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Bloodshot Records celebrates 20 years with milestone compilation

November 26, 2014

It being Thanksgiving week, it seems appropriate that Ear Bliss give thanks to music in one form or the other. In particular, we are thankful for the release of two new collections. The band Big Star arose out of Memphis in the early 1970s with high hopes that never materialized from the commercial success perspective. Even still, it is often cited as one of the most influential rock bands of all time, one that extended from REM to the Replacements.

Woodworking experts display avian masterpieces

November 26, 2014

BRISTOL—“I take everything away that isn’t a bird, and what’s left is a bird.” Hmmm
 if that instruction on bird carving sounds a bit too simple to be true, that’s because it is. And champion bird carver John A. Mello Jr. knows full well it is. Mello, a Rhode Island resident with an elaborate handlebar moustache, is describing his experience carving wildfowl as part of a demonstration session at Rhode Island Audubon’s Bird and Wildlife Carving Exposition.

Local artists open studio doors to public for festivities and sales

November 26, 2014

NORTH KINGSTOWN—Brace yourself for a different kind of party next weekend. The Mill at Shady Lea is opening its doors to the public for its annual can’t-miss Open Studios event, and you're invited.
The weekend-long affair will feature your typical dose of festivities—food, drink, entertainment, socializing—infused with a shopping extravaganza and topped off with showcases and demonstrations by local artists of all kinds. The event is a tradition 17 years in the making and it seems to get bigger and better each time around.

Local artists open studio doors to public for festivities and sales

November 26, 2014

NORTH KINGSTOWN—Brace yourself for a different kind of party next weekend. The Mill at Shady Lea is opening its doors to the public for its annual can’t-miss Open Studios event, and you're invited.
The weekend-long affair will feature your typical dose of festivities—food, drink, entertainment, socializing—infused with a shopping extravaganza and topped off with showcases and demonstrations by local artists of all kinds. The event is a tradition 17 years in the making and it seems to get bigger and better each time around.

Naturalists can be genius and eccentric

November 26, 2014

By the time you read this edition of the Journal, you may well be gearing up for the early, and ever-earlier, Black Friday holiday sales, many of which now start on Indigestion Thursday, right after the Thanksgiving main meal has been finished. I suppose this is a good thing, in that it gives the consumer a bit of time to work off the turkey and stuffing before the pies are rolled out.

Berklee World Strings at The Towers

November 26, 2014

NARRAGANSETT - Move over, Beethoven and Mozart. Berklee World Strings is coming to town this weekend, and conventional classical compositions won’t be echoing through the halls of The Towers.
Instead, the orchestra, comprised of students at Boston’s Berklee College of Music, incorporates styles and genres from around the world. Directed by cellist and Grammy winner Eugene Friesen, the international compilations played by the group are one of a kind.

Unique global musical styles and traditions with Berklee World Strings at The Towers

November 13, 2014

NARRAGANSETT—Move over, Beethoven and Mozart. Berklee World Strings is coming to town this weekend, and conventional classical compositions won’t be echoing through the halls of The Towers.
Instead, the orchestra, comprised of students at Boston’s Berklee College of Music, incorporates styles and genres from around the world. Directed by cellist and Grammy winner Eugene Friesen, the international compilations played by the group are one of a kind.

Bach brings Christmas to Westerly

November 13, 2014

WESTERLY—Although the holiday season has not officially started, the 205 members of the Chorus of Westerly have been preparing for months. They are getting ready to perform “Bach’s Christmas Oratorio”—a classic musical telling of the Christmas story—Sunday, Nov. 23 at The George Kent Performance Hall in downtown Westerly.
“[Johann Sebastian] ‘Bach’s Christmas Oratorio’ is one of the warhorses of classical music,” said Andrew Howell, music director of the Chorus of Westerly, “and this piece is really something special.”

New fish ladders offer social, economic and environmental benefits

November 13, 2014

Construction at two fish ladders on the Saugatucket River has begun at last. In Peace Dale, Narragansett Dock Works has started changing the sluiceway floor height and the pitch in the lift system, which will reduce the occasionally volatile flow of water. As the current design reflects a time when our rivers once were home to fishes like herring, shad, salmon and even sturgeon, the force of water often proves too much for our bluebacks and alewives. Preliminary work has also started at the Main Street site, which is a more extensive renovation.

Get versed in the Caribbean’s culturally rich, and sometimes unsettling, history

November 13, 2014

The lure of the Caribbean Islands is strongest here in the northeast at this time of changing seasons. The warm tropical breezes and island sun calls to many of us as the temperatures begin to hover around the freezing point. The beautiful turquoise waters that appear in any given promotional piece about any Caribbean destination have an almost dream-like quality to it. A quick dip would not even be a consideration. A long and leisurely swim always seems to be the hope. There are dozens of reasons to wish yourself onto any one of the many lovely island getaways just a short plane ride away.

Guitars are golden in this week’s Ear Bliss spotlight

November 13, 2014

Guitar is the focal point of two recent releases in the Ear Bliss spotlight this week. A cult favorite of sorts, six-stringer Steve Gunn has been making brilliant albums since the mid-Aughts. His latest, called “Way Out Weather” with a full band in tow, may just be his finest. The Allah-Las play guitar-based rock rooted in the garage, surf and Latino rock sounds of 1960s Southern California. The band’s sophomore release picks up right where its stellar 2012 self-titled debut left off. Let’s dig in.

Steve Gunn
“Way Out Weather”
Paradise of Bachelors Records

Election reflection: The foxes are about to guard the environmental henhouse

November 13, 2014

A Note to Readers: And no, this is not a preface for an apology in which I explain why I wasn’t able to offer a fresh edition of the Journal. Rather, this is an announcement of an upcoming event that, I think, will be of exceptional interest to many readers, particularly those interested in art, birds, or both. On Tuesday, Nov. 18, from 6:30 to 8 p.m., I’ve arranged a program that features British artist and naturalist Katrina van Grouw, whose incredible book, “The Unfeathered Bird,” I wrote about last year.

Marty Stuart’s double disc set pits rough and rowdy against spirituality

November 6, 2014

Perhaps no artist in country music today has carries the traditional brand of the sound torch as well as Marty Stuart. A career that began as a 13 year old out of Philadelphia, Miss. hitting the road to play mandolin for Lester Flatt of Flat & Scruggs fame, Stuart has never looked back over a nearly 45 year music career. His latest album, a double disc affair called “Saturday Night/Sunday Morning” divides itself between rough and rowdy and spiritual. It is nothing but fine.

Read up on the blues to get acquainted with an authentic American tradition

November 6, 2014

There are as many creative outlets in this world as there are people. It never ceases to amaze me the many and varied interests that people occupy their time with to get along in life. The therapeutic value and relevance of hobbies and interests has been proven time and again to be real and meaningful, even life-changing or at times life-saving. Music in its many different forms is perhaps one of the strongest creative forces we have as human beings.

Desire, participation, enforcement prevent overharvesting of fisheries

November 6, 2014

Starting Jan. 1, 2015, necessary changes to the recreational and commercial striper fishery will begin. Coastal recreational anglers will be limited to a bag limit of one striped bass per day with a minimum size of 28 inches. While the Atlantic States Marine Fisheries Commission did not reduce the minimum size as some had advocated for, the overall goal remains focused on reducing the striped bass mortality rate by 25 percent next year.

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