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Arts & Entertainment

Chris Smither, still on the levee after nearly half a century: Veteran singer-songwriter’s work celebrated in two new albums, upcoming concert

Wednesday, October 15, 2014

It was almost 50 years ago that Chris Smither dropped his college studies in anthropology and, guitar in hand, headed north from his home in New Orleans. His destination was Boston and its burgeoning acoustic music scene. Smither, who’d been bitten by the blues and by the folk music boom led by Bob Dylan, didn’t have an exact plan in …

Life in a war zone: Northampton author draws on his experience as a foreign correspondent to pen novel of Nicaragua in the 1980s

Thursday, October 2, 2014

When two American journalists were beheaded in the last several weeks by members of ISIS, the Islamic jihadist state in Syria and Iraq, Joe Gannon …

Ken Maiuri’s Clubland: Pianist Scott Hall returns to Valley with ‘Hallapalooza’

Wednesday, October 15, 2014

Since his high school days, Scott Hall has been close to a piano — sometimes very close, like in the Northampton apartment he shared with …

Movie Review: ‘Alexander’ a snappy, benign comedy

Wednesday, October 8, 2014

Given its premise, “Alexander and the Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Day” could have been a lot more horrible and no good than it is. In fact, at a quick 82 minutes, this straight-arrow family comedy about …

Art Maker: Seth Lepore | humorist, performance artist

Thursday, October 9, 2014

Editor’s note: Beginning this week, Hampshire Life presents a new feature, “Art Maker,” an edited Q&A that takes a look at what area artists are up to. We hope you enjoy this peek over the shoulder of some …

Modiano wins literature Nobel for works about Nazi occupation

Thursday, October 9, 2014

STOCKHOLM — Patrick Modiano of France, who has made a lifelong study of the Nazi occupation and its effects on his country, won the 2014 Nobel Prize in literature Thursday for what one academic called “crystal clear and …

Book Bag: ‘Apples of New England: A User’s Guide’ by Russell Steven Powell; ‘The Taking: Before They Flooded the Quabbin’ by Helen R. Haddad

Thursday, October 9, 2014

APPLES OF NEW ENGLAND: A USER’S GUIDE By Russell Steven Powell The Countryman Press newenglandorchards.org Fall in New England has a number of traditional symbols: pumpkins and gourds, colorful foliage, dried cornstalks. But Russell Steven Powell would argue …

Valley Readings

Thursday, October 9, 2014

The following author appearances, readings and book events are planned for the coming week in the Valley: AMHERST BOOKS: Gerald McFarland introduces his second novel, “What the Owl Saw,” Oct. 16 , 4 p.m., at the bookshop, at 8 Main St., Amherst. 256-1547 BROADSIDE BOOKSHOP: Zane Kotker reads …

Kathleen Mellen’s Best Bets: UMass music department concerts; art walks in Northampton, Easthampton

Thursday, October 9, 2014

Major musical talent Last week I went to the Multibands Pops Concert at UMass and I was stunned! I knew the university has a strong music department but I had no idea how true and deep the talent runs. Every group that performed was phenomenal (with a special …

Suzanne Wilson’s Best Bets: Michael Ponsor reads from ‘The Hanging Judge”; puppet show at the Eric Carle Museum in Amherst

Thursday, October 9, 2014

‘THE HANGING JUDGE’ Being good at your job doesn’t mean you’re good at writing about it. But Michael Ponsor, a federal judge in Springfield, earned praise for “The Hanging Judge,” his novel about a death penalty case. Jonathan Harr, author of “A Civil Action,” wrote that Ponsor’s book …

Steve Pfarrer’s Best Bets: Northampton International Film Festival; Jim Garmhausen exhibit at the Loft Parlor in Easthampton

Thursday, October 9, 2014

FILM FEST FRENZY Looking for a full dose of the movies? You can get 21 hours worth Oct. 10-12 when the Northampton International Film Festival opens at the Academy of Music. From shorts to feature-length works, and with both local films and movies from as far away as …

Movie listings

Thursday, October 9, 2014

These movies are playing locally. Check with theaters for times. AMHERST CINEMA 28 Amity St., Amherst 253-2547 amherstcinema.org Jimi: All is By My Side (R) Last Days in Vietnam (NR) Love Is Strange (R) The Maltese Falcon (NR) …

Movie Capsules

Thursday, July 31, 2014

ALEXANDER AND THE TERRIBLE, HORRIBLE, NO GOOD, VERY BAD DAY: The day for young Alexander (Ed Oxenbould) begins with gum stuck in his hair, and is followed by more calamities. He gets little sympathy from his family and …