Darlingside are a home-grown treat for music fans. Based in Northhampton, MA, this string-rock quintet raises the bar for musicianship among their pop-rock peers, making music at the intersection of rock, classical, and folk music. The band just released their debut full-length album ‘Pilot Machines’ and are currently shaking rafters along the eastern seaboard with their vibrant live shows.
Pilot Machines, was recorded with producer Nathaniel Kunkel (Sting, Crosby/Nash, Maroon 5). Darlingside takes their audience on a meticulously-crafted journey into and back out of a song, a journey through layers of sound. Mandolin, cello, guitar, drums, a vibrating chorus of vocals and the songwriting efforts of each of five members make for a rich sonic experience.
April 13th they appear on home turf at Mass MoCA, always a hotbed of the up and coming.
Enjoy a sampling of their music at their website. Tickets for this hometown appearance are available at the Mass MoCA website.
The way we post about all of the highlights of Tanglewood, you’d think the Berkshires are a one-event kind of place, but there’s much more to the Berkshires than JUST a certain fabulous internationally-renowned music festival.
Coming to the Mahaiwe Performing Arts Center on Friday, April 26, Cirque Shanghai brings their breathtaking acrobatic artistry to the Berkshires for your viewing enjoyment. The Chinese acrobatics tradition is an old one, dating back to the Han Dynasty, more than 2,000 years ago. “Bai xi,” or “100 amazing acts,” was the first name for these performance spectacles, and the performers were thought to have limitless talents, because they knew so many tricks. Classic feats are curated into a modern production that should prove genuinely amazing and highly entertaining. The scenery, the costumes, and of course the acrobatics, are designed to delight.
And then there’s the Mahaiwe itself – a treasure left from the days of vaudeville, it was built in 1905 and is one of the oldest surviving theaters in the country. Like many of its era, once the golden days of vaudeville came to a close, the Mahaiwe was repurposed, transformed into a movie theater in 1930. It was reborn as a performing arts center in the modern sense, in 2002, and is now listed on the National Register of Historic Places.
A unique and fascinating show in a unique and historical theater, in the world-famous Berkshires.
A sweet selection of the pop-world’s tastiest offerings are included in this year’s Tanglewood lineup: Barenaked Ladies, the Ben Folds Five and Guster.
Barenaked Ladies, a legendary Canadian export, are touring in support of their most recent (and 11th) album “All In Good Time”. They have recently shrunk, from a quintet to a quartet, and return to their roots on this album with the same producer who produced their first album – Michael Philip Wojewoda. The material on the new album grew out of a difficult year for their lead singer, Ed Robertson. An arrest, a plane crash, the death of a parent. Weaving pop music from the threads in these dark corners of life was a welcome challenge for Robinson.
The “Ladies” are joined on this tour by the Ben Folds Five, a band followed by fans who border on obsessed even 10 years since they broke up. It’s easy to see why – their musicality, lyrics, quirk and piano-driven song-craft are inventive, catchy, and honest. They have reconvened on this album with the hope that fans can listen like they are hearing them for the first time. More likely, fans will come to it ready to love them all over again. Even listeners who may not be naturally inclined to love pop music will appreciate their clever musicality.
Rounding out this pop-triumvirate: Guster. Another band with a loyal following, pop cred, thoughtful song-smithing and wide appeal.
This stop of the Last Summer On Earth Tour includes a downloadable copy of the new Barenaked Ladies album with each ticket purchased. Tickets are $27.50-$79.50 through the BSO website. This should be a great show for a summer evening.
May is a beautiful time in the Berkshires, and the Memorial Day Races will let you see the best of ‘em.
Scheduled for May 25 and 26, now is the time to register to participate in the Marathon, Half Marathon, 10K, 5K, Trail Runs and Kids Race. This is the 4th Annual running of the Memorial Day Races. It will be a busy weekend in Lenox, and you want to make sure you have a place to call home while you’re here.
