Bits & Bytes: Yo La Tengo at Club Helsinki Hudson; ‘Psychiatry Under the Influence;’ Alford caucus; Purim celebration; Kids 4 Harmony concert; ‘Signs of Spring’ hike

Berkshire Children and Families' Kids 4 Harmony is inspired by Venezuela’s El Sistema, an intensive, values-driven, ensemble-based approach to teaching classical music to effect social change.

Kids 4 Harmony concert at Kimball Farms

Lenox — Berkshire Children and Families’ Kids 4 Harmony will perform a concert on Wednesday, March 23, at Kimball Farms. A reception will take place at 3:30 p.m. and the concert will follow at 4:30 p.m.

Berkshire Children and Families’ Kids 4 Harmony is inspired by Venezuela’s El Sistema, an intensive, values-driven, ensemble-based approach to teaching classical music to effect social change. Kids 4 Harmony is offered at North Adams’ Brayton Elementary School and Pittsfield’s Morningside Community School.

The performance is free but those interested in attending are asked to RSVP to (413) 448-8281 x37 or info@berkshirechildren.org

— E.E.

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Alt-rock band Yo La Tengo to play Club Helsinki Hudson

You La Tengo
New Jersey alt-rockers Yo La Tengo will perform at Club Helsinki Hudson on Saturday, March 26.

Hudson, N.Y. – Pioneering indie rock band Yo La Tengo will perform at Club Helsinki Hudson on Saturday, March 26, at 9 p.m. The evening will feature two sets: one acoustic and one modified acoustic-electric.

Formed in Hoboken, N.J., in 1984 by husband-and-wife Ira Kaplan (guitars, piano, vocals) and Georgia Hubley (drums, piano, vocals), Yo La Tengo connects the dots between jangle-pop and the drone-rock and urban cool of the Velvet Underground. (they even portrayed the legendary art-rockers in the 1996 film “I Shot Andy Warhol.”) James McNew has been the band’s bassist since 1992, and original guitarist Dave Schramm rejoined the band last year.

The group’s new covers album, “Stuff Like That There,” includes songs by the Parliaments, Hank Williams, Antietam, Sun Ra, the Lovin’ Spoonful, and the Cure.

For tickets and more information see the Berkshire Edge calendar or call the Club at (518) 828-4800.

–E.E.

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Robert Whitaker to speak on ‘Psychiatry Under the Influence’

BobWhitaker
Robert Whitaker.

Pittsfield — On Friday, March 25, from 1 p.m. – 4 p.m. at Shire City Sanctuary, the Western Mass. Recovery Learning Community will present the first segment in its Alternative Perspective Series. Investigative journalist Robert Whitaker – author of several best-selling books including “Anatomy of an Epidemic,” “Mad in America,” and his most recent work “Psychiatry Under the Influence” – will speak about the biology of mental disorders and the validity of diagnoses in the American Psychiatric Association’s diagnostic manual. He will further discuss psychiatry’s position on the safety and efficacy of psychiatric drugs and how the expansion of diagnostic boundaries led to biased clinical practice guidelines.

The presentation will be followed by a question-and-answer session and reception. The event is free and open to the public. For more information or to register, call (413) 236-5888.

–E.E.

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Alford caucus

Alford — The Town of Alford will hold a caucus on Tuesday, March 22, at 7 p.m. at the Town Hall, 5 Alford Center Rd. The town has many open positions and most incumbents are running for re-election. Everyone interested in running for a town position should present themselves to be nominated. All residents are encouraged to attend the forum.

–E.E.

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Purim celebration at Congregation Ahavath Sholom

Great Barrington – On Wednesday, March 23, Congregation Ahavath Sholom will host a Purim celebration and potluck vegetarian dinner.

The holiday of Purim tells the story of the near destruction of the Jewish people as decreed by Haman, an adviser to the Persian king Ahashuerus and the courage of Queen Esther in saving her fellow Jews. Congregation Ahavath Sholom’s celebration will include an interactive collaborative Purim play that will tell the story of Queen Esther in a unique and hilarious way. Costumes are encouraged but not required. All are warmly invited. Those interested in joining the potluck should RSVP to Alison Adams-Weinberg at adamsweinberg@gmail.com or (914) 319-1621.

–E.E.

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‘Signs of Spring’ hike

Pittsfield – On Friday, March 25, from 10 a.m. – noon, Canoe Meadows Wildlife Sanctuary will host a “Signs of Spring” hike. Participants in the leisurely walk will look for and identify various amphibians, mammals, birds, and insects.

The cost of the hike is $5 for members, $8 for nonmembers, and free for children. Participants are asked to dress appropriately for the weather. Registration is required. For more information or to register, call (413) 637-0320.

–E.E.