The Fabulous 413 The Fabulous 413 is a daily afternoon radio show celebrating life in western Massachusetts — and a kind of "Mister Rogers' Neighborhood" for grown-ups.
The Fabulous 413

The Fabulous 413

From New England Public Media

The Fabulous 413 is a daily afternoon radio show celebrating life in western Massachusetts — and a kind of "Mister Rogers' Neighborhood" for grown-ups.

Most Recent Episodes

Tributes in residency

It's a day for acknowledgements. We're honoring the legacies of legends whose contributions can't be quantified. Such is the case with Ramsey Lewis, who is being honored on June 3rd at Gateway City Arts in Holyoke. Genuine Culture, LLC has gathered a group of jazz players and MCs to walk through his catalog to give a glimpse of the breadth of his influence across many genres. We speak with Damany Gordon about about the many innovations and connections Lewis made over the course of his life. We're honoring icons we recently lost by renaming the wine thunderdome for it's namesake. And under it's new heading, we head for Table and Vine in West Springfield to sip with Michael Quinlan. It's our third straight week of firsts, as we try two wines of the same type from the same vineyard and truly see the variety that terroir can bring. And we're honoring fortitude and virtuosity as well. Jeffrey Foucault starts his residency at Floodwater Brewing tonight, performing for the next three Fridays, but he's also playing in the Berkshires over the weekend at the Egremont Barn. Both he and his drummer for the night, Don McAulay were a part of Sparkletown: a tribute to Kate Lorenz a few weekends back at The Shea Theater, so in addition to hearing music from his catalog, we reminisce with the two of them about loss in the musical community near and far.

The truth, Ruth

Today we're getting into the local glow-ups. There's no containing our excitement when we speak with Ruth E. Carter, Springfield native, four-time nominee and two-time winner of an Oscar for costume design. Over fifty movies later, we're still in awe of how her vision truly brings together characters. We talk about her start in costuming, working on Marvel movies, her late mother, and the truly impressive list of accolades she's acquired over the years. And we mcgovern with Rep. Jim McGovern, who's had a nail-biting week as we narrowly escape defaulting on our payments as a nation. But the final resolution didn't sit well with him and we'll find out why he voted against the measure in the end. Plus, Pride month is here! And although we'll have more on various events happening in the 4 counties of western Massachusetts soon, we give you a quick rundown of Pride events happening this very weekend in Pittsfield and Springfield! Please note: we mention in the show that Ruth E. Carter is being honored at a gala later in the month. More information about the Pink Magnolia Gala and the causes that supports can be found here.

Famous botanical amalgams

Hidden gems are always fun to find. There's cool things to discover in our very language itself. Emily Brewster, resident wordster, senior editor at Merriam-Webster in Springfield, helps us delve into the conflict ridden marriage of German and French that ultimately resulted in the modern English Language. The Battle of Hastings is very involved, but your dinner might be also. We encounter gorgeous flora at the Berkshire Botanical Gardens. Nestled in Stockbridge, spring finds the grounds literally bursting with life, and new projects to bring more plant life to western Massachusetts. Executive director Thaddeus Thompson and director of horticulture Eric Ruquist speak with us on the new things they've got planned, the problems climate change is posing, and reveal some of the surprises found among their 24 acres. And perhaps there's a famous face in the crowd that gets noticed. Which is what happened this weekend during Amherst College's commencement where several folx spotted Harrison Ford in the wild. So we ask you what celebrity you've encountered in the 413, and share some of our own as well. **Please note: there is humor regarding death within our talk at the Berkshire Botanical Gardens

Al fresco graduation in Paradise City

There is something to be said about just getting things done. It's not always easy, and this is an impasse that The Literacy Project seeks to address. In fact, on June 1st, they are holding a graduation ceremony at Greenfield Community College for folx who have just completed their GED through programs they have in place. We chat with outgoing executive director Judith Roberts, Kat Brenton and Amos Johnson who'll be graduating this week, and their keynote speaker, Tim Lovett, who is a graduate of the program himself, about the importance of keeping education open to everyone. It's happening in Northampton, where the 3rd Summer on Strong begins today, shutting down a portion of the street to instead offer outdoor dining, music, and entertainment all summer long. We interrupt them in the middle of setting up to talk about the power of eating local with Jeremy Werther of Homestead and invite Deb Flynn of Eastside Grill and Amy Cahillane of the Downtown Northampton Association along to look at how community has made this festival happen in more ways than one. And not to double down on Northampton, but it's happening in their City Hall as well. For our third installment of "Meet the Mayor", we get to hang out with Gina-Louise Sciarra. Now that the Bombyx debacle has mostly died down, we get to ask her about the redesign of downtown, the IHEG liquor license problem, and the finer points of city budgeting.

Three cans of Bombyx

Sometimes the weekend requires a shift in perspective. Which is exactly what Provisions is aiming to do in the Wine Thunderdome. Benson Hyde and Bruce McAmis bring us a possibly contentious set of contenders as we pit two canned wine spritzers against each other, and examine one of the more sustainable routes wine may be taking forward. It's what all of us will have to take with the Bombyx Center for Arts and Equity in Florence. Over the past three weeks this venue has been through logistical and bureaucratic rollercoasters. But we chat with Cassandra Holden from Bombyx and Laudable Productions and Bombyx Board Chair, Elizabeth Dunaway about what exactly got them shut down, and about the steps they and the city are taking to get them opened up again. And we can even make a pivot with time signatures. In their own words, The Threesies rage against the tyranny that is common or 4/4 time by taking up the underappreciated 3/4 and it's many derivatives. The band itself is a frequently rotating cast of players, but Paul Kochanski, J.J. O'Connell, and Jim Henry join us (in a set of three themselves, no less) to bring more light to songs that swing.

