Fiery defender

Shaskeen comedy returns with Shane Torres

Comedian Shane Torres avoids politics in his act, even though the native Texan has strong personal opinions about, say, Ted Cruz (“I think he’s the biggest POS on the face of the planet”).

“I don’t think I’m good enough, and knowledgeable enough, to pull it off,” Torres said in a recent phone interview. “I don’t even care if I upset people that much, but I don’t know if it’ll be that funny.”

Torres is, however, a big advocate for the Mayor of Flavortown, Guy Fieri. He went viral in 2017 defending the shock-haired star against a tide of what he viewed as undeserved derision.

“All he ever did was follow his dreams,” Torres said on Late Night With Conan O’Brien, as he provided a list of the celebrity chef’s good deeds. “But because he has flames on his shirt, everybody s**ts on him like he’s a member of Nickelback.”

His bit became comedy’s version of “Uptown Funk.” Likes, shares and retweets blew up the internet, and Patton Oswalt declared it to be the one joke he wished he’d written.

For Torres, though, being known as the Fieri guy is a double-edged sword.

“I’m worried I might be a one-hit wonder,” he said. “I think I’m good enough not to be, but I’m afraid I’ll end up like … one of those YouTube stars, who does one thing and people freak out, and they never hear from them again.”

That’s unlikely. Torres’s stories about weird baby names, the mystery of why everything bagels cost the same as regular ones, or his clumsiness at sexting are as relatable as the hint of a drawl in the voice he tells them with. His talent landed him on Comedy Central, The Late Show with Stephen Colbert and Last Comic Standing — the latter “just barely,” he notes with self-deprecation.

“I don’t want that to be the only thing I’m known for,” Torres said finally of his famous Conan set. “But I also did do something that most people haven’t done, which is cool.”

Stellar standup instincts coupled with a rigorous work ethic — one reason he moved to Brooklyn a few years back was to be able to perform at multiple comedy clubs in one night — point to a solid future for Torres. After a pandemic that slowed everything down, he’s back to his old pace, and not a moment too soon.

“I was afraid I was going to have to start bartending again or something,” Torres said. “I think I have three spots tonight and four spots tomorrow, which was about what I was doing before everything shut down, and that feels nice. The only thing I do is work, and drink beer.”

Torres likes to represent the downtrodden; during his Fieri bit, he also wondered about all the Nickelback hate.

“They made 40 million bros happy,” he noted. “You don’t want them pissed off. That’s how we wound up in this mess.”

It’s an instinct he extends to his profession.

“I think people look at comedy and don’t give it the credit it deserves as an art form — it’s really f-ing hard, but for whatever reason, it’s a little dismissed,” he said, agreeing that what starts as funny ultimately should speak to the human condition in some way. “I do want it to be art, I just don’t know if it is. That’s what I want to do; I am still trying. … [It] does seem to be pretentious, but I think it does deserve to be called [art].”

Shane Torres
: Wednesday, May 26, 7:30 and 9:30 p.m.
Where: Shaskeen Pub, 909 Elm St., Manchester
Tickets: $30/2 seats, $60/4 seats, $90/6 seats at

Featured photo: Shane Torres. Courtesy photo.

The Music Roundup 21/05/20

Local music news & events

Irish vibe: A Celtic-themed pub offers folk, rock and pop from Somerville singer-songwriter Karen Grenier, who carries a voluminous songbook of covers and the willingness to take lots of requests. Grenier’s original material is also wonderful; her most recent CD is Crazy Love, a 2011 effort that featured the memorable “Superhero (Ryan Michael’s Song),” the positivity anthem, “It Gets Better” and an up-tempo title track. Friday, May 21, 8 p.m., Killarney’s Irish Pub, 9 Northeastern Blvd., Nashua,

Island night: Enjoy a mix of rock, blues, soul and pop from singer-guitarist Pete Massa along with a varied selection of food to please every palate, including the King Kong Burger, a study in carnivore madness. Massa has a long history in the New England music scene, including residencies at Boston pubs. His setlist ranges from Bill Withers “Ain’t No Sunshine” to tracks from the Doobies and John Mayer. Saturday, May 22, 5 p.m., Big Kahunas Smokehouse, 1158 Hooksett Road, Hooksett,

SoCal disciples: Named after a late ’90s song by ska punk band Catch 22, Concord-based Supernothing has a percolating rock reggae sound that’s perfect for returning to the beach sporting board shorts, sandals and a summertime attitude. The group began when Dillan Welch, then attending a Christian high school, received the first Sublime album as a gift from his sister and got hooked on the Long Beach band. Sunday, May 23, 7 p.m., Bernie’s Beach Bar, 73 Ocean Blvd., Hampton Beach, 926-5050.

Moondance double: Expect Van Morrison tribute act Into The Mystic to draw from a wide range of hits without the on-stage prickliness that seems to be as much a part of Morrison’s act as his iconic voice. Led by former Bearquarium singer Justin Panigutti, the eight-piece band also includes several of the region’s top players coalescing around gems like “Real Real Gone” and “Saint Dominic’s Preview.” Sunday, May 23, 1 and 6 p.m., Tupelo Drive-In, 10 A St., Derry. Tickets are $22 per person (tent) and $75 per car at

At the Sofaplex 21/05/20

Oxygen (TV-14)

Mélanie Laurent, Malik Zidi.

