Art Review: Martha Armstrong: A Big Deal in a Little Town
May23

Art Review: Martha Armstrong: A Big Deal in a Little Town

Hatfield resident Martha Armstrong is exhibiting at the Oxbow Gallery in Northampton. Her collection of paintings, Friends and Family, is currently on display in the back gallery of the Pleasant Street venue. The back gallery at Oxbow is very small and intimate, longer than it is wide, white with a utilitarian feel. One might be inclined to think that it’s reserved for “lesser” talents. That, of course, isn’t true; artist-members of...

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Editorial: Remembering Columbine and Santa Fe and everywhere in between
May23

Editorial: Remembering Columbine and Santa Fe and everywhere in between

I remember the Columbine shooting like it was yesterday. It was a rainy April afternoon in 1999, very bleak but mild. When I turned on the television, I was hardly prepared for what I saw and what I heard. Two boys had committed what was, at the time, a shocking crime at their Littleton, Colorado, high school. They had shot and killed 12 students and one teacher. They’d injured 21 additional people. On Friday, another school, another...

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Basemental: What Are You Afraid Of? Fred Cracklin’s Looming Spook
May23

Basemental: What Are You Afraid Of? Fred Cracklin’s Looming Spook

Local legend Thurston Moore — Sonic Youth, Chelsea Light Moving, one off noise sets all over the Valley — had a cameo in an adult talk show called Space Ghost Coast to Coast. Moore played a character called Fred Cracklin in a 1996 episode of the Cartoon Network show dedicated to jazz guitarist Sonny Sharrock. The show got weirder as it progressed — evolving from spoof to surrealism. Adam Bosse and Max Goldstein have fittingly adopted...

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Connecting with Coal Country: What I learned visiting Kentucky with Hands Across the Hills
May22

Connecting with Coal Country: What I learned visiting Kentucky with Hands Across the Hills

“It’s like you’re going to a foreign country… Do you need a passport?” Letha Dollarhyde of Letcher County, Kentucky, said this — partly in jest, partly not — about coming to Leverett, Massachusetts, when she visited here last fall. Our Hands Across the Hills project is about “Dialogue and Cultural Exchange.” “Cultural exchange” — isn’t that the phrase used by the State Department when American artists and scholars travel to other...

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Bizarro Briefs: Guns aren’t fool proof, or dog proof
May22

Bizarro Briefs: Guns aren’t fool proof, or dog proof

Guns aren’t fool proof, or dog proof Everyone knows that dogs are goofballs. They eat things they shouldn’t. They dig up things they shouldn’t. And sometimes they shoot things they shouldn’t. One man in Iowa found out the hard way that the safety on his gun wasn’t fool proof, or dog proof, when his dog jumped up on his lap and discharged the gun that he was wearing around his waist. The dog accidentally disengaged the safety of...

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