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The Fabulous 413

Arts & Culture Podcasts

Monte Belmonte and Kaliis Smith bring you The Fabulous 413, a new live, daily radio show and podcast celebrating life in western Massachusetts — and a kind of "Mister Rogers' Neighborhood" for grown-ups. Monte and Kaliis will introduce you to the neighbors who make our western Massachusetts the incredible place it is, with a focus on arts and agriculture, cuisine and colleges, history, happenings and whatever the people of The 413 are talking about today.


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Monte Belmonte and Kaliis Smith bring you The Fabulous 413, a new live, daily radio show and podcast celebrating life in western Massachusetts — and a kind of "Mister Rogers' Neighborhood" for grown-ups. Monte and Kaliis will introduce you to the neighbors who make our western Massachusetts the incredible place it is, with a focus on arts and agriculture, cuisine and colleges, history, happenings and whatever the people of The 413 are talking about today.






February 29, 2024: A long shift

It's the 320th anniversary of the Deerfield Raid, but much has been learned about the incident in the intervening years. So we speak with author and historian James Swanson who has just released a new book about this moment in early American history. “The Deerfield Massacre: A Surprise Attack, a Forced March, and the Fight for Survival in Early America”. Before he comes to Deerfield Academy this weekend to speak about the book, he chats with us about some of the details surrounding the event, how it’s been portrayed over the course of American History, and some parallels we might note to global events. And we see some of the items he mentions at Deerfield’s Memorial Hall Museum. In addition to bringing Swanson to speak about the incident on March 3rd, they’ve just updated their exhibit to be more inclusive of the many people and voices involved. It all still surrounds the one surviving door of the conflict, and we chat with curator Ray Radigan and curatorial assistant Lindsay Kruzlic about the shifts in perspective and how those get represented in their many displays. Plus our weekly chat with congressman Jim McGovern sees the representative beset with a series of delays causing much consternation.


February 28, 2024: Emancipation welcomes you.

It is absolutely the time to explore the idea of freedom. This is especially true for us here in Massachusetts; a place that has always had a connection to the pursuit of liberty but also a much murkier connection to the legacy of enslavement. We chat with local historian Cliff McCarthy, who has participated in some of the local initiatives to recover more of these histories including Freedom Stories of the Pioneer Valley, about some figures that are tied to the specific black history of Western Mass. It’s the whole conceit behind the recent exhibit at the Williams College Museum of Art. We continue our exploration of Emancipation: The Unfinished Project of Liberation with curator Destinee Filmore and see how history has been interwoven throughout the collection, and question how color and stance can both influence how we see ourselves, and how we free ourselves. And Word Nerd Emily Brewster, senior editor at Merriam-Webster, takes a gander at a listener question about graciousness as it seems in the modern era, people have liberated themselves from the phrase “You’re Welcome” .


February 27, 2024: The freedom of overlap

We get a sneak peek of CISA's upcoming event Field Notes with Tessa White Diemand of Diemand Farms in Wendell, look at the intersections of the humanities and environmental work with professor Malcom Sen of UMass, and take a tour of the exhibit "Emancipation" at the Williams College Museum of Art with curator Destinee Filmore.


February 26, 2024: Flavorful language landing

We take a glance at the Point/Counterpoint speaker series with moderator professor Ilan Stavans, hear about a corporate lunar landing and what that could mean for the future of the moon with Mr. Universe, and head to Pittfield to get a taste of the Carribean at the newest eatery on North St.: BB's Hot Spot.


February 23, 2024: Paper CSA Punk

We take Live Music Friday on the road to hang out with punk rock duo Film & Gender, check out a new fabric store in Holyoke that's on a mission to conserve both broadway and hollywood fabrics and your clothes, hear about CSA week with CISA and Mark Rutkowski of Rivershed Farm, and make our own birthday-styled Wine Thunderdome.