And Mathieu Amalric gives his voice to MILO, the computer system running the pod where a woman (Laurent) wakes up and finds herself locked in. She tries to calm herself — she’s in a hospital, she reasons, someone will realize she needs help. But MILO tells her that the 35 percent oxygen level in her locked pod means that someone only has about 43 minutes, best case 72, to find her before her air runs out.

This is a fun little thriller, with the woman, who can’t remember her name or anything about how she got in the pod, trying to puzzle her way out. She might not know basic facts about her life but she starts to make educated guesses about where she could be and how to find people who might know who she is. Laurent, whom I still pretty much just know from her Inglourious Basterds role, is excellent here. The woman struggles, breaks down, fights and digs in to old emotions — all while lying down in a box. Oxygen makes the most of the “one person in a box” structure, using flashbacks judiciously and spanning genres to create a story that is suspenseful and even hopeful with just the right dash of humor. B+ Available on Netflix.

The Paper Tigers (PG-13)

Alan Uy, Ron Yuan.

Also Mykel Shannon Jenkins, Matthew Page and Roger Yuan, as the father-figure-like Sifu Cheung, who taught three “we’re brothers forever”-type teenage boys kung fu. Decades later, Cheung has died and though his death is thought to be the result of a heart attack, his friends believe differently. Formerly called Cheung’s “three tigers,” the now grown-up Danny (Uy), Hing (Ron Yuan) and Jim (Jenkins) decide to investigate Cheung’s death to find out what really happened to their former teacher.

Except that they were teenagers A Long Time Ago and Danny and Hing aren’t really at fighting strength or flexibility anymore. Jim is some kind of MMA-ish teacher, but he hasn’t kept up with the kung fu specifics. These middle-aged dudes have baggage in addition to back pain — their once-close friendship broke down a while ago, as did their relationship with Cheung.

The Paper Tigers frequently has the rough-edge feel of the indie that it is and there are a few elements — everything to do with Danny’s relationship with his ex-wife Caryn (Jae Suh Park) and their young son, for example — that could have used some writerly polishing. But the movie has charm, particularly in the friendship among the three men. B Available for rent or purchase.

French Exit (R)

Michelle Pfeiffer, Lucas Hedges.

Michelle Pfeiffer gives a highly entertaining performance as a woman at the end of her fortune who escapes to Paris with her grown son in this movie that is very mannered and very weird but, mostly, strangely enjoyable.

Frances Price (Pfeiffer) leaves, like, $100 tips when she goes to the cafe for coffee so it’s not a surprise that she finds herself broke after what seems like a lifetime spent in old-money-style wealth. Her friend Joan (Susan Coyne) offers to let her and her adult but still quite dependent son Malcolm (Hedges) stay at her apartment in Paris, so Frances sells what possessions she can, turns it all into cash and sets out on her Atlantic crossing with cash, son and their cat in tow.

While on the voyage, Malcolm meets Madeleine (Danielle Macdonald), who gets fired from the on-ship psychic gig after being too honest with one of the passengers. Madeleine gives us one of many clues that there is more to the family cat than meets the eye. Once the duo have arrived in Paris, they meet Madame Reynard (Valerie Mahaffey), another gentle weirdo who seems to have decided that she and Frances will be friends.

French Exit starts out seeming like kind of a riff on a Whit Stillman movie, something about monied people with more taste and elocution than sense or coping abilities. But then it turns into something much, much weirder with a story so lackadaisical in its pacing that I kept thinking it was in its final scene, only to realize that there were some 30 or so more minutes left. For all of this, I basically liked it — particularly, I think, if you choose to read it as a kind of downbeat fairy tale — and liked what Pfeiffer did with a character that could easily have come off as cartoonish and unbelievable. B- Available for rent.

Jungle Beat: The Movie (G)

Voices of David Menken, Ed Kear.

This cute if slight movie features a funny monkey and no recognizable voice talent, for all that I thought of the main characters as Ryan Reynolds Monkey (voiced by Menken) and James Corden Alien (voiced by Kear). According to Wikipedia this movie is based on a TV show (which, oddly enough, appears to have episodes available via Amazon Prime Video while this movie is on Netflix), but it doesn’t require any previous knowledge of the show to get the movie. The basic plot is that the alien named Fneep (Kear), who looks like a blue gummy bear and sounds like James Corden, comes to Earth and his universal translator tech allows the animals — Monkey, Trunk (voice of Ina Marie Smith) the elephant, Humph (voice of John Guerrasio) the hedgehog and Rocky (also Menkin) the hippo — to talk, to each other and to him. He has been sent to conquer Earth, which he does sort of hesitantly, primarily with a short speech because a frog eats his raygun. His new animal friends are chummily encouraging about his conquering (a concept they seem to understand entirely as a chore that needs completing) and try to help him get back to his spaceship so he can get home. In this loose framework, the movie works in a fair amount of just animal silliness: Monkey’s desire for a banana, the grumpy Humph getting lost in circles in a grassy plain, an ostrich and her runaway eggs, one of whom becomes a chick eager to fly. It’s mostly sweet, mostly menace-free stuff. It isn’t the cleverest or best executed “alien and animals become friends” G-rated movie (that is Farmageddon: A Shaun the Sheep Movie, also on Netflix), but it was entertaining enough for my kids, particularly the kid who is always up for monkey-related antics. B Available on Netflix

The Year Earth Changed (PG)

I don’t usually seek out content about Our Covid Year but this tidy 48-minute documentary narrated by David Attenborough was light, pretty to look at and even somewhat hopeful. The focus is animals — animals all over the world in 2020 and how, for example, reduced ocean traffic made life easier for a whale mom or fewer people on the beach meant breeding season was easier for sea turtles. Cheetahs who don’t have to compete with the noise from safari vehicles can more quietly (and thus more safely) call to their young to come feast on prey. Birds who don’t have to compete with traffic noise have their elaborate songs heard more clearly for the first time in decades. “Nature is healing itself” as the internet said — and it did, a little bit, for a little while, so argues this documentary which sort of “a-hems” at the idea about humans doing their part post-pandemic to keep the healing going without getting into the sort of bummer details that would make this a less appealing documentary to relax with. B Available on Apple TV+.

