‘Slam’ brings local jams


A student performs at Burly AMA Slam at Skinny Pancake Nov. 10.

Friends, classmates and foodies alike made up the Skinny Pancake crowd Nov. 10 during the inaugural night of the restaurant’s local talent competition series.

The series, the Burly AMA Slam, set to run every Monday night this winter, is holding its next event Dec. 8.

Skinny Pancake owner Benjamin Adler said he started thinking up the event late this summer.

For the project, he partnered with Rob Williams, a professor of community development and applied economics at UVM.

Planning the event was a way for the students to “learn about the hard knock of marketing,” Adler said.

“Our class divided into marketing teams and we came up with a campaign for the event,” junior Courtney Cunningham said.

The restaurant’s business model is rooted in local food, according to their website.

The addition of local music coincides with these goals.

“The event was based out of the Skinny Pancake from the get-go,” Adler said.

“We had the shell to fill with an idea,” he said.

The slam series is not only an effort to channel local musical talent, but also an effort to enrich the Burlington community through sharing art, Adler said.

“We’re focused on being good neighbors and on being oriented towards the community,” he said.

Adler hopes the music series will become embedded in Burlington’s music tradition as a “local installation,” he said.

Hosted by Williams, the first installment of the slam series hosted a diverse array of five-minute performances.

Acts ranged from a beret-sporting folk singer, to two friends recreating the Wayne’s World rendition of Queen’s “Bohemian Rhapsody” in a cappella.

Classmates cheered on their musician friends and the bartender took up the last time slot of the evening.

Judges yelled out their scores after each performance and Williams recorded them in chalk on a blackboard next to the stage.

At the end of the eight performances, the winners were chosen and Williams gave a few closing words.

“Alright, that’s it then, everyone go have a drink, have some dessert,” he said.

“I’ll see some of you in class on Thursday,” Williams said.