March 14, 2006
Retrograde motion is the apparent backwards motion of a planet as it revolves around the sun. It is akin to the optical illusion that occurs while riding in a car on the highway alongside a train. Due to variations in speed, the train appears at times to be moving backwards, relative to the speed of the car in which you are riding. Likewise, from the perspective of the faster moving planet, the slower planet appears to be moving backwards.

In general, Mercury rules thinking and perception, processing and disseminating information and all means of communication, commerce and transportation. By extension, Mercury rules people who work in these areas, especially people who work with their minds or their wits: writers and orators, commentators and critics, gossips and spin doctors, tricksters and thieves. <--Oh My! Think Hamburgler and OJ.

Mercury retrograde gives rise to personal misunderstandings; flawed, disrupted, or delayed communications, negotiations and trade; glitches and breakdowns with phones, computers, cars, buses, and trains. And all of these problems usually arise because some crucial piece of information, or component, has gone astray, or awry.

It is therefore not wise to make important decisions while Mercury is retrograde, since it is very likely that these decisions will be clouded by misinformation, poor communication and careless thinking. Mercury is all about mental clarity and the power of the mind, so when Mercury is retrograde, these intellectual characteristics tend to be less acute than usual, as the critical faculties are dimmed.

Even though Mercury is retrograde, I bought a bidet today. And got a perm. To be closer to God.

Lil Rocket Girl Debut
Rocket Girl Betsy-Dawn Williams, set to Blast Off

Recently signed to the roots music label El Toro Records in Barcelona, Spain and armed with her new CD release, “Rocket Girl”, Betsy-Dawn Williams is letting the cat out of the bag at The Elevens in Northampton, on Friday March 17.

Williams, who’s musical meanderings are embedded in roots music, and known for playing in the honkytonk band Girl Howdy, and the zydeco-influenced R&B band Slippery Sneakers, will be showing her rockin’ side with this new project, “Li’l BeeDee & the Big Melodee Combo”.

Joining her will be Jeff Potter on piano, who once teamed up with BeeDee in a former roots rock band project, is back on the track getting the rock & roll train going again.

Also on hand will be Graham Tichy (son of Commander Cody guitarman John Tichy) on lead guitar, who is well known in the Albany area as the premier rockabilly guitar cat, along with Jimmy Haggerty on string bass and Clark Howell on drums.
Potter, Tichy & Haggerty comprised the core of musicians on her CD “Rocket Girl”. These guys are the kind of players who really showcase the rockabilly sound that keeps the “roll” in rock & roll.
Li’l BeeDee & The Big Melodee Combo hit the stage at 7pm, Friday March 17, 2006 $8 at the door. The Elevens is at 140 Pleasant Street, Northampton, MA

Celebrating the music and cuisine of Ireland
Northampton Community Music Center
139 South Street, Northampton, MA 01060

(413) 585-0001

MUSIC CENTER HOLDS ANNUAL MUSICAL FEAST Celebrating the Music and Cuisine of Ireland On Sunday March 19, 2006 at 5:30 pm, the Northampton Community Music Center will have its third annual "Musical Feast."

Each year, the event celebrates the music and cuisine of one region. This year, the Musical Feast will showcase Ireland, with music by two prominent local Irish bands, Shay's Rebellion and Selkie, and contemporary Irish cuisine prepared by Irish-born Chef Michael Corduff.

The event will take place at the Delaney House, and the evening will consist of an elegant four-course dinner, musical performances, and a silent auction.

The dinner menu will feature such items as "Dublin Cheddar and Chive Soup," "Roasted Leg of Lamb with Mint Demi-Glace," and "Bailey's Chocolate Ganache Cake." The Silent Auction will feature, among other things, a Yamaha P22 45" Upright Professional Collection piano; a week's vacation at an inn in Vermont; a private aerial sight-seeing tour, and a framed, signed, limited edition lithograph by Eric Carle.
Now in its 20th year, the Northampton Community Music Center is a not- for-profit organization whose mission is "to foster the love and pursuit of music within the community through quality musical education, performances, and activities that are accessible to all." NCMC's talented faculty offer a diverse range of musical programs to more than 700 participants a year—both adullts and children—and bring concerts and other musical evvents to hundreds more in our surrounding communities, uniting people of all ages and backgrounds through the shared experience of music. NCMC is the only music program in Hampshire County that offers financial aid: no qualifying student has ever been denied scholarship.
The Musical Feast has been generously underwritten by The Log Cabin & The Delaney House, Bank of America, Duseau Trucking, 88.5 FM/WFCR, and Wright Builders, Inc.