The Woman in the Window (R) | Those Who Wish Me Dead (R)

The Woman in the Window (R)

Poor Amy Adams plays a severely agoraphobic woman who believes she’s witnessed a murder in The Woman in the Window, a long-delayed movie (and not just because of the pandemic, as is clear from watching the movie) now available on Netflix.

I mean, like, poor poor Amy Adams, who can be so good (Enchanted! Arrival!) but has just been saddled with some real nonsense lately, to include all the Zack Snyder Lois Lane stuff, the mess that was Hillbilly Elegy and now this. And she tries, she gives this movie more than it deserves, but unlike Emily Blunt, who was the best thing about the otherwise borderline-silly The Girl on the Train, Amy Adams feels a bit like she’s being drowned by all the suspense melodrama.

Anna Fox (Adams) is a child psychologist but it seems like she is currently on a sabbatical and just focused on regaining her own health. Her own psychiatrist (Tracy Letts, the playwright and screenwriter who adapted this screenplay from the book by A.J. Finn) is working on finding her a medication that will help her with her anxiety and depression and with the agoraphobia that keeps her trapped in her thankfully large brownstone. Based on a conversation she has with her husband, Ed (Anthony Mackie), from whom she is separated and who is with their young daughter, Olivia (Mariah Bozeman), Anna spends a lot of her days staring out the window and watching her neighbors. She does some post-neighbor-watching Google-stalking as well, which is how she knows what the Russells, the family newly moved in across the street, have paid for the house and that they don’t have much of an internet presence.

Soon, though, the Russell family bleeds into her life a bit. Fifteen-year-old Ethan Russell (Fred Hechniger) brings over a gift from his mother. His father, Alistair Russell (Gary Oldman), hires David (Wyatt Russell), Anna’s tenant who lives in a basement apartment, to do some handyman work. And on Halloween, when Anna’s candy-free house is being pelted with eggs, Anna, who can barely bring herself to open the door and then faints when she does, meets and spends time with Ethan’s mom (Julianne Moore), who Anna’s snooping has told her is Jane Russell. Jane drops a lot of hints about the possible dark side of Alistair and is just generally kind of oddball in that way that certain Julianne Moore characters can be. But Anna has a good time with her and even seems to have made a friend.

Or has she? Has she even met Jane Russell? And later, when she thinks some harm befalls Jane, what has she actually seen, if anything at all? Despite advice, Anna can’t seem to stop herself from mixing her powerful psychiatric drugs with what seems like a steady stream of red wine. Between this mix of intoxicants and her general jumpiness that has her quick to call 911 at every hint of trouble, not only are police detectives Little (Brian Tyree Henry) and Norelli (Jeanine Serralles) unsure what to believe but even Anna can’t be sure of what she’s seen.

On paper, all of this is fine — Rear Window-ness, unreliable narrator, spacious if spookily lit real estate. And the movie has a cast of solid performers. But I feel like tone is where this movie sort of falls apart. It can’t decide if it’s playing things straight: the drama of Anna’s condition meets the suspense of the mystery of the Russells, or some pulpier blend of suspense and thrills peppered with some very dark comedy. I feel like we get examples of both — with more pulp as the movie goes on — but the lack of tonal consistency makes it hard to, say, enjoy it for the melodrama or take Adams’ performance very seriously. She’s giving A Lot of performance — which also doesn’t seem to hit exactly the right tone ever — but it feels like she is often more serious or more sudsy than the movie around her.

I didn’t dislike The Woman in the Window much in the same way I didn’t dislike last fall’s unremarkable Rebecca or the recent, slightly goofy ghost story Things Seen and Heard. Netflix actually feels like it would be a sensible outlet for prestige, movie star versions of cheap thrillers, higher-budget versions of basic cable movies about shady husbands and Muhr-Der. It’s just too bad for Adams in particular that this movie couldn’t be a nudge or two better. C

Rated R for violence and language, according to the MPA on Directed by Joe Wright with a screenplay by Tracy Letts (from the book of the same name by A.J. Finn), The Woman in the Window is an hour and 40 minutes long and is available on Netflix.

Those Who Wish Me Dead (R)

Angelina Jolie is a forest firefighter running from flames and assassins to keep a kid safe in Those Who Wish Me Dead, an entertaining-enough action movie available on HBO Max and in theaters.

Hannah (Jolie) drinks too much and does potentially self-destructive stuff like parachuting off the back of a pickup truck driving fast on a wooded road. As her ex-boyfriend, Sheriff Ethan (Jon Bernthal), knows, this tough-lady stuff is all her way of self-destructively coping with her trauma and regret from a fire that trapped her team, resulting in the deaths of one firefighter and a group of kids who were stuck on a hillside. She is punished for this by being assigned to a forest fire tower for a year. On the downside, she is stuck here alone (with no toilet), but on the bright side (not really) it gives her lots of time to stare at the horizon and cry.