February 22, 2024: Untold reclaimation (a.k.a. Happy Birthday to us)

We hear about the two events happening in Greenfield this weekend centered around the Rights to Nature movement with Dian Dix of the Nolumbeka Project and Livia Charles of Western Mass Rights to Nature, and hang out with another Amherst College alum who's headed back to campus for LitFest this weekend, Brown University professor Lisa Biggs.


February 21, 2024: Bones between you and me

We head to Umass' exhibition that combines art, science, Indigenous HIstory and more with Interim director of Umass Contemporary Art Museum Amanda Herman, start a new pursuit in the name of marginalized local history with professor Ousmane Power-Green, and get up close and particular with pronouns and Word Nerd Emily Brewster.


February 20, 2024: Protected

We hear about the community building and restorative work of Jesse Freidin and his latest series "Are You Ok?" which centers transgendered and gender non-conforming youth, and chat with Sam Lovejoy about the 50th anniversary of his tower toppling feat and the documentary about the event that will have a showing at the Shea Theater later this week.


February 16, 2024: Novel endeavors

We delve into the music catalog of Sopie Et Adam before their show at 33 Hawley, talk with confirmed MacArthur "Genius" Grant recipient author Kelly Link about her brand new novel, and discover the new wine shop on the town in Easthampton at Tip Top Wine Shop for the wine thunderdome.


February 15, 2024: Pigs, Horses, Dragons

It’s the year of the dragon, but some of the other years are making other appearances in our show today.


February 14, 2024: Ash Valentine Reservoir

We find out about an initiative to help the communities around the Quabbin Reservoir that don't have access to the waters in their backyard with NEPM Reporter Alden Bourne, Talk memoir and memories with Amherst College alums Aparna Nancherla and Jen Acker in preperation for the College's Lit Fest, and delight in liguistic misfires with Word Nerd Emily Brewster of Merriam Webster.


February 13, 2024: Fat Tuesday

Lassiez les bon temps roulez!


February 12, 2024: A prescription for what snows cosmically

We’re trying to make plans for the week really. That’s a large part of our chat with Dave Hayes, the Weather Nut. We heard there’s a bit of a storm headed our way and we tap the armchair meteorological specialist to find out how intense the storm is really going to be. We also cajole him into elaborating on the difference between the snow storms we might encounter. And speaking of meteors, Mr. Universe explores the process and some of the early results of a meteoroid that fell just outside of Berlin at the end of January. We also get into aubrites and why they’re so important, as well as the briefest of recaps of yesterday’s Superb Owl and its ads. And punk elder statesman Ted Leo is gearing up for a show at The Drake in Amherst on Feb 16. So of course we jump at the chance to talk with him about the evolution of the punk scene, how different parts of the country sound, and his cameo on “Stephen Universe”.


February 9, 2024: Maple Rowe appellations

Folk artist of many disciplines Sean Rowe joins us for Live Music Friday, discover the nuances of appellation with a couple of interesting examples at Table & Vine for the WIne Thunderdome, and celebrate the beginning of maple season with pancakes (and waffles) at the North Hadley Sugar Shack.


February 8, 2024: Double BHM

Two Black History Month celebrations stop by the studio, the first a month long speaker series in Springfield, the second the culmination of months of research in Northampton, plus congressman Jim McGovern gets accolades from a jedi (or the joker) on the platform formerly known as Twitter.


February 7, 2024: Reparative connections

It is another day where we’re looking for ties that might bring us closer. In the case of the Springfield Symphony Orchestra, they’ve got another program on the docket that looks to bring in bring in a much wider selection of the local community. Havana Nights will be an evening of latin diaspora spanning music from the traditionally “classical” to modern samba, merengue, salsa, and more, featuring The Mambo Kings. We speak with SSO president Paul Lambert, SSO director of development Heather Gawron, and soloist Camille Zamora about the many ways music can bridge cultures, the importance of pop music in symphonic settings, and the joys of live music. While across town, another sort of bridge emerges. On Feb 13th, NEPM will host a showing of the documentary “The Cost of Inheritance” at Springfield College. The film takes focuses on the issue of reparations for decendants of enslaved peoples in the United States by looking at efforts on both macro and micro scales. The showing will be followed by a moderated panel featuring local experts. We speak with two of those panelists, Amherst College’s Dr. Stefan Bradley, and AHRA’s Michele Miller, about why economic struggles are often subsumed under social ones, and what some of the local efforts towards reparations might look like. We’re connecting our words too. And that requires punctuation. But a listener question from Anne in Montague has us wondering about the nature and need for commas. Our resident wordster, Word Nerd Emily Brewster, senior editor at Merriam-Webster, helps us unparse the use of the serial/Oxford/Harvard comma. (We also discover a bit of its history with the help from Shady Characters.)