Attendance at the Musical Feast is $75 per person, which includes the dinner and a glass of wine or Guinness. Seating is limited and reservations are required; call the Music Center immediately at (413) 585-0001 to reserve your spot

Including Slide Slam from the NEXT artists

Lilliana Pereira Image
At the March Creative Cocktail Hour on Thursday, March 16, there will be a Slide Slam from the NEXT artists, and a preview of art submissions for the Real pARTy.

For more information and directions see the Real Art Ways website at

The real art party wHere they are giving out the submitted art is April 8th. See work by OUR Liliana Pereira at the slide slam and also at

I decided to look up the directions for you so here you go:
From 91 South take I-84 West in Hartford
Take Exit 46 - Sisson Avenue.
At the end of the long exit ramp, turn left at the light , onto Sisson Avenue. Very quickly you come to another light (Capitol Avenue); turn left.
Your third right is Arbor Street (if you pass the UHaul you've gone too far.)
Turn right onto Arbor Street; you will immediately see our large sign on the left. Turn into the driveway at the sign, and proceed all the way to the back of the building.
You will see lights, windows, an entry way, and people. Park (not on the people) and come in!

March 1 - 31, 2006 at Lathrop Community of Easthampton
SEEING DOUBLE is a joint exhibit from painter and printmaker, Kate Jenkins, and her husband, photographer Ben Jenkins. Ben's color landscape photographs and Kate's impressionistic monoprints and paintings are hung together, revealing each artist's vision of the same locations. Seeing their work together adds an interesting dimension to the viewers' appreciation of the individual works.
March 1 - 31, 2006 at Lathrop Community of Easthampton, 100 Bassett Brook Drive, Easthampton. (off Florence Road at the Northampton - Easthampton town line)

Looks like a great place to list yourself or your performance group is an online cultural marketplace designed to bring together New England's performing artists and the people and organizations wishing to present them. This free website features an easy-to- search directory of artists, performance spaces and presenting organizations, designed to 'MATCH' artists with presenters that 'BOOK' them to perform.

New England Foundation for the Arts and Massachusetts Cultural Council are's lead development and administrative partners.

Other partners include: Vermont Arts Council, New Hampshire State Council on the Arts, Maine Arts Commission, Rhode Island State Council on the Arts, and Connecticut Commission on Culture and Tourism.
FUNDERS is generously funded by the U.S. Department of Commerce, Technology Opportunities Program of the National Telecommunications and Information Administration; and The Boston Foundation.

For questions or comments, contact the team at 617-951-0010 x29 or

CALL FOR SUBMISSIONS: SOLO 06 at Bromfield Gallery
Must not have previously had a solo show at a commercial gallery.
Contact: Gary Duehr,

Gary Duehr, a Somerville artist who managed Bromfield Gallery, would like to invite submissions to the Bromfield's annual SOLO COMPETITION.

You may email Gary at if you have questions.

SOLO 06 Exhibition Competition

Juried by Nick Capasso, Curator, DeCordova Museum and Sculpture Park, this contest will award each of two winners a solo exhibition in January, 2007 at Bromfield Gallery. Open to Northeast artists in all media who have not had a solo show in a commercial gallery (university galleries, art centers, libraries, etc. do not disqualify).

Postmark deadline: May 1, 2006. Fee: $30 Send 5 slides, slide list, resume, statement, and SASE.

For full prospectus, visit or send SASE to SOLO 06, Bromfield Gallery, 450 Harrison Ave., Boston, 02118.

Long ago in a time before tumble dryers there was Undieworld
A fiefdom of freshly laundered flapping fanny rags. John Allen, known by most as the morning DJ of WRNX 100.9 and the lead singer of the Big Bad Bollocks takes to the stage at the Academy of Music on Saturday March 18th at 8PM.

“What affect this constant exposure to the undergarments of my village's elderly matriarchs had on myself and the other children is chronicled in UNDIEWORLD-THE STAGE SHOW”.

A musicy thing featuring the songs of the Big Bad Bollocks and Sir Tom Jones, UNDIEWORLD is the stage adaptation of a short story by Allen recently published in the Massachusetts Review.

UNDIEWORLD is a community extravaganza bringing together the Big Bad Bollocks, a few of the women from the Young @ Heart Chorus, some local urchins, Chris O’Connor as Sir Tom Jones,
and Jimmy Crack – a roving poet/singer from Wichita Kansas who found John on the radio, and was inspired to write his own ode to underwear.