On the slightly brighter side, Hannah’s exile means that she is in the woods when the 11-ish-year-old Connor (Finn Little) needs someone to turn to. Connor and his father Owen (Jake Weber) are on the run after Owen’s boss, a Florida district attorney, is killed. Owen believes that the criminal organization (whose representative here is played by Tyler Perry, who is fun and could have used more screen time) that he has been investigating is now after him. Owen heads to Ethan, his late wife’s brother, whose ranch-y home, shared with pregnant wife Allison (Medina Senghore), seems like a good place to hide out. That plan would have been more successful if he didn’t have a picture of Ethan and his ranch hanging on the wall of his house as a big clue for assassins Jack (Aidan Gillen) and Patrick (Nicholas Hoult).

When Hannah finds a frightened Connor wandering in the forest, she is able to convince him that she’s a friendly but they face a series of obstacles: Hannah’s communication equipment has just been fried by a lightning strike. It’s a significant walk into town. Some of that walk will be through what is essentially a field of lightning. Jack and Patrick are on the hunt for Connor. And lastly, a big chunk of the forest they’re in the middle of is on fire.

Angelina Jolie is never not Angelina Jolie in this movie; there is nothing about her that believably suggests a hard-living firefighter. But as a movie star in an action film, she’s fine. She can sell the physicality of the part well enough and once we get over the hump of setting up Hannah’s backstory situation, the movie is pretty immediate-problem-solving-based. The problem is getting through this lightning field, the problem is hiding from Jack and Patrick, the problem is getting Connor in touch with “the News,” which was what his father told him to do if they were ever separated. (That plan has some practical flaws but in the general “don’t worry about it too much, this is an action movie” sense is fine because it gets the information disseminated and removes the point of killing Connor — aside from just revenge, I guess.) Chases through the forest and fights in front of a scary fire-lit background are the point of this movie and it executes them competently. I basically enjoyed this movie as I was watching it — particularly Senghore’s performance and character, she is the movie’s truly believable bad-ass — and while I wouldn’t recommend going out of your way to find it, if you already have HBO Max, it is perfectly acceptable low-effort entertainment. B-

Rated R for strong violence and language throughout, according to the MPA on Directed by Taylor Sheridan with a screenplay by Michael Koryta and Charles Leavitt and Taylor Sheridan, Those Who With Me Dead is an hour and 40 minutes long and distributed by New Line Cinemas. It is available on HBO Max and is screening in theaters.

Featured photo: The Woman in the Window (R)

Freedom, by Sebastian Junger

Freedom, by Sebastian Junger (Simon & Schuster, 147 pages)

In 2012 Cheryl Strayed hit publishing paydirt with a memoir of her three-month solo hike on the Pacific Crest Trail. That book, Wild, was an account of how Strayed fought her way through both a literal wilderness and a wilderness of grief after her mother died from a cruelly rapid onset of lung cancer.

In his new book Freedom, Sebastian Junger also takes to the wild, with dramatically different style and intent. Best known for the commercially successful The Perfect Storm (published in 1997 if you want to feel old), Junger set off to walk a long distance along railroad lines, which happens to be illegal. This gives the account a thin tension. Will Junger and his comrades — a photographer, two Afghan War veterans and a dog — be arrested? Run over by a train? Eaten by bears? That is the extent of the mystery in this meandering account that reads at times like the collision of Reader’s Digest Condensed Books and the “N” volume of the World Book Encyclopedia — “N” for the emphasis on Native Americans.

Strayed covered 1,100 miles; Junger and his companions, 400, going from Washington, D.C., to Philadelphia to Pittsburgh. He admits in an afterword that the journey was “done in stages and not always with the same people,” which somewhat diminishes the accomplishment. But the slim book is still a surprisingly engrossing reflection of what “freedom” really means in a primitive sense, not the patriotic one, and why there is so much appeal in these stories of people who temporarily cast off the shackles of civilization for the perils and hardships of the wild.

The book is divided into three sections, titled “Run,” “Fight” and “Think.” In the first, Junger jumps right into the journey, taking no time for the formalities of explaining why he was doing this, and quickly launching into encyclopedic mode with a discourse on the freedom Native Americans had before Europeans arrived to chase and slaughter them. By the close of the section, we are weeping for the Apaches, even though Junger makes clear that brutality was not unique to the invading Europeans.

As Junger writes about the European settlers, “If you were willing to risk being captured … then you could make your way up the finger valleys of the Juniata and find a secluded spot to build a cabin and get in a quick crop of corn. … The risks were appalling and the hardships unspeakable, but no government official would ever again tell you what to do.”

In taking the journey, Junger attempts to experience not only the travails of Native Americans and the early settlers but the lifestyle of our ancestors, millennia-past. “The poor have always walked and the desperate have always slept outside. We were neither, but we were still doing something that felt ancient and hard.”

He writes vividly of the stresses of the body when moving constantly: “Sometimes you enter a great blank space where a whole hour can seem to go by faster than some of the minutes within it, and the loyal dog of your body trots along as if the entire point of its existence is to expire following your orders.”

For food, the men made fires and grilled meat and vegetables they bought when they ventured into towns, and occasionally wolfed pancakes and eggs at diners where people looked at them with a mixture of suspicion and envy. They carried a single machete, which they stuck in a tree while they slept, counting on Junger’s dog to serve as an alarm if something evil came their way.