The marathon itself runs a challenging, mostly rural course, with lots of hills at the end to challenge you. Veterans report that the race takes no prisoners in its later miles (the ½ Marathon, 10K and 5K might be a better choice for newer runners who want to check out the scene). The website boasts that this is the “Toughest Marathon In The East”: “Heartbreak Hill has nothing on Prospect Hill! Take on this beautiful & challenging course as it winds its way through the Historic towns of Lenox, Stockbridge & Great Barrington culminating with the daunting Prospect Hill.” Scenic wooded roads, lead you on an expert tour of the Berkshires, and at the end, personalized dog tags, rather than medals, are in keeping with the Memorial Day theme.
The races start at Tanglewood, right here in Lenox. Hampton Terrace is located just a three minute drive from Tanglewood, or about 1.5 miles (so it’s also walkable).
Registration fees increase as the weekend nears, and lodging will fill – don’t miss out.
The website for the event is a great resource, and includes a Course Map , Frequently Asked Questions page, Race Info by race, Training Information and Past Race Trivia, including winning times.
July 13th, don’t miss what is sure to be a very special event in this year’s Tanglewood 2013 Season – a performance of Bernstein’s West Side Story score. Much more than a concert, it’s a live movie experience, with the newly remastered film shown as the orchestra plays along – complete with original vocals and dialogue.
West Side Story is a truly American interpretation of an old, old tale – of a love that cannot be, but which the lovers cannot turn away from. Leonard Bernstein’s score simultaneously evokes a specific time and place, but is also an unforgettable music experience that has made the story a classic. The film won ten Academy Awards following its 1961 release.
This will be the debut of conductor David Newman, with the Boston Symphony Orchestra. The performance on the evening of July 13th will be preceded by a Saturday morning rehearsal at 10:30am. The rehearsal features the orchestra only -- the film will not be shown and the entire score will not be performed. It could be a very interesting experience, however, for fans of the score, or those who simply love a behind-the-scenes peek.
Tickets for this special performance are $20-$150 and tickets for the sneak-peek morning rehearsal at $10-$30. This will be a popular performance, so make sure to book your Hampton Terrace rooms well in advance – they will fill, and you don’t want to miss our breakfast as a part of your Tanglewood experience.
It's impossible to pick just one reason that Hampton Terrace and the Berkshires make for an unforgettable vacation experience...so here's a few:
Gilded Age charm: Hampton Terrace is a historic landmark that reflects the tastes and charms of an opulent age, the Gilded Age. The Gilded Age followed the Civil War and lasted until approximately the turn of the twentieth century. It was a time of tremendous industrial growth in the United States, and the families that benefited from the growth of the key industries of the era (like railroads, manufacturing and mining) left their mark on the Berkshires, in the beautiful homes that they built. Hampton Terrace is one of the “cottages” built in that era that remains to greet visitors. From claw-foot bathtubs to the intricate details throughout, you will experience the difference.
Ventfort Hall: Our neighbor, Ventfort Hall Museum, is another treasure of that time period, and gives you another window to Gilded Age beauty and history.
Modern amenities: Though Hampton Terrace is a Gilded Age cottage it is, indeed, a citizen of the 21st Century. We have free Wi-Fi for guests, a heated outdoor pool (seasonal), and all the amenities that you require to make your trip great.
Easy access: All the restaurants, shops, and attractions in Lenox are less than a two-block walk from our door. Farm–to-table cuisine? It’s here, at Nudel. French patisserie (for those moments when nothing but a French pastry will do)? Patisserie Lenox has you covered. Excellent professional theatre productions? Shakespeare & Co. serves up an evening of theatre, piping hot. And this is just a small sample of what Lenox has to offer.
Experience: An inn since 1937, we know what our guests like and, more importantly, what they don’t. Not only do we have a history of running an inn – but our history is one of doing it well.
Trip Advisor Reviews: We are one of top bed and breakfasts in the Berkshires, according to TripAdvisor.com, and we are number one among our Lenox peers.
A Breakfast You Have To Try: Every single day, we provide our guests with a breakfast that puts a Southern twist to the traditional New England breakfast. It may be the best comfort food you ever have! And with our roots in the South, we bring an authenticity to our Southern breakfast that you’re not likely to find just anywhere in New England.
We Make You A Local: We are always blogging to provide our guest with tips and events that are beyond the tourist traps that other places recommend. To truly know the Berkshires, Hampton Terrace helps you live the Berkshires. Every confirmation includes a list of insider tips to help you plan your stay and a dining guide that singles out the best places to eat. Make sure to check out our previous blog post, a preview of the best annual party in the Berkshires – and the Hampton Terrace special to accompany the night’s festivities.
