsylvania.

Reposted from The New World Manifesto.

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Honey Space. [Aug. 20th, 2012|06:53 pm]


Tom Beale started the Honey Space studio in 2006 when he saw an ad for a warehouse and got a handful of artists together to go in. The warehouse soon became a collective art studio for which they were able to pay their rent in art, and was only supposed to last for two years but due to the recession was able to last six. Unfortunately, NYC's millionaires need their loft apartments, and though they knew the space wouldn't be permanent, it is still a shame to know that it'll be getting torn down in the coming year.















Honey Space.
Chelsea, New York.

Reposted from The New World Manifesto.

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Quarry Hill, Vermont. [Aug. 13th, 2012|09:28 pm]


How can we make the world a better place in this new age? What can we change this second time around? Well, day one of our epic journey and apparently our problem is already solved. It's easy, according to 94-year-old Barbara Hall, founder of a free-thinking community of families on a secluded mountaintop in Quarry Hill, Vermont. All we have to do is have more sex.













Barbara and her husband Irvin began the Quarry Hill family and community in the 40s, which was succeeded by a gallery in New York City that introduced further masses to their idea of how to create a forward community in which people could explore their own version of utopia. Four generations later, although according to some it seems to be winding down, the Quarry Hill community remains a somewhat polygamous family that practices in building families using more of a "free love" attitude, in addition to observing strictly non-violent communication (especially towards children, ie. "we don't spank children, we only spank adults."), and even group-wide veganism.















From watching sporadic moments of her daughter LadyBelle clutching to Barbara's gorgeous, withering hands, to 20-somethings of the community busting out a dance-off, to the festivities of their annual party lasting through wee morning hours, it was apparent that the Quarry Hill community is one that was made to inspire the possibilities of a new kind of family. It's hard to say how truly open these people are or have the capability of being when you're just an outsider looking in and trying not to misrepresent them, but it seems even those who have only known of the community a short time feel a sense of belonging and companionship there.



Quarry Hill, Vermont.

Reposted from The New World Manifesto.

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The New World Manifesto. [Aug. 8th, 2012|02:54 pm]

So in just a few days, I embark on a insane journey for 40 days and 40 nights with 7 other people around the country, in search of how people all over the states feel about the theoretical end of this world and the beginning of a new one. I'm excited, stressed, anxious, curious, and horrified all at the same time. But until our departure day comes, I ask all readers and visitors to this website to please go and check out our Kickstarter and support our journey in any way that you can. Even a dollar here or five dollars there helps us immensely.

You can check out our Kickstarter HERE, where you can learn a lot more about our trip and the purpose and goals behind it. This is an interactive project that involves anyone and everyone and has an incredibly modest and community-based agenda and intention. On our trip, you will be able to participate and interact with us via our website at TheNewWorldManifesto.com, where we'll be posting our interviews daily and I will be blogging about our trip with photos and video.

Please folks, any little bit helps and we don't have a lot of time! Thanks to everyone in advance, and for the love of god, wish us luck on this crazy adventure. May be not all lose our minds more than we already have.

We depart this Saturday, and will return on September 20th. What happens between those dates is somewhat of a mystery to all of us, but we are all very excited to be participating.
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Bachin'. [Aug. 8th, 2012|02:44 pm]


Just so you know how impressive this really is, she's not just playing violin while hoola hooping. She's playing Bach.

Better Slums & Gardens.
Burlington, Vermont.

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Decaturfest. [Aug. 8th, 2012|02:42 pm]

This year for Decaturfest we threw a Wild Wild West themed street carnival, complete with a saloon, jail, bank (which was promptly robbed of all its spraypainted rocks, ahem, legitimate golden nuggets), square dancing, and a brothel, which was my undertaking. I turned the tables on the brothel so that rather than women servicing the men who came to pay, men gathered gold nuggets to present to me, the Madam, for the pleasure of getting to service one of my girls (who was to be picked by us, rather than them), be it with a back massage, a stroll down the promenade, or the delivery of a cold glass of Doktor Quixote Faustus' Patented Medicine. Once the population of New Orleans that happened to trickle into Burlington that weekend started playing tunes on the brothel's porch, and a random man dawning sunglasses decided to be the girls' private margarita bartender, Madam Severance's Parlor House quickly became Decaturville's hot spot. Until of course the Junktiques Pirates staged an ambush on our quaint Wild West town and bombarded the brothel with water balloons and stole one of my prize whores, who moments prior had been fastened to the railroad tracks that passed through town by means of a vintage Charger rocking horse.

So basically, it was just another day on Decatur Street.



























Decaturfest 2012.
Burlington, Vermont.

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Festival of Fools. [Aug. 8th, 2012|02:04 pm]


Here are some photos of clowns doing clown things and stuff.


