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Nan Salky works on one her latest pieces, "Clockworks," at her home in South Amherst.

Art Maker: Nan Salky | assemblage artist

Thursday, April 16, 2015

Artist Nan Salky, 59, works in multiple mediums, but has shifted her focus recently — away from her earlier work in painting and drawing to assemblage, using mostly vintage pieces. Now she’s working on a series of pieces based on old furniture. The search for the antiques gives her a reason, she says, to haunt shops and flea markets for …

Kathleen Mellen’s Best Bets: ‘Best of Valley Voices’ at Academy of Music; J.S. Bach Festival at UMass

Thursday, April 16, 2015

TALL TALES Only the earliest of birds got into the three “Valley Voices StorySlams” that were held earlier this year at Hinge in Northampton: They sold out weeks in advance. Now, here comes “Best of Valley Voices,” the best of the best. Ten finalists, chosen by audiences during those earlier slams, will take the stage Saturday at 7:30 p.m. at the Academy of …

Laurie Loisel’s Best Bets: ‘The Maltese Falcon’ at Academy of Music; Stan Sherer photo exhibit at Historic Northampton

Thursday, April 16, 2015

A FILM FOR THE AGES As part of the “All Hamptons Read” program, the film “The Maltese Falcon” will be screened Sunday. Directed by John Huston and starring Humphrey Bogart, the 1941 film noir is based on the 1929 classic detective novel by Dashiell Hammett. The late film critic Roger Ebert considered it to be one of the greatest movies ever made. Academy …

Kathleen Mellen’s Best Bets: ‘The Nile Project’ at UMass; Senior thesis dance concert at Smith College

Thursday, April 2, 2015

A MULTICULTURAL TRIUMPH The title “The Nile Project: Songs and Music of the Nile River” sounds exotic, and the subtitle, “Loving, Listening, Subtle Flow,” is absolutely mesmerizing. The concert that meshes the Nile’s many sounds features musicians from countries along the river. The musicians learned each others’ unique …

Laurie Loisel’s Best Bets: Song & Story Swap in Amherst; Smith College senior thesis dance concert

Thursday, April 2, 2015

Tell me a story It doesn’t get more down-home than this: A Song & Story Swap open to all ages, with everyone invited to offer up a time-worn yarn, a newly-minted story or a personal tale, spoken or sung. The theme is yellow. You can do a lot …

Steve Pfarrer’s Best Bets: Rani Arbo & daisy mayhem at Iron Horse; author Courtney Maum at Odyssey Bookshop

Thursday, April 2, 2015

MUSICAL MAYHEM Valley favorites Rani Arbo & daisy mayhem just resurfaced with its first album in three years, “Violets are Blue,” on which the acclaimed Americana quartet offers new sounds — lap steel, mandolin, accordion — to supplement its unique blend of fiddle, guitar, banjo, bass and drums. …

Marietta Pritchard’s Slice of Life: Straddling ‘the box’

Thursday, April 2, 2015

Some of my life is spent as a writer, trying to grind out words, sentences, paragraphs, or even chapters. A famous, witty formulation describing this activity is sometimes attributed to the legendary sports writer Red Smith, who, in 1949, is said to have told political columnist Walter Winchell: …

Barhopping: Shedding light on the digestif

Thursday, April 2, 2015

Most people are familiar with the aperitif — that before-dinner cocktail, designed to whet the appetite. (Examples include a dry martini, a Manhattan, an Old Fashioned, champagne and dry white wine, although aperitifs in Europe tend to be …

Book Bag: “I Am Having So Much Fun Without You’ by Courtney Maum; ‘The Sword & Scabbard: Thieves and Thugs and the Bloody Massacre in Boston’ by Allen Woods

Thursday, April 2, 2015

I AM HAVING SO MUCH FUN HERE WITHOUT YOU By Courtney Maum Touchstone/Simon & Schuster courtneymaum.tumblr.com Talk about a rags-to-riches story. About 10 years ago, Courtney Maum, then in her 20s, appeared to have a deal to sell …

Ken Maiuri’s Tuned In: Dweezil Zappa at the Calvin and other musical happenings in the Valley this week

Thursday, April 2, 2015

Dweezil Zappa has dedicated his life to the electric guitar, but also in more recent years to the compositions of his father, Frank, which he plays with an all-star cast of virtuoso musicians under the name Zappa Plays …

Headliners: Rani Arbo & daisy mayhem at the Iron Horse; ‘The Nile Project’ at UMass FAC

Thursday, April 2, 2015

Sugar-free love songs Use of the word “eclectic” to refer to a particular musical performance style ought henceforth to be banned, except in the case of the Valley’s favorite acoustic string ensemble, Rani Arbo & daisy mayhem, who …

Movie Times

Thursday, April 2, 2015

AMHERST CINEMA 28 Amity St., Amherst 253-2547 amherstcinema.org It Follows (R) Daily 2, 4:40, 7:30, 9:45; Sat.-Sun. also 11:30 a.m. Kumiko, The Treasure Hunter (NR) Daily 4:30, 7:05; Fri.-Mon., Wed. also 9:35; Sat.-Sun. also 1:55 The Second Best …

Movie Capsules

Thursday, March 5, 2015

BIRDMAN: In this year’s Academy Award winner for best film, Michael Keaton plays a washed-up actor who once played an iconic superhero and now must try to win back his family, his career and his own integrity as …