In the second section, “Fight,” Junger returns with dismaying insistence to tales of Native American cruelty to settlers. Then he segues into stories about how the railroads were built, with equally horrific random tales of carnage. (The book could have been subtitled “1,000 horrific ways to die in early America.”) The takeaway: Trains and settling a wilderness are dangerous, as was the trip that Junger and his companions were, somewhat inexplicably, taking,

“The towns, the cops, the freight companies — no one wanted us on the lines, which was understandable. In fact, over the course of four hundred miles, we failed to come up with a single moral or legal justification for what we were doing other than the dilute principle that we weren’t causing actual harm so we should be able to keep doing it,” he writes.

In the final section, “Think,” and throughout a frayed thread that runs through the book, Junger wrestles with the perception of freedom and real freedom’s uglier realities. “People love to believe that they’re free,” he says, although flag-waving Americans “depend on a sprawling supply chain that can only function with federal oversight, and most of them pay roughly one-third of their income in taxes for the right to participate in this system.”

In the end, it’s unclear what Junger accomplished other than pulverizing his feet to something the consistency of pink oatmeal. The trip had been an escape of a 51-year-old in the middle of a divorce and was “a temporary injunction against whatever was coming” next. It’s definitely not the triumphant finish of Wild.

Except for one thing: Like Strayed, Junger got a film out of his exceedingly long hike. Called The Last Patrol, the HBO documentary came out in 2014. The book is as uneven as the territory the men crossed, but intriguing enough to make us want to see the footage. B-

When Andy Warhol said that in the future everyone will be famous for 15 minutes, he left something out: that in the future, everyone will write a novel, whether anyone wants to read it or not.
I was reminded of this recently when listening to Four-Hour-Work-Week guru Tim Ferris interview author Steven Pressfield (A Man at Arms, W.W. Norton, 336 pages) on a podcast. Ferris, who has made a ton of money writing nonfiction, mused that he was thinking of writing a novel. Of course he is. Who isn’t?
That is clear from new fiction offerings from former President Bill Clinton and Georgia politician Stacey Abrams, not to mention a forthcoming novel from Empty Nest star Dinah Manoff.
Abrams, to her credit, is dedicated to the craft. She wrote her first novel in law school and has published eight romance novels under the pen name Selena Montgomery. She’s also written two nonfiction books. Her newest is While Justice Sleeps (Doubleday, 384 pages), billed as a thriller set within the U.S. Supreme Court.
Clinton teams up with superstar author James Patterson again for The President’s Daughter (Little, Brown and Co./Knopf), which, at 608 pages, brings to mind Clinton’s 35-minute speech in 1988 and how the crowd went wild when he finally said “In conclusion.” Somewhat predictably, it’s a thriller about the kidnapping of a president’s kid. The previous Patterson-Clinton book was The President is Missing (Little, Brown and Co., 527 pages). Apparently the president goes missing.
Less promising is Manoff’s July release of The Real True Hollywood Story of Jackie Gold, billed as a coming-of-age story set in Hollywood (Star Alley Press, 338 pages). Right now it’s only offered on Kindle and it appears to be the first book published by this company, which may be a cover for self-publishing. If it flops, it doesn’t take away from Manoff’s other talents (she did, after all, win a Tony) but only suggests that maybe, just maybe, everyone doesn’t have a novel in them.
Andy Warhol, by the way, thought he did. Though famous for his pop art, Warhol wrote something that he called a novel — literally. A, a Novel (Grove Press, 451 pages) was not especially well-received in 1968 and, being largely a transcript of recordings, can barely be called a novel, but a first edition is going for $6,500 on Amazon. If you’ve got one somewhere, get thee to a book dealer, fast.


Author events

MEREDITH TATE AND CAMERON LUND Tate presents Shipped. Lund presents Heartbreakers and Fakers. Hosted by Gibson’s Bookstore in Concord. Virtual, via Zoom. Thurs., May 20, 7 p.m. Registration required. Visit or call 224-0562.

GLENN A. KNOBLOCK Author presents Hidden History of Lake Winnipesaukee. Hosted by Gibson’s Bookstore in Concord. Virtual, via Zoom. Wed., May 26, 7 p.m. Registration required. Visit or call 224-0562.

KEVIN KWAN Author presents Sex and Vanity. Hosted by The Music Hall in Portsmouth. Thurs., May 27, 7 p.m. Virtual. Tickets cost $5. Visit or call 436-2400.

JAMIE DUCHARME AND JEFFREY KLUGER Ducharme presents Big Vape: The Incendiary Rise of Juul. Kluger presents Holdout. Hosted by Gibson’s Bookstore in Concord. Virtual, via Zoom. Wed., June 2, 7 p.m. Registration required. Visit or call 224-0562.

ANNETTE GORDON-REED Author presents On Juneteenth. Hosted by The Music Hall in Portsmouth. Thurs., June 3, 7 p.m. Virtual. Tickets cost $5. Visit or call 436-2400.

LIN-MANUEL MIRANDA, QUIARA ALEGRIA HUDES AND JEREMY MCCARTER Authors present the launch of their new book, In the Heights: Finding Home. Hosted by Gibson’s Bookstore in Concord. Virtual, via Zoom. Tues., June 15, 8 p.m. Registration and tickets required. Tickets cost $40 to $44. Visit or call 224-0562.

