Items tagged with 'Western Mass'
I love western Massachusetts because there are so many little towns to discover, all with unique personalities. Perhaps you've explored the Berkshires before -- Lee, Great Barrington, North Adams, and other nearby places.
So why not head to the far side of the Berkshires, in the area known as the upper Pioneer Valley, for a change? The car is warm, gas is cheap right now. Give some of these indoor activities a try on a winter's day (or any day!) to forget about the world outside...
Take a ride an hour east of the Capital Region on I-90 and you will find yourself over the state border in the Berkshires. Western Massachusetts is saturated with culture and nature, with many different things to see, do, and eat.
Here's one way to spend a day immersed in the local flavor.
The Mount -- you know, the former Edith Wharton residence in Lenox -- has a series of conversation events lined up for this fall that looks interesting. It's hosted by journalist Kate Bolick. Blurbage: "This year's featured authors tackle provocative and controversial topics including race, gender, class, marriage,and motherhood."
Here's a compressed schedule...
Farther afield, an important message from the North Adams (Massachusetts) Police Department, as posted on its Facebook page:
The North Adams Police Department is urging everyone to NOT chase bears through the woods with a dull hatchet, drunk. Yes that really did happen tonight. We understand there are bears in the area. If you see a bear, LEAVE IT ALONE and call us. We certainly don't need anyone going all Davy Crockett chasing it through the woods drunk with a dull hatchet. It is just a bad idea and not going to end well. It will however, certainly end you up in jail...which it did. The hatchet man was taken into protective custody due to his incapacitation from the consumption of alcoholic beverage. We are still trying to figure out what his end game was. Any thoughts on what he was going to do if he did locate it? We would certainly like to hear because we have no idea.
Here's a little bit more context from the Berkshire Eagle. We just... you know... no words.
Things really are a little bit different over on that side of the border.
[via Jon Campbell]
The Green River Festival returns to Western Massachusetts July 10-12 this year. Early bird tickets are now on sale through April 17 -- they're $79.99 for all three days, single days are $19.99 (Friday) and $59.99 (Saturday and Sunday).
The lineup is also now out -- headliners include Steve Earle & The Dukes, Punch Brothers, tUnE-yArDs, Preservation Hall Jazz Band. The full lineup, which includes a bunch of acts you'll recognize, is post jump.
And in something a little bit different for an event like this, the festival also includes hot air balloon launches Saturday evening and Sunday morning.
The festival is in Greenfield, about a two-hour drive from Albany.
An earlier that summer is out there: The schedule for this year's Williamstown Theatre Festival is out today. As usual, it includes notable shows and actors you'll recognize, such as Kyra Sedgwick, Audra McDonald, and Cynthia Nixon.
The schedule is post jump.
Ticket bundles are currently on sale, starting at $165 for three shows, through March 6. Many of these shows end up selling out, so if you think you'd like to go this summer, buying early can be a good idea. (And you can a discount by buying one of the bundles.)
Single ticket sales start in April.
Normally I am a very active person, but the cold weather makes me an unhappy shut-in. This winter I want to change all of that. I'm going to be highlighting some great day trips and activities that work well in the winter, by either celebrating the snowy weather... or by staying mostly indoors.
Our first destination is Williamstown, which is great for art lovers. I started out the day at the newly renovated Clark museum, and spent the rest of my time enjoying this old Western Massachusetts town.
The Williamstown Theatre Festival opens next week, which means casts and what not have been settled.
WTF usually brings in a bunch of notable and/or recognizable actors, along with a bunch of rising talent, and this year is no exception. Among them: Sam Rockwell will be stepping in for Chris Pine as the lead in Fool for Love. Other names from the lineup of performances that you might recognize: Renée Fleming, Anna Chlumsky, Nina Arianda, Nate Corddry, Chita Rivera, and Lewis Black.
The lineup is after the jump.
Many of the WTF performance sell out -- in fact, a few already have -- so if you're interested in heading for a show, it's better to get tickets sooner rather than later.