Purchase UNDIEWORLD tickets ($10 in advance, $12 day of show) from the Academy of Music, State Street Fruit Store and the Northampton Arts Council in Northampton, Coopers Corner in Florence and For the Record in Amherst.
UNDIEWORLD is presented by the Northampton Arts Council and sponsored by Marmite, Faces, The Valley Advocate, and WRNX 100.9. Check out for more information.

Don’t miss the short, wide-but not so tall tale-of one lad’s lingering look at lingerie.

Playing Now
Playing September 8 - October 16

Ken Tigar, following an electric performance as Willy Loman in Death Of A Salesman, returns to the Majestic stage as Willie Clark in this classic comedy about two down-on-their fame vaudevillians.
The play begins eleven years after the breakup of Lewis and Clark, when Al Lewis decided that forty-three years of both vaudeville and Willie were enough for him.
Since then Willie has refused any and all contact with his former partner.
But now, a one-shot opportunity to be in the limelight again arises. Can these two grumpy old has-beens come together long enough to reenact their famous "Doctor" skit on a network television special about the history of comedy?
Or, will their oil and water personalities make the next Lewis & Clark reunion the Actors' Retirement Home in New Jersey.

THE SUNSHINE BOYS is vintage Neil Simon that will not only tickle your funny bone but also tug at your heartstrings. For tickets and times -

excerpted without permission from a review in The Republican:

... The playwright reaches for, and achieves, depth during two fantasy vignettes in which the characters step out of their limitations. In one, Norman dances with Sheila, a woman with the mind of a child (sweetly played by Kelsey Flynn in a colorful costume designed by Ilene Goldstein). Norman and Sheila, who fall in love and court in often comic ways, step haltingly onto the floor of a community center and then, as colored lights revolve, begin to dance with the grace of professionals.

In the other sequence, Lucien has been called to speak before a committee investigating the status of his benefits. At first he stammers and repeats himself, then stands straight and in a dignified voice lists for the audience the many things that confuse and mystify him. ...

Deadline is March 30

Site: Entrance to Amherst's underground garage near Boltwood Walk

The concrete sidewalls of the car entrance are each divided into five large and five small panels; the project covers the five large panels on each side (10'x3.5", 10'x5.5', 10'x7.5',10'x9.5',11'xll.5')

The design may extend across the small panels

Specifications: Artist lives or maintains a studio in the Pioneer Valley
Media: Paint (special concrete paint provided by the Commission)
Design: architectural designs and details of buildings in Amherst
Painting will take place during summer 2006
Submission requirements: Colored scale drawings, Narrative describing the design elements, Completed application form

See Terry Rooney for application by emailing her at (below) Award: $1000 Deadlines: For submission March 31, 2006 For award May 1, 2006

whose generosity is so sweet and appreciated.
Special thanks to Terry and Bette who brought us this week's newsletter.


Halos are caused by the light of the sun or moon passing through a very thin layer of cirruform (ice- crystal) clouds in the upper atmosphere.

The ice crystals refract the light of the moon, similar to the way water droplets in the lower atmosphere can refract sunlight to produce a rainbow.

Just like a rainbow, strong halos can have bands of color in them, due to slightly different refractive properties of the ice crystals for different colors.

and here's where it gets crazy!---> Essentially, halos ARE rainbows caused by primary refraction in ice crystals.

Does this not remind you of that scene in Fargo?
Federal Duck Stamp Contest

Opening Date: June 1, 2006. Entry fee: $125

U.S. citizens, nationals, or resident aliens are eligible to participate. All entrants must be at least 18 years of age by June 1. This year's contest will be held on Friday, October 6 through Saturday, October 7, 2006 with entries on display at the Memphis College of Art, 1930 Poplar Ave., Memphis, TN 38104.
The winning artist receives publicity and media recognition, a pane of Duck Stamps signed by the Secretary of the Interior, select travel to ceremonies, guest speaker at special events and opportunity to market their winning image.
Postmarked not later than midnight August 15, 2006.

For entry guidelines and application criteria contact
Federal Duck Stamp Contest, U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service, 4401 North Fairfax Drive, MBSP- 4070, Arlington, VA 22203-1622. Phone: 703.358.2000. Fax: 703.358.2009. Website:
221 Pine Street, #408 Florence, MA 01062

OLD NEWSLETTERS ARE POSTED HERE. Most of the content in this newsletter is cut and pasted from emails sent to me. If names, dates or venues are incorrect I DON'T EVEN apologize. I don't often verify information but when I see and recognize errors I do make corrections. Any local arts etc event info is a welcome addition to newsletters. Simply email to me and I will add it. Thanks!

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