Solid, High-End Shopping: A selection of boutiques in downtown Lenox are just steps from our front door, literally. The “downtown” area is less than two blocks from our front door. Plus, the Premium Outlets in Lee are 5 miles away – a 10 minute drive at the most – and many of the small towns nearby have wonderful downtown shopping districts.
Outstanding Culinary Options: This is where the Berkshires really shines. A
culinary renaissance has taken place in recent years and the Berkshires
boasts dining options to match (or surpass!) any major city. For example:
- Nudel is about two blocks away and it does not disappoint. Last year, the chef/owner, Bjorn, was nominated for a James Beard award and also for the Food & Wine People’s Choice award. Every day, Bjorn prints a new menu inspired by whatever ingredients he found at the markets and co-ops that morning.
- Spice Dragon: Opened as just Spice in 2006, and then Jae’s Spice, at the cost of $4.5 million, it was the centerpiece of Pittsfield’s downtown renewal. Ultimately, the original owner could not sustain the overhead. Now it is run by local Vietnamese brothers, one of whom won America’s Top Chef.
- Wheatleigh/Blantyre for meals completely over the top - ambiance and price to match. These are two of the more castle-like Berkshire Cottages that have become resort hotels, with rooms at $1,000 and up. Both are now open year-round and feature price-fix menus at roughly $80 to $165/person depending on whether you get three courses or six. Both feature prominent chefs and impeccable staff. The drive is less than 5 minutes to either. Wheatleigh also offers an a la carte option if you eat in their Library.
- Chocolate Springs Café: Located in the new Lenox Commons, several blocks north of the village, this café is a MUST stop for dessert and coffee. The chef, formerly of Wheatleigh, has been named one of the Top Ten Chocolate Makers in the U.S. by Saveur Magazine.
These are just a few of the many fantastic restaurants that we spotlight in the Dining Guide we send to all guests to help plan their stay.
In addition to the shopping and dining, The Berkshires are a fine-arts lover’s dream. There is:
Or, if travelers are more interested in relaxation there is:
- World-class spa at Canyon Ranch, less than a mile away
- World-class yoga at Kripalu, about two miles from Hampton Terrace
- Fantastic golf at Cranwell Resort, a little more than two miles away
When you stay at Hampton Terrace, you will never have to wonder what's happening in the Berkshires.
We've always promised we'll let you know when cool stuff is going on in the Berkshires. Mark your calendars. The – hands down – coolest party of the year is March 9 and, incidentally, Susan and I are chairing the event. The annual fundraising event for the IS183 Art School is an outrageous affair every year.
Previous themes included "Anime Hothouse", "Hair Ball" and "Radioactive Bodega". Last year's party was the "Buckaroo Bollywood Ball.” Of course, we have a great special for you at Hampton Terrace that weekend…but more on that in a moment.
Confirmed partygoers are already planning their outfits for the event, as every year they try to devise costumes that will be more elaborate than last year's. Some will be dressed for the party at the creative center of the universe in space-suits and skinny ties, others in retro-swing dresses and pin curls beneath gamma-ray protecting helmets. Those needing more inspiration can see pictures and ideas at the event’s website.
IS183’s annual galas have evolved into ephemeral, large-scale participatory art events, as scores of volunteers contribute time and creativity to construct a one-night-only multimedia installation, and this year will be no exception. Projections by Drew Suto will flow around dancers electro-swinging until 1 a.m. thanks to music by JTD Productions, featuring a contemporary mash-up of house and dance music with jazz and big band.
We’re so excited about the event, we’d like to invite as many of our friends to attend as possible. Anyone who books a two-night stay at Hampton Terrace for the weekend will receive two complimentary tickets to join Susan and I at the dance party (a $100 value).
If you want to attend a party hosted by Don Draper in outer space, you won't want to miss this one. Type BigBang in the "arrival time" field when you book online to have your dance party tickets waiting for you when you arrive. If you’d like to enjoy more of the event, tickets at all levels can be purchased online at www.is183.org, or call 413-298-5252 x100.
