A highly selective preview of cultural events taking place this weekend in the greater Berkshire region, including the return of a prodigal son; an exhibition of Japanese woodblock prints; a display of Saturday morning cartoon art; a folk-rock trio; and a whole lot more.
(WEST STOCKBRIDGE, Mass.) – Stockbridge native and superstar rock drummer Kenny Aronoff returns home to sign copies of his brand-new memoir, “Sex, Drums, Rock ‘n’ Roll!: The Hardest Hitting Man in Show Business,” at No. Six Depot Café on Sunday, December 18, at 3:30pm. The memoir includes tales from Aronoff’s youth growing up in the Berkshires, playing in local garage bands, and performing under the baton of Leonard Bernstein at Tanglewood, before heading off to fame first as a member of John Mellencamp’s, Melissa Etheridge’s, and John Fogerty’s bands and then as an on-call drummer recording and performing for the likes of Bob Dylan, Iggy Pop, Smashing Pumpkins, Meat Loaf, Bon Jovi, Stevie Nicks, the BoDeans, Paul Westerberg, Celine Dion, Elton John, Alice Cooper, Brian Wilson, Joe Cocker, and members of the Beatles – the group that first inspired him to play music.
Known as much for his fierce work ethic and dedication as he is for his powerful and musical technique, Aronoff is widely regarded as a member of the pantheon of utility rock drummers – those who don’t belong to a particular band – alongside Jim Keltner, Jim Gordon, Steve Gadd, Al Jackson Jr., and Manu Katche. He is included on Rolling Stone Magazine’s list of the 100 Greatest Drummers of All Time.
(WILLIAMSTOWN, Mass.) – More than a century of Japanese printing traditions, represented by seventy-three color woodblock prints, will be presented in the Clark Art Institute exhibition Japanese Impressions: Color Woodblock Prints from the Rodbell Family Collection.
The exhibition explores the complex and changing relationship among artists, woodblock cutters, and publishers from the ukiyo-e (scenes from the floating world) tradition of the mid-19th century, the shin-hanga (new print) movement of the 1920s and 1930s, and the s?saku-hanga (creative print) movement that began in the 1950s. Japanese Impressions is on view through April 2, 2017.
(NORTH ADAMS, Mass.) — Nick Cave, the artist known for his wearable sculptures called Soundsuits, turns expectations inside out at MASS MoCA in “Until,” a massive immersive installation. Cave uses MASS MoCA’s signature football field-sized space to create his largest and most overtly political installation to date, made up of thousands of found objects, a rich sensory tapestry. The sheer volume of material that has been gathered is astounding — 16,000 wind spinners; millions of plastic pony beads; thousands of ceramic birds, fruits, and animals; 13 gilded pigs; more than 10 miles of crystals; 24 chandeliers; 1 crocodile; and 17 cast-iron lawn jockeys.
(STOCKBRIDGE, Mass.) – “Hanna-Barbera: The Architects of Saturday Morning” features the work of the creative team behind such memorable Saturday morning cartoons as “The Yogi Bear Show,” “The Flintstones,” and the “The Jetsons,” on view at Norman Rockwell Museum through May 29, 2017.
Before the rise of basic cable, Saturday mornings for many children in America were spent watching cartoons on one of three available television channels. From 1958 through the 1980s, a majority of those cartoons bore the imprint of Hanna-Barbera. Creating scores of popular series such as The Yogi Bear Show, The Flintstones, The Jetsons, Jonny Quest, and Scooby-Doo, Hanna-Barbera was an animation powerhouse and its bountiful creativity is beloved to this day.
Ballroom Thieves plays a captivating mélange of acoustic styles, blending folk conventions with modern hymnals, classical textures, and Delta blues grit with rich harmonies. They describe themselves as “a rock band disguised as a folk band,” and indeed they occasionally go electric in a way that reminds a listener of White Stripes or Tarbox Ramblers.