The schedule for this year's Williamstown Theatre Festival is out. And, as usual, it includes notable shows and actors you'll recognize such as Renee Fleming (you know, the famous opera singer), Lauren Ambrose (you know, from Six Feet Under), and Chris Pine (you know, Captain Kirk). The schedule is post jump.
Also: A guide on how to score tickets. Many of these shows end up being very popular and tickets can be hard to get. So a little planning now can increase your chances of getting tickets.
Coming to Tanglewood this summer: Barenaked Ladies, Ben Folds Five, Guster, Grace Potter, Josh Ritter, Joan Baez, Indigo Girls
But, you know, not all on the same day.
Tanglewood has announced a trio of new shows for this summer:
July 24: Barenaked Ladies, Ben Folds Five, Guster
There's a late-90s version of a lot of people who would be pretty excited about this show. Also, every online tickets a copy of the BNL album. Tickets: $27.50-$79.50
Tickets for all three shows go on sale to the general public March 25 online or via phone (888-266-1200).
The slate is out for this summer's Williamstown Theatre Festival. And while the full (usually impressive) casts haven't been announced, a few of the stars are mentioned. The festival runs from June 26-August 18.
The announced schedule is post jump.
If you're thinking about seeing some of the shows this summer, it might not be a bad idea to think about buying tickets now. You can save about 20 percent on "bundles" of tickets (and you get the jump on buying tickets) -- the discount bundles are on sale until March 15.
This Solid Sound Festival is announcing its lineup one... act... at... a... time. Which is... a... little... something. But, the upside: the lineup is looking good.
A few of the announced acts so far:
+ And Wilco (of course)
The festival will continue to update its lineup throughout Thursday. The comedy lineup is already out.
Solid Sound is June 21-23 at MASS MoCA. Three-day passes are currently $124.
Update: Here's the full music lineup...
Could be worth the (short) trip: mandolin virtuoso Chris Thile (from the Punch Brothers, and Nickel Creek) and modern jazz pianist Brad Mehldau will be performing together at the Mahaiwe in Great Barrington April 13. Tickets start at $25 --
and they're on sale now they go on sale to the general public this Thursday (February 14) at noon.
Thile was on fire in 2012 -- earning acclaim with the progressive bluegrass band the Punch Brothers (including a show at The Egg), and being named a McArthur fellow. And Mehldau has played with a wide range of artists, as well as omnivorously performing and adapting the work of groups ranging from Radiohead to Paul Simon (see: his cover of "Paranoid Android").
The duo has played together in the past. A Guardian reviewer called a 2011 show in London "an unexpected tour de force."
Also from the 2013 Mahaiwe slate out today: David Sedaris will be there April 6, in case you can't catch him at The Egg April 11.
Earlier on AOA: Road Trip: Great Barrington
photos via The Mahaiwe
Solid Sound -- the Wilco "envisioned" festival at MASS MoCA -- will be back at the museum June 21-23 after skipping last summer. And "early worm" tickets go on sale Friday (November 30) at 10 am. A limited number of three-day passes will be available for $99.
After those sell out, early bird passes will be $124. And after that, regular passes will be $149. Passes for kids 7-10 are $50. Under 7 are free. Camping is available for an additional fee.
MASS MoCA says there will be a "very limited number" of single day tickets available early next year.
About what's on the slate for this time around:
Envisioned by Wilco and presented in collaboration with MASS MoCA, the weekend features two headlining Wilco concerts, a comedy cabaret programmed and hosted by John Hodgman, additional musical performances on four stages selected by Wilco and including Wilco-related side projects, a wide array of all-ages programming, and of course, world-class modern art.
This will be the third Solid Sound festival. The first two have gotten good reviews.
An exhibit of work by award-winning comic book artist Alex Ross opens this Saturday at the Norman Rockwell Museum in Stockbridge. And Ross will be at the museum that evening to talk and sign autographs.