No sooner have the tickets gone on sale for Tanglewood 2013 than they have already added more great performances from popular artists: The Steve Miller Band and NPR’s “Wait Wait. Don’t Tell Me!”
Fresh from Tanglewood headquarters “One of rock music's all-time greats, the Steve Miller Band has sold more than 30 million records in a career spanning more than 40 years.” We all know songs like “The Joker” – and now you can see them live.
NPR fans, you won’t want to miss “Wait Wait. Don't Tell Me!
The Oddly Informative News Quiz”, Saturday, August 29, at 8pm, also at Tanglewood’s Shed.
According to the official Tanglewood release “Now in its 15th season, the Peabody Award-winning show, “Wait Wait. Don't Tell Me!”, uses current stories (from the global to the ridiculous) for questions and comedy.” Host Peter Sagal, is accompanied by a hilarious and extremely clever ensemble of regulars and guests who make current events into instant comedy while-you-watch. Easily enjoyable for those not already familiar with the show, too -- which makes it a great choice for a group outing.
February 11 at 10am, Tanglewood donors can call SymphonyCharge at 617-266-1200 or 888-266-1200 (Mon-Fri, 10am-6pm, Sat 12 noon-6pm) or go online to tanglewood.org for tickets for the Steve Miller Band or Wait Wait. Limit of 8 tickets per performance, per donor. As thanks for your support, there is no per ticket fee until February 19. Tickets go on sale to the public on Tuesday, February 19.
Big names and big performances are schedule for this summer’s Tanglewood Festival, and tickets are on sale NOW. Audra MacDonald, John Williams, Joshua Bell, Yo-yo Ma, Emanuel Ax, and a thoroughly all-star roster of featured conductors and soloists join the Boston Symphony Orchestra in bringing you the best of Mozart, Verdi and Wagner (in celebration of the bicentennial celebrations of their birth), and many more.
In addition to the sterling performances of classical music, trademark of any Tanglewood season, this season also promises popular music, dance, and radio performances you won’t soon forget.
A Prairie Home Companion returns to Tanglewood this season on June 29th, for an evening of music, humor and fun with renowned story-teller, Garrison Keillor and company.
Grateful Dead fans, rejoice. On June 22nd, the Boston Pops Orchestra performs a Jerry Garcia Symphonic Celebration, featuring “original compositions as well as timeless standards”.
After 15 years, Jackson Browne returns to Tanglewood, for a special July 4th concert to be followed by a fireworks display.
On July 13th, the Boston Symphony Orchestra tackles a live performance of West Side Story, pairing Bernstein’s iconic score with the newly, re-mastered film, shown in high definition.
These are just the highlights of what we anticipate will be another unforgettable summer in the Berkshires. Book now for best availability of tickets to the shows – as well as lodging. We are here to answer any questions that you may have regarding room availability and accommodations here at Hampton Terrace. We look forward to your visit.
James Taylor is popping up in the headlines recently, with a couple of interesting and completely different stories.
It was reported earlier this month that musician James Taylor had found a novel use for social media. He took to Facebook to help a church purchase a pipe organ. Apparently, the musician had seen a recent news article, featuring the congregation of St. Paul’s Episcopal Church in Jeffersonville, IN, and its desire to complete the renovation of their church, with the installation of a pipe organ. The church had been nicknamed the “James Taylor” church because it had been damaged by rain floods three times since 1937 (most recently in ’07 and ’09) and by fire in 1981. They were given a pipe organ to accomplish their goal, but did not have the $45,000 needed to transport and install it.
Taylor’s assistant contacted the church, and Taylor took to Facebook to publicize the church’s project, to a rapid and enthusiastic response (1300 likes and 200 shares in under 24 hours). Taylor has also donated a piece of autographed music from his own collection – for the church to auction off as a fundraiser. The featured song? Fire and Rain, of course.
It has also been announced that he is a featured performer scheduled to appear at Obama’s second inauguration. He joins a roster that includes Beyoncé, and Kelly Clarkson. Interestingly, all of the performers were selected personally by the President. It’s hard not to wonder if the first family may have made some suggestions of their own. The inauguration festivities take place all through the weekend until the public inauguration ceremony on Monday, January 21st. CBS will be covering the event.