June 24: Montague Phantom Brain Exchange #18 in Western Mass

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The Montague Phantom Brain Exchange, a monthly art and thought happening in the slightly world weary old New England mill town of Turners Falls, seems to have become a prime destination for all things “weird and unusual” on the Western Massachusetts cultural front. Curated by “Mr. Cloaca,” whose use of a pseudonym here jibes perfectly with the “phantom” vibe, the MPBE describes itself as “a place where bodied and disembodied brains & nonbrains can safely gather to deconstruct solutions & create problems while soaking in an invigorating bath of provocative entertainments.” While Western Mass is positively overflowing with energetic brain-swappings of this kind (and you can check out the Happy’n’in’Valley blog calendar here if you doubt it), Cloaca’s series is unique for always pairing live performance, DJ transports, and moving images screenings with a fifteen minute lecture–that is, the MPBE’s signature “music-book-report-series-within-a-series,” founded by Bull Tongue co-mastermind Byron Coley last year.

Below is the missive for this month’s offering:

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April 16, 17: Montague Bookmill in Western Mass

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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 CafĂ©) 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