Nightcrawler: Dog Day Afternoon, Lord Russ Brooks juggles pooches and music
Jul28

Nightcrawler: Dog Day Afternoon, Lord Russ Brooks juggles pooches and music

From “Knights In White Satin” to Pomeranians with problem foot pads: welcome to a day in the life of Russell Brooks. “I just opened my own dog grooming salon in Northampton,” the music scene stalwart explains, “and I’ve been busier than ever with my life and work. And up to my knees in fur.” When not catering to canines at his Green Groomer Salon on Hawley Street, Brooks can often be found fronting his Moody Blues tribute band Voices...

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Together Again: Songwriters Mark Herschler and John Cruz reunite and offer two new solo albums
Jul28

Together Again: Songwriters Mark Herschler and John Cruz reunite and offer two new solo albums

Near the back door of Mark Herschler’s Northampton house and studio sits a group of boulders. “I think there might be Native American spirits in there,” Herschler says with a smile. “I think it’s helping with the recording.” Sitting inside, we can hear a commotion from other current residents of the large Laurel Park house, mostly from the basement studio. “I’m hoping to repeat the Home for Wayward Musicians idea, like I did in...

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Book Review: Between Me and the World, by Ta-Nehisi Coates
Jul28

Book Review: Between Me and the World, by Ta-Nehisi Coates

On the night of Nov. 24, 2014, Ta-Nehisi Coates found his teenage son Samori glued to the television, eager to see whether white police officer Darren Wilson would be indicted for fatally shooting black teenager Michael Brown in Ferguson, Missouri. No indictment came down. Samori said, “I’ve got to go,” went to his room and cried. “It was not my expectation that anyone would ever be punished,” Coates writes in his rough-hewn,...

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What Goes Here? In a time of dwindling support for public art, Brattleboro has $100K to spend
Jul28

What Goes Here? In a time of dwindling support for public art, Brattleboro has $100K to spend

The past five years were rough on Brattleboro. In the summer of 2011, tragedy struck the town several times: Tropical Storm Irene caused extensive flood damage, a five-alarm fire destroyed much of Main Street’s historic Brooks House building, and the Brattleboro Food Co-op suffered a fatal workplace shooting. The southern Vermont town enjoys a strong reputation as a hotbed for live music, performance, and studio art. But the violence...

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Cinemadope: Summer Camp, the power of blockbusters
Jul28

Cinemadope: Summer Camp, the power of blockbusters

As the summer swelters on — as I write this, it is a muggy 78 degrees long after sundown — my thoughts turn to blockbusters. It’s surely no coincidence that the biggest and loudest of our high-gloss spectacles are pushed out during the height of summer. Their promise has always been one of relief from sunshine and heat, of course — a dark theater, a gallon of iced sugar water — but also from the mental sluggishness that seems to come...

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Get A Grant: Apply for a local cultural council grant this fall
Jul28

Get A Grant: Apply for a local cultural council grant this fall

Soon a flood of cash will be available to artists around Massachusetts in the form of grants from local cultural councils. This year, the Massachusetts Cultural Council has $8.8 million to dole out in the form of grants and subsidies. Last year, $2.7 million of the Massachusetts council’s award money went to local councils throughout the state for distribution. Last year, most of the state’s 329 local councils received $4,300 to dole...

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