An accidental oracle of synchronized children

Today, there is an overabundance of creativity. Scotty Swan is engendering it in kids. He teaches Rock Band Camp who will perform at the Northampton Center for the Arts on May 28th. We chat with him about getting kids comfortable enough to really shred, and about the other camp he runs in the summer: The Urban Wizards Academy. There's a whole organization that's encouraging this creativity in older kids also. MAPS, or Music and Poetry Synchronized has been operating for 17 years on a simple model: get two schools and have them bridge ethnic, gender, socio-economic, and environmental differences by making art together. In order to take a look at the whole program and see how it works and evolves while continuing to have more and more schools participate, we speak with some of the students participating this year, with the administrators and founder of the program, and the teachers getting their classes involved. And we see it in a cautionary tale of sorts. Our regular check in with Rep. Jim McGovern is besieged by technical difficulties, and we're forced to look at the congressman's own past words to figure out a way to salvage the whole thing.

Iced Museums, repatriated

There's a little extra curation happening today. The Word Nerd, Emily Brewster, senior editor at Merriam-Webster, and our resident wordster, alerts us that a shift is happening between our iced coffee and ice tea. Letters are disappearing from certain descriptive words in a totally natural way and we dig into why. Then we are figuring out how to un-curate, of sorts. Thousands of indigenous remains have been kept in museum, school, and library collections for ages. And the rules for giving those remains back to the peoples they came from are about to change in a drastic way. We sit with NEPM's Nancy Eve Cohen to find out more about the ways NAGPRA, the Native American Graves Protection and Repatriation Act, is changing and how that affects some local tribes and institutions. And we're more than a little impressed by the curation Mass MoCA has done for it's summer program. From theater, to installations, to a bevvy of fantastic musicians from all over the globe, they're pulling out a lot of stops in these next few months. Addison McDonald, general manager of performing arts and film, chats with us about the things he's most excited to share with us in North Adams. Plus, we reminisce on the legacy that the great Tina Turner leaves in her wake.

Dance like the trees are freezing

Today, we peek behind the curtain. There's synergy to be found in young folx collaborating and figuring out new paths of expression. The School of Dance and Contemporary Thought approaches this from several fronts: working with other youth arts group, and by fostering it's own young pre-professional company in The Hatchery. Both prongs of this philosophy have shows this weekend at the Academy of Music in Northampton and we chat with Artistic Director and Founder Jen Polins about fostering a blossoming dance culture in the valley. There's adaptations to be found in Sunderland. Dave Wisseman of Millstone Market, Warner's Farm, and Mike's Maze gives us a real look at how devastating last week's frost has been, and at how learning on the go helped them not only survive that late season freeze but the pandemic as well. Also about his love for strawberries (which mostly managed to survive). And there's growth to be found in the mountains. We head to Tanglewood to visit it's namesake. Which isn't to say that the woods are tangled, but that their tales may be. So we seek out groundskeeper Thomas Leahy (who we have affectionately dubbed the Lorax-in-residence) to discover all things arboreal at the BSO's summer home. Between he and senior publicist Matthew Erikson we get a full view of the symphony of trees on their grounds, and their efforts to keep them in harmony.

A swift june powwow

We're starting the week with a flurry of activity. That activity includes veritable rock legends, as we talk with June Millington about her band, Fanny. They've got a documentary that's airing on PBS+ and covers all the boundaries that the still performing and touring band broke over their tenure. That's not all though, as proven by IMA: The Institute for the Musical Arts. We get into the origin stories of both the band and the hilltown organization helping folx rock hard. We encounter it in the 3rd Annual Odenong Powwow, which happens this weekend at Amherst-Pelham Regional High School. The event is free and open to the public, but is intentionally a space for especially Indigenous, Native, and First Nations people to convene and celebrate. Powwow singer, lecturer, and artist Justin Beatty and organizer Kara Nye sat with us in studio to elaborate more on the events they have planned (including ways you can help make the whole thing happen). And we find it in the collisions on planets, as that's how moons get born sometimes. Mr. Universe, Salman Hameed, explains how looking at the craters on Mars' moons through successful rover missions is giving folx a better understanding of how those celestial bodies come to be. And how, on occasion, those lunar blemishes accidentally ride the coattails of popstars.

Rose means bees

So much happening this weekend, let's dig in. First, we head back to Lenox to enter the Wine Thunderdome once again. Nejaime's Wine Cellars has set a pretty high precedent for these, becoming our first setting for a rosé showdown. And once again, Joe Nejaime has us doing our tasting blind, which is always a fun extra challenge. Then we skip across the mountains to discover that modern beekeeping has its roots in Franklin County. Beefest is now in its 13th year of celebrating Greenfield's connection to our pollinating friends with art, demonstrations, and more. Organizer, and one of the founders of the festival, Sandy Thomas stops by to give us a rundown of the festival goings-on as well as a look at how reverend Lorenzo L. Langstroth's innovations still have impact today. And for Live music Friday, we bring in some big guns with Pamela Means, whose musical versatility simply cannot be contained. She's got a slew of gigs coming up all over New England, but you can often catch her at Luthier's Co-Op in Easthampton, where she's got a Jazz Residency happening every third Thursday. We dig into her musical history, wicked cool cover choices, and her passion for justice and protest songs.