Spotlight: LGBTQ Fall Film Fest in Northampton; music at Progression Brewing Company

Published: 9/12/2019 4:19:00 PM

A film fest in small bits

From 2008 to 2012, Out! For Reel, the Valley LGBTQ cultural events organization, regularly screened lesbian film fests and other events in the region, primarily at Northampton’s Academy of Music. And after a hiatus of several years, the organization has become active again in the last year and a half, again bringing alternative films to the Academy.

Next Saturday, Sept. 21, Out! For Reel returns to Northampton with a new batch of short films, from 10 to 16 minutes, and an hour-long documentary, “The Archivettes,” which profiles the Lesbian Herstory Archives in Brooklyn, N.Y., which for 40 years has saved artifacts of lesbian history — diaries, buttons, tapes, photographs — that help tell the stories of the women who first struggled for their rights

Also on tap is “Bayard and Me,” a short film about the love story between famed civil rights leader Bayard Rustin, a key organizer of the 1963 March on Washington, and his life partner Walter Naegle, who talks about Rustin’s life as a proud gay man and his devotion to civil rights.

Jaime Michaels, founder and director of Out! For Reel, says most of the films being screened will be making their Massachusetts premiers. “We invite everyone to come and enjoy this very special program,” she says. “Out! For Reel’s mission is to connect community, build bridges, and engage understanding. All of these films do that in their own unique ways.”

Tickets for the film fest, which begins at 7 p.m., are $11 in advance, $13 at the door for adults; $7 for college students with a valid ID; and free for high school students. Tickets can be purchased at and through


Music madness

The musical options for any given week in the Valley — especially with colleges back in session — can seem overwhelming. Gateway City Arts, The Parlor Room, The Iron Horse, Hawks and Reed Performing Arts Center, the Sierra Grill, New City Brewery, the UMass Amherst Fine Arts Center (and right now the Big E in Springfield): How do you choose what to see?

Progression Brewing Company, in downtown Northampton, has also stepped into that mix in the last several months, giving you even more choices — or tough decisions to make, depending on how you look at it. The Pearl Street beer pub and brewery hosted a number of shows in June that were part of the Strong and Pleasant Music Festival, and they’ve also established their own performance schedule.

Tonight (Friday, Sept. 13), beginning at 7:30 p.m., you can hear StompBoxTrio (pictured above), which plays a mix of classic blues, soul and funk with what the group calls “21st-century sonic mojo.”  The trio is made up of Evelyn Harris on vocals and percussion, John Cabán on dobro steel guitar, vocals & stompbox (analog bass-drum pedal), and David Rodriguez on wood bass, vocals and foot tambourine. It’s a free show, too.

And on Thursday, Sept. 19, there’s a three-for-one involving members of popular local bands who will play in different configurations. Canadian Tuxedos is comprised of members of Bella’s Bartok and Mamma’s Marmalade, with a sound defined as “trash grass,” in which they play everything from Iron Maiden to Shania Twain. It’s “group karaoke without microphones.” 

The show, from 8 p.m. to midnight, will also feature The Hanged Man, led by Asher Putnam of Bella’s Bartok on guitar and vocals; the group’s repertoire is “doom folk and apocalyptic country music for these trying times.” Last but not least is the solo project of vocalist/multi-instrumentalist Amory Drennan, another Bella’s Bartok mainstay who will showcase the songs “that have shaped his life and musical sensibilities.”

Tickets for the Sept. 19 show are $8. Visit for more information.

— Steve Pfarrer

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