April 16, 17: Montague Bookmill in Western Mass

Whether you’re looking for affordable used books, super tasty vegetarian fare, or an evening of psych-folk in a 1842 gristmill, The Montague Bookmill is always worth the long drive into the middle of nowhere. The Bookmill’s motto is “books you don’t need in a place you can’t find”; for residents of Western Massachusetts, it’s the social and cultural epicenter of everybody’s favorite micro-township (the idyllic Montague), and one of the best places to reconnect with the countryside when the pressures of work and school take their toll. Where else can you curl up for hours with a book and a cup of “Cowboy Coffee” (unfiltered ground coffee and water, a specialty of the Bookmill’s Lady Killigrew Café) while listening to the gurgle and splash one of the most beautiful waterfalls in New England? The Bookmill complex also includes a restaurant, an antique store, and some art studios, as well as a few secret nature paths to navigate if you’re feeling a bit curious.

With performances by banjo wizard Eugene Chadbourne and a bunch of New England noise-makers this week, curated by the Pioneer Valley’s own Autonomous Battleship Collective, now is as good a time as ever to make the trek out. Just don’t use a GPS: for some reason, the Bookmill’s website warns, this spot is still completely off the radar.

Dr. Eugene Chardbourne
Thursday, April 16, 8pm

Area C, Paper, Mudboy, Dark Inside the Sun
Friday, April 17, 8pm

The Montague Bookmill
440 Greenfield Road
Montague, MA 01351
Driving Directions here

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About Jay Babcock

I am an independent writer and editor based in Tucson, Arizona. In 2023: I publish an email newsletter called LANDLINE = https://jaybabcock.substack.com Previously: I co-founded and edited Arthur Magazine (2002-2008, 2012-13) and curated the three Arthur music festival events (Arthurfest, ArthurBall, and Arthur Nights) (2005-6). Prior to that I was a district office staffer for Congressman Henry A. Waxman, a DJ at Silver Lake pirate radio station KBLT, a copy editor at Larry Flynt Publications, an editor at Mean magazine, and a freelance journalist contributing work to LAWeekly, Mojo, Los Angeles Times, Washington Post, Vibe, Rap Pages, Grand Royal and many other print and online outlets. An extended piece I wrote on Fela Kuti was selected for the Da Capo Best Music Writing 2000 anthology. In 2006, I was somehow listed in the Music section of Los Angeles Magazine's annual "Power" issue. In 2007-8, I produced a blog called "Nature Trumps," about the L.A. River. From 2010 to 2021, I lived in rural wilderness in Joshua Tree, Ca.

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