February 6, 2024: The year of focused equity

Happy New Year! It’s lunar new year, and we’re entering the Year of the Dragon. More than a billion people will be celebrating this weekend, including some in Florence. Bombyx is having a Lunar New Year celebration on Feb 10th, hosted by local author illustrator Grace Lin, who herself has written a book on the subject. We speak with her about some of the symbols and traditions that they’ll be teaching about during the festivities. New years often mean a look at the things you’d like to accomplish, and to that end we’re looking at economic equity. Team R3set was built to specifically look at the economic disparity of disenfranchised communities and built platforms and pathways to make them more resilient. We speak with co-founder John Lewis about why economic equity can be just as important as social equity, and why re-framing what that evening out looks like is vitally important. The new year also brings with it times to reflect on the things that have been done in the past. Mr. Universe, Hampshire College’s Salman Hameed reveals the legacy of Henrietta Leavitt, without whose work we may not have been able to explore as much of the universe as we are able to today, and at the apologies that are only now being offered for the disparagement of her research and ideas.


February 5, 2024: Preserve, Secure, Protect

Today’s show is all about giving back. It’s in regular members of our community who come together to help our growing youth one on one. CHD’s Big Brothers Big Sisters of Hampshire County hosts the second annual “Big Love, Little Performances”, a fundraiser where the who’s who of the area come together to sing karaoke for the cause. Executive Director Susan Nicastro joins us to talk up how important mentors are, how great their need is, and mention how much “rick-rolling” will probably happen at this event. It’s in the preservation of the memory and legacy of an activist couple from Deerfield. Wally and Juanita Nelson were the impetus of many stalwarts in Greenfield, including the Farmer’s Market, and the Harvest supper. They lived a philosophy that has inspired many in the years before and after their passing. We talk with Bob Bady and Betsy Williams of the Nelson Legacy Project, itself a branch of the Nelson Homestead, about the influence of the couple’s practice of passivism, the classes they teach under this ideology, and more. And it’s in a community being delayed in it’s efforts to right itself. The Holyoke Public Schools have been in receivership since 2015. This past fall, mayor Joshua Garcia, acting in his capacity as chairman of the school committee, petitioned the Department of Elementary and Secondary Education (DESE) for a release from that receivership. This past weekend, they were sent notification that the decision for that release would be deferred to a later date. But what does that delay mean in the interim for the schools and students of Holyoke? How is the state measuring the growth of a city’s educational focus against their expectations? We delve into the many repercussions with the Mayor, along with newly appointed vice-chair of the school committee Erin Brunelle, and Massachusetts Teachers Association President Max Page.


February 2, 2024: Destinations

We sip wine from the turn of the century at State Street Wine & Provisions, Gush all about Dave Rothstein's latest surreal adventure of winning a snow sculpture contest, and celebrate The Colony's Motel's final show at Luthier's this bandcamp and Live Music Friday


February 1, 2024: The New Goodness

We hang out with the host of our new show sibling, Carrie Saldo of NEPM's "The Rundown", explore more fallout from the shifting of the liquor licenses in Northampton with Parlor Room Collective executive director Chris Freeman, discover fun winter board games for the dark days with Justin Dowd of Start Playing Games, and Congressman Jim McGovern discusses the bipartisan Child Tax Credit, the connection between food and medicine and more