The cultural highlights in our region this weekend include indie-pop, comedy, indie-folk, bluegrass, cabaret … plus a whole lot more.
Indie-rock group Gin Blossoms, best known for its 1990s-style jangle-pop sound derived from R.E.M. and the Replacements, performs at the Mahaiwe in Great Barrington, Mass., tonight at 8pm. The Grammy Award-nominated Gin Blossoms were one of the top alt-rock bands of the 1990s, with Top 40 hits including “Hey Jealousy” and “Follow You Down.” Hook-filled, harmony-laden numbers like “’Til I Hear It From You” and “Found Out About You” harkened back to the Beatles and the Byrds, a sound that never grows old.
Trans standup comedian Becca Blackwell brings a provocative and funny personal tale of being adopted into a religious Midwestern family, molested, trained to be a girl, but plagued by the question, “How do I become a man, and do I even want that?” to Club B10 at MASS MoCA in North Adams on Saturday, at 8pm.
Maya Hawke, best known for her TV and film roles as Robin in “Stranger Things” and a Flower Child in Quentin Tarantino's "Once Upon a Time in Hollywood," is also a singer and lyricist. She teams up with Grammy Award winning Norah Jones songwriter Jesse Harris, with whom she has been collaborating with since 2017, for a performance at the Egremont Barn in South Egremont, Mass., on Saturday at 8pm. The duo are expected to release an album later this year. And if you’re wondering, Maya Ray Thurman Hawke is indeed the daughter of Uma Thurman and Ethan Hawke.
Chris Brashear, Jim Henry, and Paul Kochanski join forces to pay tribute to legendary roots musician Doc Watson at Dewey Hall in Sheffield, Mass., tonight at 7:30. Doc Watson influenced generations of acoustic guitarists with his patented flatpicking and fingerpicking styles, soulful singing, and rich repertoire of ballads and popular songs.
The Berkshire International Film Festival screens The Story of Plastic, a seething exposé uncovering the ugly truth behind the current global plastic pollution crisis, at the Daniel Arts Center at Simon’s Rock College on Sunday at 3pm. The film features striking footage shot over three continents illustrating the ongoing catastrophe: fields of garbage, veritable mountains of trash, rivers and seas clogged with waste, and skies choked with the poisonous runoff from plastic production and recycling processes with no end in sight.
Cabaret-rock singer-songwriter Nellie McKay brings her uniquely eccentric blend of pop, rock, folk, and jazz to Club Helsinki Hudson on Sunday at 8pm. McKay has released seven full-length albums, including “Normal as Blueberry Pie: A Tribute to Doris Day” and “My Weekly Reader,” featuring music of the 1960s, produced by Beatles engineer Geoff Emerick. Most recently, she released a pair of albums, “Bagatelles” and “Sister Orchid,” in which she put her idiosyncratic touch to pre-rock pop standards.
Oh, and if you’re not doing anything Saturday afternoon at 2pm, please come by the Spencertown Academy Arts Center in Spencertown, N.Y., where I will be moderating a panel discussion on the Impact of Digital Media in Our Region, with fellow journalists from the Berkshire Edge, Gossips of Rivertown, Chronogram, and IMBY.
Seth Rogovoy is editor of the Rogovoy Report, available at rogovoyreport.com