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If You Must Go Out

Saturday- May 8: Hancock Shaker Village Baby Animals (10AM- 4PM)

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Hancock Shaker Village, every spring, presents their signature event, Baby Animals. Yes, you will be navigating tons of little kids, and the best times to go are probably when you are at work, but this event never disappoints. Bring the kids, or bring a date because who doesn’t like to look at tiny baby animals. HSV Baby Animals, also, is a guaranteed first / second date winner if you want to keep that special lady around or if you are having trouble closing the deal.

Saturday: Rev Tor Solo at Port Smitt’s (7:30)

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Early spring, to me, is as great a time to listen to music as any. Of all the bands in Pittsfield, I have known Rev Tor to be one of the most entertaining and enduring acts in the county. If your only gripe is that current local bands aren’t writing many original tunes then you might enjoy Rev Tor because he does an admirable job of covering Grateful Dead-like tunes that you may not recognize. No word on a cover charge…

Saturday: Lyme Disease “The Current State of Research and Prevention” at Berkshire Botanical Gardens 10AM- 12PM

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So there really was a time when you could hike for the day and not worry about having at least three ticks already embedded when you get home. My hiking was curbed by this boom in the tick population and the discovery, after one amazing hike of 8 ticks on me and one in my nipple, but if there existed a product that could allow me to enjoy the woods like I used to I would certainly give it a try.

 

Listen to Tunes

Slade: Slayed?

http://ecx.images-amazon.com/images/I/71Em1ygW0jL._SY355_.jpgOne of the great, unanswered questions about Slade is, “why weren’t they accepted by American audiences?” I have been thinking about, and playing, this record more lately because Slade is the butt of a few jokes on HBO vinyl and I wanted to know why. When I spun this record I noticed what I thought I’d notice: Slade is a hard(er) rock group in similar in style to the glam acts of the early 70’s distinguishable from a classic rock radio act of the time by nothing. What is confusing about them, though, is the fact that their music is so radio oriented and catchy, yet they never hit it big in state-side. To make matters even worse for these forgotten lads is the fact that shitty Quiet Riot ripped these guys off, as much as any band ripped off another band in rock history, and attained, at least, a modicum of success in the US. Slade is worth a listen if you like early AC/DC. Let this YouTube comparison by some absolute tool holding his video game guitar educate you in the ways of rock and roll.

Benjamin Booker: Live at 3rd Man Records

http://thirdmanstore.com/media/catalog/product/cache/1/image/9df78eab33525d08d6e5fb8d27136e95/t/m/tmr293_back_550.jpgBenjamin Booker is similar to Gary Clark Junior in that both try to play a Hendrix inspired blues rock. However, Booker, who has a soft welcoming vocal style, sounds like he is also influenced by Big Brother and the Holding Company as well as Stevie Ray Vaughan. Booker’s studio albums are not anywhere as good as his live albums, and Live at 3rd Man has this rock and roll energy that is hard to find in contemporary live rock albums because so few really exist for comparison.

Aerosmith: Aerosmith

…because you need me to tell you in my cool blog post how cool Aerosmith became. I mention this album because I never listened to it- outside of the 8,000 times a day I can hear “Dream On” on classic rock radio- though I was surprised to hear how gritty and bluesy the B sides are.

If Faced With the Dilemma of What to Watch: NHL Playoffs v. NBA Playoffs

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Excitement: NHL games have fewer goals scored, and the puck moves in a manner (because of the obvious presence of ice) in such a frenetic manner akin to nothing else in sports. The NBA relies on foot speed and the vertical abilities of world class athletes, but the pace of the game suffers because of the fact that these guys ran on hardwood for 82 games. Plus hockey collisions…I side with the NHL playoff game on this.

Local Appeal: Celtics are in; B’s are not. However, the Islanders are a good team this year, and guys in their late 40’s love them because they remember the early 80’s exciting Islander teams. Now, if given the choice between a hockey game with no local draw and an NBA game with no local draw, I would look to the NBA game thinking I might be able to be interested in an individual player like Steph Curry…NBA…

Verdict: Watch the NBA playoffs if only because the Celtics have a shot of winning in the first round and giving the Cavs a scare. There are few compelling teams outside of the Islanders in the Stanley Cup Playoffs, and, even if the Celtics don’t win the Eastern Conference, a Spurs v. Warriors match-up in the West final will be show you pro hoops at its best.

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Red Sox v. Blue Jays: Our worst seasons in baseball occur when the B’jays make the playoffs. The Sox, featuring a dynamite lineup to go with great defense and a shaky pitching staff, have the B’jays number this season, but it is early.

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