cozy praise from Rosie Caine…

January 20th, 2011

“…how magical the space is ..filled with diners ..marvelous food ..It is unique in the area ..out classing the Iron Horse by a mile or anywhere that is presenting music and food …Even met the famous Ed ..He sure is a mover and shaker ..We are so excited to have such a sophisticated venue in Greenfield that also has a really warm ambiance”

a rock melange

December 7th, 2010

After a whirlwind week of last-minute promotional hustle, yours truly pulled off his very first booking at the Block, graphic-artistically and otherwise assisted by his chief bromantic interest, Andrew Greenstone.

Valley-grown story-timers Dog Street endeared:

Cameron Toy brought an eponymous, solo-boy joy:

Chris Jennings, front man for the Sun Parade, warbled a heart-in-throat croon to make ’em swoon. Who knew?

Subsequent the drum-challenging jams of Lord Jeff, who packed a penultimate whallop, School For Robots, otherwise known as Squirrels For Reeboks, nerd-rocked what was left of us into a last-ditch choreographic bliss. Thanks to you, Rockbots from Beantown!

And let’s not forget Arts Block’s most steadfast stars, its uncommonly cookery:

(photography by Ilana Panich-Linsman)

Step one, two

October 22nd, 2010

Everyone knows that when the shoe fits, conventional wisdom says to wear it. But what to do when shoes groove? The experts professed the answer at the Block of Arts last Friday by begging the question. Given the Groove Shoes, shoes groove. It was a beautifully closed circuit. This sumptuous and sidereal six-some from Turners Falls cut a deep, funk-filled pocket into the slacks of downtown Greenfield, and all I or anyone else could do was step to it.

On a very non-peripheral side-note, Geoff Vidal’s CD release party is tomorrow!

Vidalian saxophonics, Akashic Record

September 21st, 2010

Who blew such saxy steams on the last of last week’s eves? Mr. Geoff Vidal, bringing most bodacious brass from the two newnesses of York and Orleans, did, in fact. Ears were coddled and musical intellects prodded by standard renditions as well as originals from his forthcoming album, “She Likes That” (click here for a sample).

Thank the Mind of God and its universal supercomputer that the music of Akashic Record, who performed to precious few on Saturday night, is soon to take a significantly less ethereal form than the cosmic medium to which its name alludes. That is to say, their album will be released (alas, not on the Arts & Music Factory label) in October.

First Supper

September 6th, 2010

a dark dinner viewWhatever happened dims in depiction as a matter of principle, but this is especially true when the depicter has only camera phone captures to go on. Shown above is a low-light, mid-table view of the inaugural grub served up at the Arts Block this past Saturday. It conveys nothing of the deliciousness, but maybe something of the ambiance and intimacy. Farmer’s market ingredients, green and piscine and nutty sweet, conspired in the hands of our mighty master chef, Sarah Klein, to great gastronomic effect.

And now, feast your eyes upon our ice box, as proudly presented by the lovely Annie Thompson:Annie T. and the Ice Box

scaffolded sounds

September 2nd, 2010

Despite its skeletal exterior, the Arts Block yet swings within. Sandy Bailey and Leah Randazzo, the AMF’s foremost femmes, sang so sweetly in tandem this past Saturday, and I think I speak for all the serenaded in asking for more, please!


August 7th, 2010

Whatta ruckus shook us last night! The Makaya McCraven Project, featuring the doubled dazzle of Jeff D’Antona and Darby Wolf, played to what seemed a low-key crowd, but the grooves flowed so infectiously that folks started frisking in the street. Even muffled by glass, concrete, and stone, Makaya’s drums thundered out like flood-water, hardly keeping beneath the tripples and wails of the Wolf-D’Antona dynamic, and drove the passers-by to participation. I missed the third set (during which, incidentally, my motorcycle ran out of gas while south-bound on route 10 and suggested I walk instead; extra-incidentally, I had been told that a crotch-rocket wasn’t quite becoming of an Arts & Music Factory representative, but we’ll just see whether there’s not room to rock on this block, now won’t we?) and am hoping someone might care to supplement the picture just painted with some eye-witness commentary…

In addition to some of the sickest rhythm God ever gifted, Makaya now also has a baby girl named Maya, perhaps the coolest cucumber ever caught on camera.

Makaya's Maya

What peepers!

finished beginnings

August 2nd, 2010

Having rocked off its first weekend of shows, the Arts Block now rolls restless into the second, but it’s all quite a bit jazzier than that.

Next up (namely Friday) comes Makaya McCraven, hard-hitter extraordinaire, and in his wake (Sunday) sounds the occident-shocking stylings of Eastern Blok, a Chicago-based ensemble channeling more of the Middle East than its Midwestern milieu might suggest.

Be savvy and buy your tickets in advance!

up and running and coming

July 19th, 2010

It’s on! The Arts Block squats tall on the corner of Federal and Main, and shows are booked for the near future of the Café and beyond! First up is the veritable virtuosity of saxophonist Geoff Vidal, followed by the likes (local and otherwise) of Jeff D’Antona, Pierre du Beauport, Makaya McCraven, Eastern Blok, Charlie D, Sandy Bailey, the Jazz Demolition Project, Jeremy Milligan, and Leah Randazzo.

Archiving old slides of my father’s paintings, I came across this wintry reminiscence of downtown Greenfield in 1972. The Pushkin is pretty much front-and-center, the north-west corner of the Arts Block doing what corners do on the bottom right. It doesn’t take a photophile to notice that the colors are a little washed-out, but such was once the bleakness of good old Greenfield. Nevermore!

Downtown Greenfield in 1972

Greenfield Ago

a brand new spew

June 14th, 2010

The Arts & Music Factory has hereby blown its first bubbles into the blog-o-sphere, where bubbles are bona fides and even gibberish is fit to print.

Downtown Greenfield is up-and-coming, the arts heart of the Pioneer Valley north of Northampton! Come on, come all, the ArtsBlock BlogTalk fills the hall!

Incidentally, by way of commemorating the freshness of AMF’s web presence, I’d like to give a disclaimant shout-out to our unwitting sister-institution on the West Coast. What’s the difference between art & arts, besides the extra sssibilance?