Call for submissions

COVID POETRY ANTHOLOGY New Hampshire residents are invited to submit original poems for review and possible publication in COVID Spring Vol. II,an anthology of poetry about the pandemic experience in New Hampshire, to be edited by New Hampshire Poet Laureate Alexandria Peary and published by Hobblebush Books this summer. Youth age 18 and under may also submit original poems to be considered for the anthology’s new youth section. Submit a poem or poems (up to three) by Sun., May 23, through the online submission form at Poets will be notified of the editor’s decision by June 15.

NH LITERARY AWARDS The New Hampshire Writers’ Project seeks submissions for its Biennial New Hampshire Literary Awards, which recognize published works written about New Hampshire and works written by New Hampshire natives or residents. Books must have been published between Jan. 1, 2019 and Dec. 31, 2020 and may be nominated in fiction, nonfiction, poetry, children’s picture books, middle grade/young adult books. All entries will be read and evaluated by a panel of judges assembled by the NHWP. Submission deadline is Mon., June 21, 5 p.m. Visit

Featured photo: Freedom

Album Reviews 21/05/20

Alchemy Sound Project, Afrika Love (Artists Recording Collective)

I assume you know by now that I try to steer readers away from dissonant, disagreeable jazz. I roll like that mostly because purposely annoying runs, no matter the level of talent, go through me like a nail. In other words, I am not a hawker of Charles Mingus et al; I think I’ve only covered one of his live albums here, purely for the sake of humanity (and to keep the remastered Blue Note albums coming in, like you couldn’t have guessed). So this one, from a scarily talented quintet of bandleaders (on trumpet, woodwinds and piano on the prime-mover side), does start with some dis-ambiance (“The Fountain”), and I was about to commence to barfing, but then it just flies off into hyperspace with the immensely complicated “Dark Blue Residue”: You’re at once overwhelmed by the band’s depth of musicianship; I mean it’s Jedi-level. And accessible as well. Mind, I’m just trying to help the genre, not scold anyone for liking skronky nonsense, but I’d recommend this to anyone exploring jazz. A

Living Wreckage, “Breaking Point” (self-released)

I’m sure we can dispose of this quickly, the teaser single from a quote-unquote “superstar metal band consisting of vocalist Jeff Gard (Death Ray Vision), guitarists Jon Donais (Anthrax, Shadows Fall) and Matt LeBreton (Downpour), bassist Matt Bachand (Shadows Fall, Act of Defiance) and drummer Jon Morency (Let Us Prey). Their goal is to make “good ol’ hard rock/metal that fits somewhere between Skid Row and Pantera.” Now, the only thing I know for sure is that I’ve always considered Anthrax to be the Pepsi to Metallica’s Coca-Cola within the ’80s thrash-metal sphere, like Anthrax wanted to be DRI so badly that they even named a song after that band. Pretty hurtin’, huh? Now, that’s not to say these guys aren’t going to be the next (place name of “superstar thrash band” that everyone forgot about in three months here), because who knows, maybe this tune’s combination-ripoff of Meshuggah, Nine Inch Nails and Metallica will be the key to unleashing speed-metal again upon our unsuspecting world, this time for a permanent reign. But I doubt it. B


A seriously abridged compendium of recent and future CD releases

• May 21 sounds like a great Friday for new CDs, am I right? Well, tough Tootsie Rolls, frantic fam, because here they come anyway. Let’s have a look at the list of albums coming out tomorrow, shall we? Right, blah blah blah, Georgia Anne Muldrow, don’t like her; Blake Shelton, never heard of him, unless that was the guy who tried to sell me a used Corolla in 1996 — ah, here’s something I can actually get excited about (you wouldn’t believe how short that list is these days, guys): It’s none other than goth king Gary Numan, with his new album, Intruder! You may know that this vampire-techno vanguard, he of the swirling fog and and the spooky tunes that are so awesome they’re probably illegal in the Midwest, has had himself a few setbacks, like the time he was supposed to collaborate with Trent Reznor but it just turned into Nine Inch Nails doing a cover of Numan’s “Metal,” and Numan is self-diagnosed with Asperger Syndrome, and he has a really crazy girlfriend (which of course only means he’s in a band, but whatever). Anyway, even though everyone expected him (because he announced such) to just buy a farm and retire after his big 1980s hit “Cars,” he stuck with it, and his last bajillion albums are the gold standard for post-Bauhaus vampire rock, and I’m sure I’ll listen to this single, “Now And Forever,” from Intruder and will pronounce it awesome. Yes, I will be doing just that. It has a weird, scratchy Nine Inch Nails style beat, but when you add Numan’s half-yodeling voice it becomes instantly awesome. I have no idea why he isn’t more popular than Reznor, but whatever.

• The Monkees are a long-gone band and TV show that was huge in the mid-1960s, because they were basically The Beatles with more accessible songs and lots of sight gags involving chimpanzees and hot girls named Mary and Sandra, because those were the official hot girl names of that generation. There are only two Monkees still alive now (and yes, I had to check that they’re still alive), namely Micky Dolenz (the goofy, chimp-like drummer) and Mike Nesmith, the slacker guitarist. Since these guys still have to make a living playing music, there is a new album on the way, called Micky Dolenz Sings Nesmith, which should be self-explanatory if unexciting news to Monkees fans, because none of those guys were allowed to write songs for the original TV show, so I assume the song snippets I just heard were random songs written by Nesmith, jingly ’60s-pop trifles that are happy and catchy, whatever, and Dolenz can still actually sing, which is the weird part.

