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Hampshire Life

Headliners: Dar Williams at the Calvin Theatre; Surley Temple at the Parlor Room

Friday, December 12, 2014

Back to the beginning It was 20 years ago that an obscure Northampton-based singer/songwriter named Dar Williams recorded her first album, “The Honesty Room,’’ on an eight-track tape machine in a Belchertown basement studio. “There was no music business in my life at the time,” she says. “Friends like The Nields were letting me open for them. ... Johnny Memphis …

Art Maker: Caleb Ballantine | dancer

Thursday, December 11, 2014

Caleb Ballantine is still pretty young — 12 — but he already knows what he wants to do with his life: dance. He’s been dancing since he was just 2 or 3, he reports, when he was moved by music at a wedding. “I loved dance ever since,” the Amherst youngster says. Caleb …

Marietta Pritchard’s Slice of Life: I know I’m old when ...

Thursday, December 11, 2014

Some years ago, a good friend told me about the end of an affair she’d had. She was in her mid-40s, a dancer, teaching at a university, and she had fallen in love with a student. He was a handsome young man in his 20s and they’d had a wonderful year together. The sex was great; they worked well together as dancers; they …

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Ken Maiuri’s Tuned In: Bill Kirchen and his all-Austin band at the Iron Horse, and other music this week in the Valley

Thursday, December 11, 2014

There are musicians unknown to the average joe who get spoken about in reverent tones by longtime fans; one such musician is guitarist Bill Kirchen. In the late ’60s and early ‘70s he tore up the fretboard with …

Your Time: Holiday skating party at Mullins Center Community Ice Rink, Amherst

Thursday, December 11, 2014

Families and friends gathered Sunday for a holiday skating party at the Mullins Center Community Ice Rink in Amherst. The event was presented by Hits 94.3, and radio personality Trumpy set the pace with rock tunes throughout the …

Kevin Gutting’s photo gallery: Return to sender

Thursday, December 11, 2014

“Neither snow nor rain nor heat nor gloom of night stays these couriers from the swift completion of their appointed rounds.” OK. Snow? — some. Rain? — check. Gloom? — check. Courier? — hold that thought. On Tuesday, …

ID: Matthew Andrews

Thursday, December 11, 2014

Matthew Andrews has been an athlete all his life — he was ranked fourth in the nation in the 100 meter butterfly when he was 12 years old, and was on the top 12 and under relay in …

Style Stop: Paul Johnson-Calderon

Thursday, December 11, 2014

The Style Stop team spotted Paul Johnson-Calderon, 29, sitting outside on a recent chilly day. He was wearing Stubbs & Wootton loafers, Levis pants, an Alexander McQueen scarf and a Brooks Brothers sweater. He accented the outfit with …

Art Maker: Jieun Shin | painter

Thursday, December 4, 2014

In her newest exhibit, at Amherst Town Hall, Amherst artist Jieun Shin, 42, combines fragmented details of assembly instructions for IKEA furniture, such as bookshelves, with heads of human figures assembling the furniture and symbols and patterns from …

Bruce Watson’s Slice of Life: Thanks for the memories

Thursday, December 4, 2014

That opening salvo of the holidays, Thanksgiving, went off well considering the huge crowd we hosted. A casual observer would have seen just four of us at the table — my wife, my son, my daughter and myself. But several guests were seated inside us. Some had not …

Kathleen Mellen’s Best Bets: UMass University Dancers; HD performance by Bolshoi Ballet at Amherst Cinema

Thursday, December 4, 2014

TOP-NOTCH DANCE Every year, Paul Dennis, director of the UMass University Dancers, brings a renowned guest artist to campus to work with his dancers on a piece they will perform in the troupe’s winter concert. And every year, the dancers rise to the occasion. On Friday and Saturday, …

Laurie Loisel’s Best Bets: ArtSalon in Northampton; ‘Fiddler on the Roof’ sing-along at Amherst Cinema

Thursday, December 4, 2014

ARTIST MIND-SET Five area artists, including a photographer, a print maker, an architect, a painter and two graphic artists will talk about their work in an ArtSalon planned for Friday at the Northampton Community Arts Trust on Hawley Street. The evening is an opportunity to hear from established …

Steve Pfarrer’s Best Bets: ‘Whiplash’ at Amherst Cinema; Mummenschanz at UMass

Thursday, December 4, 2014

BANG THE DRUM CAREFULLY Ever since it premiered at the Sundance Film Festival in January, critics have been raving about “Whiplash,” an independent film about an aspiring young jazz drummer (played by Miles Teller) at an East Coast music conservatory and his head-on collision with his ruthless teacher …