CD Shorts: The Gaslight Tinkers
Jan21

CD Shorts: The Gaslight Tinkers

The Gaslight Tinkers (independent) Lots of experiments in genre-crossing turn into one-trick ponies or big messes. The Valley’s Gaslight Tinkers avoid both traps. The group brings together some good players: Zoe Darrow on fiddle; Peter Siegel on guitar, mandolin, and banjo; Garrett Sawyer on bass and guitar; and Dave Noonan on drums and percussion. The whole band sings. The music that comes from this collaboration is a constant play...

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CinemaDope: Southern Exposure, an immigrant’s dangerous journey
Jan21

CinemaDope: Southern Exposure, an immigrant’s dangerous journey

The people who run the show over at Amherst Cinema have never been content with the idea that their venue is a mere movie theater. From the start, the vision of the theater encompassed not just great film, but also community enrichment, education, and more. As the years have passed, that vision has grown, and ever-richer offerings have been added to the cinema’s slate. Consider just a few of the series and special events that have lit...

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Nightcrawler: Bawdy by Nature, Berkshire burlesque group; Cantalini performs solo, duo, and with his trio
Jan21

Nightcrawler: Bawdy by Nature, Berkshire burlesque group; Cantalini performs solo, duo, and with his trio

In the spirit of the performers they honor and emulate, the Berkshire-based Gypsy Lane burlesque troupe takes the show on the road this weekend. The campy cast of cabaret characters makes its debut at Norfolk, Conn.’s storied Infinity Music Hall & Bistro Jan. 22, and the Vermont Burlesque Festival Jan. 24. “My original objective was to educate audiences about the history of burlesque,” the show’s artistic director, Nicole Rizzo,...

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Moving On: Springfield’s Performance Project and First Generation are losing their home.
Jan21

Moving On: Springfield’s Performance Project and First Generation are losing their home.

It’s the kind of story we will, inevitably, hear again. When any big development imposes a new footprint on an already-established area, people get displaced and property changes hands. Five Taylor Street, in Morgan Square, where Springfield nonprofit arts organization The Performance Project has pursued its First Generation youth program for two years, is being sold. The Project is losing its home, and doesn’t have a new one....

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Scene Here: Big Easy Brunch
Jan21

Scene Here: Big Easy Brunch

Remember that first wash of Technicolor in The Wizard of Oz? That’s what it’s like to step off the grayscale street and into Chef Wayne’s Big Mamou in Springfield. This little New Orleans-style restaurant is stranded on a run-down industrial block of Liberty Street, but that hasn’t put a damper on the warm, welcoming vibe that Chef Wayne Hooker has curated. The place is dimly lit and cozy, decorated with colorful masks, murals,...

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Between the Lines: Art and Shovels

My driveway, not long ago, looked like those windswept landscapes where forlorn polar bears play. I’d waited too late to blow the snow, led astray by forecasts of a balmy 52-degree afternoon. I’m bad at snow removal. I blame my Southern childhood, in which frozen precipitation was as enticing and non-existent as the gold of El Dorado. (In my defense, I do know how to catch crawdads.) That recent round of the white stuff gummed up the...

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