• Columbus, Ohio, alternative hip-hop duo Twenty One Pilots will release their sixth full-length, Scaled And Icy, on May 21. You’ll know them from the Eminem-meets-boy-band hit “Stressed Out,” or maybe you somehow don’t, which doesn’t mean that you aren’t cool anymore, it just means that you never bother to Shazam the songs you hear at fashionable outlet malls (if so, send me a Friend request). The pair’s latest single is “Shy Away,” which starts off like bloopy Billie Eilish electropop, then becomes emo, then tries to sound like a Smashing Pumpkins B-Side. Your dog might like it, I don’t know.

• We’ll put this week in the books with a quick listen to eclectic techno-whatever dude Nicholas Krgovich, whose new LP, This Spring, consists of a bunch of cover songs originally done by Canadian experimental wingnut Veda Hille. “LuckLucky,” the first single, sounds like Orbital in mellow mode. It’s OK.

Retro Playlist

You might think of me as a closed-minded punk/noise/metal guy, given all the love I’ve heaped on the louder genres and my constant bashing of half-plugged fedora and indie bands. But there’s a soft side to my W.C. Fields-ness that’s surfaced recently: I’ve become completely obsessed with Fleetwood Mac.

There’s an explanation. I did the math the other week, and between this newspaper and all the other magazines, papers and blogs to which I’ve “contributed,” I have written, to date, at the very least, around 4,500 CD reviews. Do you have any idea how much damage all that bad music could do to a human cerebrum? I kidded around about that in my book and sometimes mention it here, but never did I realize that my experiencing all that horror would actually lead to something positive.

Announcement: I have become convinced that Fleetwood Mac is the greatest pop-songwriting unit in history. I say all this for the benefit of young music-searchers, of course; old folks know how divine the band’s Rumours album is. There’s “Dreams,” “Go Your Own Way,” and all that stuff.

I’m also grimly fascinated by how bloody weird the band members were. Sara Fleetwood, who stole drummer Mick from Stevie Nicks and married him, has (maybe) posted all sorts of insider groupie details over at the blog As with any potential troll, it’s impossible to determine if she’s real or not, but sure, I believe it, and besides, whether it’s fake or not, Sara’s got to be completely crazy by now.

That Sara person may have been the inspiration for the only great song (the suspiciously named “Sara”) on the band’s absolutely awful 1979 album Tusk. The stunted yin to Rumours’ yang, Tusk was written almost exclusively by guitarist Lindsey Buckingham, who, in a drugged-up panic, was desperate to make people forget that the band made epic pop-rock. The critics sure did, after Tusk flopped its way into the stores.

But regardless, “Sara” — obviously a rough sketch for “Gypsy,” which came later — is a magnificent touchy-feely song. If you’re young, add that to your playlist, as well as anything else either of the two women wrote back then.

Make yard work more fun

Random beers to help with outdoor chores

My wife and I decided this would be the year we would beautify our landscaping. Mulch! Fresh loam! Grass seed! New shrubs! Flowers! And even a fancy sprinkler that sits on a tripod! This would be the year.

Well, some of those things have actually happened but others, sadly, have not. The area right in front of my house looks like a construction site. No, not a construction site; it looks like something exploded in front of my house.

There are two giant holes from removing a couple stumps, except that I’ve only been able to get one of the stumps out. I’m told I need a “come-along” and a “winch.” And then I guess I’m going to crank it right out, so says YouTube. I can’t imagine anything could go wrong.

OK, so there’s been a lot of digging and just generally tiresome labor, and that means I’ve needed to whet my whistle with some beer from time to time. My selections have been completely random and maybe even questionable but I regret nothing.

I know I’m not alone in trying to beautify lawns and landscaping this year and so I know I’m also not alone in needing something to quench my thirst.

Here’s a look at some brews that helped reward me after attacking some stumps.

Harpoon UFO by Harpoon Brewery (Boston)

I found this in the back of my dad’s fridge and when I saw it I immediately harkened back to the college days when I had far too many Blue Moons and UFOs with orange slices sitting on the brim of the glass. I think we all went to the well on this style too frequently and just got sick of it. So, probably 15 or maybe more years since I last had one of these, I dove in, and it was refreshing and tasty. There is absolutely nothing offensive about this beer. It’s definitely got a little sweetness but it’s not nearly as overpowering as I remembered. On a hot day, yeah, I think this is a winner.

Holy Donut Imperial Stout by Lone Pine Brewing Co. (Portland, Maine)

Brewed in collaboration with the famed Portland doughnut shop that gives this beer its name, this is an imperial stout brewed with dark chocolate toasted coconut doughnuts. Honestly, I’m not sure whether it’s dessert or breakfast and who really cares anyway? The main problem with this beer is that I was halfway through it when I realized it was 10.5 percent ABV — that sort of made for an interesting afternoon. This is a rich, decadent bomb of a beer that still manages to be dangerously easy to drink.

Newcastle Brown Ale by Lagunitas (Chicago)

This is another one I found in the back of my dad’s fridge — honestly, what’s in the back of this guy’s fridge is absolutely wild: Mike’s Hard Raspberry Lemonade from probably 2008, some kind of hard root beer and then some Heady Topper sitting right next to it. It’s incredible. This was one of my first favorite beers during and after college. My whole family loved Newcastle. We got kegs of this stuff for all family graduation parties, I think. And then one day I bought a six-pack and every beer in the pack was skunked, and it’s just really hard to come back to a beer once that happens to you. But you know, again, years later, this was perfectly fine! (It’s also now brewed with a different recipe.) It’s got a subtle nuttiness and a little bit of malt — extremely easy to drink. This is a perfectly pleasing if not especially remarkable beer.