Michael Trautman.




The Kamikaze Fireflies.


Wells & Woodhead.


Kate Wright as Yvonne Calling.




Jonathan Burns.


The Checkerboard Guy.




The MarchFourth Marching Band.

BCA's Festival of Fools.
Burlington, Vermont.

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Wave of the Future at the Precipice. [Aug. 8th, 2012|01:55 pm]


A few weeks ago I shot photography for The Precipice, which was a three day festival essentially put on by our Radio Bean community; a music festival put on by musicians. It featured over 60 local bands and took place at Burlington's beautiful Intervale Center. It was the first year anything like this had ever been attempted, and was successful enough that Lee and community hope to make it an annual festival. Of the many bands there was one we know as Wave of the Future, a band I have to admit I would probably kill five men in their sleep to be in (exaggeration, maybe). Here's some shots of their set, plus a few others from the festival.

























Check out Wave of the Future on Facebook, they will blow your fucking face right off.

The Precipice.
Intervale Center, Burlington, Vermont.

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Doses of local celebrity. [Jul. 19th, 2012|01:45 pm]

^Photo by Ben Sarle

So my good friend Ben Sarle started Thread Magazine about a year ago come August. For his sixth issue, which we released this week, he enlisted my help and gave my the freedom to write, photograph, and design my own article. We collaborated on ideas and came up with this, entitled "Hey, Sweet Bike." for which I went around town photographing and interviewing people about eccentric bikes about town, and which was accompanied by hand-made spoke cards that Ben and I stuck in bike spokes all over Burlington.

Thread 6 came out this week and has already been a huge success. Ben's got all his eggs invested in this baby and it's really beginning to show. He's getting the recognition he deserves as an amazing photographer and now the editor of a local magazine that's rapidly growing in popularity. So here's my contribution to issue 6: a 12-page photo essay on hand-picked exceptionally excellent bikes you may have seen around our lovely town.

Check out Thread online at ThreadVT.com and go Like it on Facebook.

Oh, did I mention he put me on the cover?


Fooled you! Maybe you thought this was another magazine feature on folks with pimped out fixies and bikes that cost more than the camera used to photograph them. But what about the rest of us? We can’t all afford aero spokes, Campagnolo wheel sets, or sometimes even a decent derailleur that’s not on the verge of breaking into a billion pieces every time we ride to the corner store for a pouch of rolling tobacco. What about those of us whose bikes aren’t beautiful because of cosmetics, but character? Some of the bikes I see around town are so rich with personality that it doesn’t matter that this tall bike has welds that’ve been haphazardly fixed three times or that cruiser has a seat that looks like it was eaten by a rabid dog when it fell over one night. No, your bike won’t sell for $1000 on Craigslist, and is kind of a piece of shit, but it’s beautiful because you made it that way. We recognize our bikes as an extension of ourselves; our connection to a lifestyle we live, and we wear it on our sleeves and in our spokes. This, folks, is a tribute and an homage to those bikes and their riders who don’t apologize for the bumps and bruises their rides have acquired along the way, reminding us that what really makes a good bike is one that is simply ridden.























Here's to many more badass Threads to come.
#lookatusmakingmagazinestogether.

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I also recently got interviewed by a couple amazing girls who rolled into town on a short veggie-fueled bus, who we called The Goddesses during their stay in Burlington on account of the documentary they're working on called The Goddess Project. These two beautiful ladies have been traveling in their bus for 100 days around the entire country interviewing and filming amazing, inspiring, badass women who are making something of themselves and the lives around them for a feature-length documentary that's set to come out in 2013 (if'n the world doesn't end before then). I loved meeting and chatting with them, and their project seems nothing short of amazing. If you'd like to support, check them out on Facebook to learn more about how you can donate or get involved.

Here's a sneak preview of their documentary:



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Speaking of documentaries, veggie buses, and the of the end of the world, the most exciting news I've gotten recently is my recruitment onto a project we're calling The New World Manifesto. My friend and our favorite local junk man Phinn came up with the idea for the documentary and has recruited seven other folks along with himself to put the project together. We'll be leaving at the beginning of August on a 40 day and 40 night adventure traveling 7000 miles around the country (and we're going to Burning Man!) in a full-sized veggie-powered school bus, interviewing all walks of life about how they feel about the theoretical "end of the world" as a gateway for change. Throughout the process we'll be creating the New World Manifesto, which Phinn will "present" (in so many words) on December 21st in Mexico. Everyone in our team of eight plays a massive role in the making of this documentary, and our team seems to be a perfectly eccentric bunch. When more information surfaces and we get closer to being ready for departure, I'll be posting here and on our website about ways to support or donate, our routes, dates, interviews, etc.

To say I'm excited for this would be a gross understatement.

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