From the blurbage for the exhibit, Heroes & Villains:
Heroes & Villains is the first museum exhibition celebrating the artwork of Alex Ross, today's foremost comic book artist. Ross, acclaimed for the photorealism of his work, is often referred to as "the Norman Rockwell of the comics world." Heroes & Villains features over 130 paintings, drawings, photographs and sculptures from Ross's personal collection. The pieces range from a crayon drawing of Spider-Man that he created at the age of four to paintings from his early career on projects like Marvels and Kingdom Come through to his more recent work on Flash Gordon and Green Hornet. This exhibition outlines Ross's career of redefining comic books and graphic novels for a new generation of followers of Superman, Batman, Spider-Man and other classic comic book superheroes.
The reception is from 6:30-8:30 pm. It's $20 / $15 teens and students / children under 10 $10.
The Ross exhibit will be on display through February 24.
Albany Comic Con
Speaking of comics: The Albany Comic Con is this Sunday at the Holiday Inn on Wolf Road, from 10 am-4 pm -- admission is $5. Among the events part of the con: a silent auction of original comic book art to benefit the Ronald McDonald House.
image: Alex Ross, "Justice Vol. 1" paperback cover, 2006, courtesy of the artist, ™ & © DC Comics. Used with permission.
Road trips are pretty high on the list of fun things to do with a fall day in the Capital Region. A scenic drive on an autumn weekend can take you to mountains, lakes, wineries, cities, and small towns in time to explore, enjoy and be home in time to sleep in your own bed.
Great Barrington, Massachusetts is one of those places.
Lesson number one: Barrington and Great Barrington are not the same place. This may seem as obvious to you as it did to me, but for some reason every time I told someone from the Capital Region that I was going to Great Barrington, they said things like "have a good time in Vermont."
This quaint little Massachusetts town is a pretty common destination for people fleeing NYC or Boston for the weekend. The shops are eclectic, the food is interesting, there's plenty of nature -- and good beer.
Summer is a great time for a drive to Western Mass. Between Tanglewood concerts, Berkshire Theatre Festival, Williamstown Theatre Festival, museums, and shows in Great Barrington, there are plenty of excuses for a road trip -- and it's all just about an hour from the Capital Region.
Here's a fun way to get a little more out of your road trip that direction -- go a little early and build in a stop at the Berkshire Botanical Garden.
The BBG is 15 acres in Stockbridge divided into 23 separate gardens, with trees, flowers, herbs, sculpture, trails and greenhouses. It's pretty, peaceful, educational and just a nice place to hang out for a while. You don't need a whole day to visit -- it's an easy couple of hours. But if you choose to linger, there's plenty of opportunity.
Here's a little of what you'll see...
Skimming through the slate for this summer's Williamstown Theatre Festival, there are a bunch of names you'll recognize: Bradley Cooper, Patricia Clarkson, David Hyde Pierce, Lili Taylor, Susie Essman, Lewis Black, and others.
The schedule -- with a few highlights -- is after the jump. Performances start toward the end of June.
Here's a guide to buying tickets for the festival. Tickets are currently available by mail for donors. Online ticketing starts June 4.
The New Yorker staff writer will be at The Mount July 23 to talk about her recent book Rin Tin Tin: The Life and The Legend. From the blurbage:
Who doesn't remember the wonderful television show The Adventures of Rin Tin Tin? As a young girl, Susan Orlean longed for a German Shepherd of her own, a perfect dog just like Rin Tin Tin. The renowned staff writer at The New Yorker and author of the best-selling book The Orchid Thief has written the biography of the beloved dog actor. Orlean will share with us Rin Tin Tin's incredible canine journey from orphaned puppy abandoned on a WW I battlefield to movie star, Oscar nominee, and international icon.
The Susan Orlean talk, as well as the other talks at the Mount, are $20. They go on sale to non-members starting May 27. We've heard the talks fill up fast, so you might want to buy a ticket earlier rather than later.
And if you've never been: Lenox is about a one-hour drive from Albany.
photo via Susan Orlean's website
Wilco announced today that there won't be a Solid Sound Festival at MASS MoCA this summer. The annual music and art festival, which was first held in 2010, will return next year -- specifically June 21-23, 2013.
