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Rogovoy Report for March 7th, 2014

This weekend brings art openings, rock concerts, Afropop, classical music, and a whole lot more to the greater Berkshire region.

Back in the late 1980s and early 1990s, a group of siblings and cousins from Toronto began performing a quiet style of original music that blended folk, country and blues with a drone-rock approach borrowed from the Velvet Underground. While never huge hitmakers, Canadian indie-rockers Cowboy Junkies became critical sensations, helping to launch the entire genre of alt-country on their way toward establishing a cult following for their hypnotic brand of country rock. The group has played all around the region over the years, including at MASS MoCA and Club Helsinki, but they return to the Mahaiwe in Great Barrington on Saturday at 8pm.

Since last July, Painter Darren Waterston has been in residence at MASS MoCA in North Adams, where he has been working on a site-specific installation that reimagines James McNeill Whistler's decorative masterpiece, Harmony in Blue and Gold: The Peacock Room. In his first major museum exhibition on the East Coast, Waterston's installation Filthy Lucre - the centerpiece of his exhibition Uncertain Beauty – hints at parallels between the excesses and inequities of the Gilded Age and the social and economic disparities of our own time.

One of Afropop's living legends, Oliver Mtukudzi, bring his fusion of traditional Zimbabwean music and African funk, along with his band, the Black Spirits, to Club Helsinki Hudson tonight at 9pm. Mtukudzi is so renowned in his native land and throughout Southern Africa that his nickname, "Tuku," has been applied to an entire genre of music. Then tomorrow night, Mike Doughty, the founder and leader of 1990s slacker-jazz-hip/hop outfit Soul Coughing, brings his popular “Question Jar Show” to Club Helsinki Hudson at 9pm. In the show, Doughty will pick questions and requests out of a jar, and his loyal, fervent audience is wickedly good at coming up with extremely weird things to ask. And he’s wickedly good at obliging them.

Writers Elisa Albert, Dana Kinstler, and Rebecca Wolff, among others ,will read from Goodbye to All That: Writers on Loving and Leaving New York, a recent anthology of essays, at the Hudson Opera House on Saturday, at 5pm. The event will be dedicated to the memory of the late Maggie Estep, a contributor to the anthology who lived in Hudson. Estep’s friend Chloe Caldwell – herself a contributor to the anthology and a Hudson resident -- will read Maggie's essay.

There will be an opening reception for In the Black, an exhibition of works by a half-dozen artists in a variety of media in shades of black - at Carrie Haddad Gallery on Saturday, from 6 to 8pm. The show will be on display from through April 15, and includes works by Joseph Maresca, Ralph Stout, Betsy Weis, Sarah Berney, Kris Perry, David Paulson, and Linda Cross.

There will be an opening reception for an exhibition of artworks by Hudson-based artist Jen Harris at Valley Variety, also on Saturday, from 6 to 8. The work in the exhibition, which includes a number of paintings that draw on Tarot iconography to explore conceptions of time, love, sex and mortality, will be on display through June 1. As a special offering at the opening, guests will have the opportunity to receive insights into their own life with Tarot readings by Jeanne Cameron, who has been reading Tarot for 30 years.

I’m Seth Rogovoy, and that’s the Rogovoy Report for this weekend.

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