Welcome to Vermont

by Endless Mike and the Beagle Club

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released May 5, 2006

"It was that magic period of time in adolescence for our group in Brattleboro, when life is a party and before the party starts killing off your friends. We were young enough to think that we had somehow synthesized something magical about how to fight the power through youth loitering and substance abuse, and old enough to think we could let the world know about it. We decided the best way was to hold a festival. It wasn't clear exactly what that meant, except that hundreds of people were going to come to our tiny community of 12,000 people and we with that force we could rule the streets. The flyer consisted of a list of events that we hoped would happen, although we did not specifically plan any of them, like dance parties in the streets and capture the flag in department stores and chain smoking contests. There would be bands too, but mostly as an afterthought to the rest.

Two weeks after the flyers was made it all came true, a testament to the power of faith in chaos. A magical alternate reality was created wherein for one weekend those with weird hair styles were immune to law and order. It was a fourteen year old's dream of what life would look like after the revolution: a world without drinking ages, open container laws, or marijuana regulations. Having had a hand in summoning this magic three years in a row since the original festival, I have long since become disgusted with how limited our aspirations are when we hold so much power as groups of trouble makers. We revel in our freedom to pass out drunk in the cross walks when we could be seizing land to cultivate food for the people.

Somewhere in there a band called Endless Mike and the Beagle Club played at a show we held in the parking lot in the center of town, although all I remember about it was that they used a megaphone at some point. Then I didn't know them, and only booked them out of that vague sense of punk rock obligation that demands we book musicians that seem to hold some of the same aesthetic values because "we're all down". Today I believe they are among the greatest bands in the United States.

To me this performance symbolizes how much everything about an individual's perspective can reverse: the band I didn't care about are now among my favorite musicians and best friends, and the vision of hedonistic teenage anarchy I longed for disgusted me once realized. Implicit in this symbolism to me is the hope that if one person's perspective can change so drastically, then perhaps that of a whole society can as well."

-pat the bunny, among the disorganizers of brattleboro fest

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Endless Mike and the Beagle Club Johnstown, Pennsylvania

A singer-songwriter with a loud punk band

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