The band's manager told Nippertown today that they still love the idea of the festival, it's just that touring and promotion for its new album was going to keep them from organizing the festival this year.
But Wilco will be playing a benefit for MASS MoCA this summer. The date is TBD. The museum sent out an email to members today announcing they'll get first crack at the tickets when they go on sale. The museum says it's expecting tickets to "sell out almost immediately" for the "limited capacity" show.
photo: Flickr user Jeremy D. Goodwin
The installation is a collection of three elements. From the MASS MoCA blurbage:
The Shining is a 1970s-era 'satellite' that has crash-landed at MASS MoCA. This beautifully reflective, repurposed Airstream trailer - with large parachutes and active solar panels - is inspired by an earlier era of pulp aeronauts like Buck Rogers, Tom Swift and Tom Corbett: Space Cadet, as well as the works of Giotto, Jules Verne, NASA, and Chris Marker's 1962 film La Jetée. Visitors will be allowed to climb a staircase and enter into the craft where they will encounter The Library of the Sun. Hybridizing a domestic space, a laboratory and a library, it has the feel of a hermitage, where the occupant will 'be right back', only it is 30 years later. ... Once inside the craft, visitors will also be able to view Codex Solis, a massive field of photovoltaic (PVs) or solar panels. At 50kw, the field will generate 7% of the power consumed by MASS MoCA. In addition to this 230-foot long grid, mirrors are interspersed in the middle of the field, and suggest an absent text. The arrangement of mirrors and solar panels is based on a specific quote by an unnamed author, and will not be revealed by the artist; instead the public will be encouraged to spend time with the piece, watch the reflected sky, and solve the riddle as birds and planes, inverted, fly by.
The trailer is great. It's like something from an alternate reality, in which you could have gone camping in space during the 1960s -- and the owner of this particular trailer was a bit on the obsessive side. The inside is a meticulously constructed world, down to the jars of tomatoes.
All Utopias Fell is a seasonal exhibit. It's perched at the top of a few flights of metal stairs outside the old power plant for the factory that preceded the museum at the site. The exhibit is open through October.
After the jump: an interior pic, plus a few bonus pics.
Tickets for the second Wilco-curated Solid Sound Festival at MASS MoCA go on sale this Friday at 11 am. The festival site says there are a limited number of "early worm" tickets for $99.50. The regular price is $124.50. (You can also buy single day tickets.)
Last year's festival drew 5000 people -- and the reports were all pretty positive.
Earlier on AOA: Mountain Jam 2011 tickets and lineup
The Solid Sound Festival -- the three days of music and art at MASS MoCA curated by Wilco -- was this past weekend.
And it sounds like it went well. So well that MASS MoCA and the band might give it another shot next summer.
I was wondering if any of you or the AOA readers have been to the Aerial Adventure Park at Jiminy Peak. If so, was it fun? I can't really tell if it'd be fun for a group of 20-somethings to do for the day, or if it's more aimed at kids. It looks like it could be fun, but I don't want to pay for something if I'll just be disappointed.
So, has anyone tried it? Please share!
photo: Jiminy Peak
MASS MoCA has a new exhibit opening this weekend -- and you might recognize the artist: Leonard Nimoy. Yep, Spock.
From the MASS MoCA blurb for Secret Selves:
Inspired by Aristophanes' theory that humans were once double-sided creatures with two heads and multiple limbs before Zeus cleaved man in two and left him forever struggling to be whole again, Nimoy's photographs reveal his subjects' other half. Shooting in nearby Northampton, Massachusetts, Nimoy recruited volunteers from the local community with an open call for portrait models willing to be photographed posed and dressed as their true or imagined "secret selves." From the popular rock star and superman to the more unexpected dog lover and Pan, these various secret identities (off-line avatars as they might be described) offer an intimate, sometimes humorous, and often profound new look at the residents of Northampton and the inner yearnings and fantasies that we all share.
Nimoy apparently has been a serious photographer for decades. From a NYT article this week about the exhibit:
The Solid Sound Festival, the three day festival at MASS MoCA "curated" by Wilco, is coming up the weekend of August 13. Tickets are $91 for all three days. But here's a way you might be able to score a free pass. From the promoters:
"Wilco has announced the return of their semi-regular photo contest. 1st round begins now through July 7 and is open to any quality photographs with the theme "Summer + throwing in a little Wilco can't hurt." A group of 15 finalists will be selected and posted on the Solid Sound website on July 11 for final round democratic voting, July 13-19. Winners will be announced shortly after voting closes. Prizes range from shirts & mugs to weekend Solid Sound Festival passes + hotel.
We were quite happy to recently come across AirBnB, a site that's "an online marketplace allowing anyone from private residents to commercial properties to rent out their extra space." For two reasons:
- We got to feed our desire to gawk at real estate
- It allowed us to indulge in a little daydreaming about heading off to the country for a long weekend. For example, at this gorgeous place in Coxsackie (photo on the right).
[via Swiss Miss]
Growing up in Pennsylvania, every couple of years we took a compulsory school field trip to Amish Country, where we were transported back in time to find out how these traditional, religious communities lived. I get the sense the equivalent of that trip in this neck of the woods is a visit to the Hancock Shaker Village in Western Massachusetts.
Unfortunately, I didn't get chance to delve into too much of the history on my most recent visit because the real reason we were at the village was the baby animals.
And what's cuter than baby animals, you ask? Nothing, I say. And I have children.
(Yes, there are baby animals after the jump.)
Wilco will be "curating" a three day festival at MASS MoCA in August. From the museum's blurb:
The SOLID SOUND FESTIVAL is an independently promoted and ticketed three-day event of music, art, comedy, interactivity and more. Wilco headlines the weekend, in the bandʼs only East Coast performance of the summer. This new festival also presents individual performances by all the Wilco membersʼ side projects including Glenn Kotcheʼs On Fillmore, The Nels Cline Singers, The Autumn Defense featuring John Stirratt and Pat Sansone and Mikael Jorgensenʼs Pronto.
SOLID SOUND FESTIVAL at MASS MoCA also plays host to additional musical performances, a fully programmed comedy stage, interactive installations and exhibits (including the Solid Sound Stompbox Station, an interactive guitar pedal exhibit created and demonstrated by Wilco guitarist Nels Cline, a concert-poster screening demonstration, planned workshops by luthiers and more), plus film, video installations and djʼs.
The festival is planned for August 13-15. Tickets go on sale Friday -- they're $78 until May 31, $91 after that date. Tickets include access to the entire MASS MoCA campus.
One of the good things about living in the Capital Region is that there are a wealth of cool places within a short distance.
Such as MASS MoCA and North Adams.
After the jump -- the virtual road trip.
James Taylor has added a second Haiti benefit concert at the The Mahaiwe (the first one sold out in 90 minutes Tuesday morning). The second show will be January 23 at 8pm. Tickets start at $100. They go on sale at 9am Wednesday morning at the theater and via its web site.
That sold-out first show raised $150k for the org Partners in Health -- and Taylor then matched it with another $150k of his own. The proceeds from this second show will also benefit the same org.
The Mahaiwe is in Great Barrington, MA, which is about an hour drive from Albany.
Next week's schedule at Jacob's Pillow includes a ballet featuring the music of Radiohead. We're not sure if Radio and Juliet looks different and interesting... or just a little odd and head-scratch-inducing.
Here's the blurb from the JP site:
Transport into a universe of razor-sharp dancing, video effects, electronic rhythms and beautiful melodies with a new take on Shakespeare's Romeo and Juliet, set to the music of Radiohead, today's most influential alternative rock band. In a rare U.S. engagement, this powerfully gorgeous contemporary ballet by Romanian choreographer Edward Clug, a fast-rising star and artistic director of Ballet Maribor, casts superb ballet dancers that give new life to this timeless tale of conflict, fate and love.
Here's a "trailer" for the performance.
There are performances July 1-5. Tickets are $59.50. But get this: if you're under the age of 35, you can score tickets for $35.
image: Jacob's Pillow