What’s in My Fridge
Wachusett Blueberry Ale by Wachusett Brewing Co. (Westminster)
My wife saw this in the fridge and asked why I don’t keep the fridge stocked with this beer at all times. It’s a great question and there’s really no excuse for my lapse. If you’ve never tried this, please do. It’s super-refreshing, very easy to drink and features the extremely pleasing but not at all overpowering flavor of blueberry. Cheers!

Featured photo: Holy Donut by Lone Pine Brewing Co.

lorna Aouad

Lorna Aouad of Auburn is the owner of Loulou’s Bakery (, and on Facebook and Instagram @loulousbakery.nh), a wholesale and catering business she started two years ago that specializes in Mediterranean sweet cookies, savory pies and other handcrafted items. Her cookies, which include flavors like date, almond tea, sesame tea and chocolate sable, are all made from scratch and can be found in most Hannaford Supermarket locations in southern New Hampshire, as well as McKinnon’s in both Salem and Portsmouth. Aouad, who is originally from Lebanon, also makes small meat pies, spinach and feta pies, and cheese or thyme flatbreads, and offers catering for several meat, vegetarian or dessert platters with three-day advance ordering notice.

What is your must-have kitchen item?

Measuring cups and spoons, and also my spices, which I cannot cook without.

What would you have for your last meal?

My meat flatbread. It has ground beef, tomatoes and onions and a squeeze of lemon on top, and it’s on a thin crust, almost like a pizza crust. It’s to die for.

What is your favorite local restaurant?

My favorite is Cotton [in Manchester]. I love their steak and their salad and popcorn shrimp. It’s such a cozy little place. I also really like Piccola Italia [Ristorante in Manchester].

What celebrity would you like to see trying something you’ve made?

I would love to have Gov. [Chris] Sununu try some of my food, definitely my flatbread or my stuffed grape leaves or kibbeh.

What is your personal favorite menu item?

I love my kafta soup. It’s ground meat, almost like meatballs, and inside of them there’s parsley, onion and some special spices. The soup itself has rice and tomato paste and some parsley in it.

What is the biggest food trend in New Hampshire right now?

Definitely comfort food, especially because it’s such a stressful time right now.

What is your favorite thing to cook at home?

I like to make appetizers, not just Lebanese appetizers but a bunch of different things. I make the best Seven Layers, which has refried beans, guacamole, cheese, tomatoes, scallions, olives and then a special sauce in the middle with different spices in it.

Easy hummus recipe
From the kitchen of Lorna Aouad of Loulou’s Bakery in Auburn,

15 ounces broiled chickpeas, warm
1 large squeezed lemon
1 clove peeled fresh garlic
½ teaspoon salt
2 tablespoons tahini sauce
3 Tablespoons warm water
1 teaspoon olive oil

Featured photo: Lorna Aouad of Loulou’s Bakery in Auburn with husband Rami Kattar

Back at the market

Farmers markets open with plans for a more lively summer

Ledge Top Farm in Wilton is a vendor at this year’s Milford Farmers Market. Courtesy photo.

Adrienne Colsia wasn’t sure what the Milford Farmers Market’s first day back outdoors would bring. The market canceled its entire indoor season this winter — though to make up for some lost dates, it remained outdoors for six additional weeks through Nov. 21 last year.

On May 8, the market kicked off its summer season more than a month earlier than normal, at its usual outdoor spot at 300 Elm St. across from the New Hampshire Antique Co-op.

“Usually you never know with that first market, but it was very well-attended. I had a lot more people come out than I was expecting,” said Colsia, who manages the market and also co-owns Paradise Farm in Lyndeborough, one of its featured vendors. “I actually had several vendors that day tell me that they had broken their own sales records for one market.”

At least 19 vendors are on the schedule each week, offering a wide variety of items from beef, poultry and fresh produce to prepared meals, cheeses, baked goods, craft beer and wine.

For the time being, Colsia said, masks are still required and sampling is not allowed. But other features of the market, such as live music in the center of the lot, may be returning soon.

As the summer market season returns in the Granite State, pandemic regulations and restrictions that were implemented last year may still be in effect or may be eased a bit. According to Gail McWilliam Jellie, director of agricultural development for the New Hampshire Department of Agriculture, Markets & Food, it will all likely vary depending on where you go — each individual market, she said, can have its own guidelines encouraging masks or one-way shopping, or temporarily suspending product sampling, live entertainment or demonstrations.

Here’s a look at some farmers markets that have already kicked off their outdoor seasons and others due to start in the coming weeks, plus a couple new local markets debuting in 2021.

Markets underway

Khadija A. with Fresh Start Farms, vending at the Milford Farmers Market. Courtesy photo.

When it comes to creating a vendor list for the Milford Farmers Market, Colsia aims for variety.

“We try to limit things like crafts or jewelry,” she said. “We want people to feel like they can do their grocery shopping here. That’s what I strive for.”

This year’s roster includes Lone Wolf Cheese of Harrisville, which makes many of its own cheeses, butters and yogurts; Quarter Moon Farm of Hancock, which offers a line of certified organic black garlic products; and Mola Foods of Nashua, offering world-inspired spice blends.

In mid-June, a few additional vegetable vendors will be joining the market too once their products reach their peak growing season — among them will be Groh Farm of Wilton, a biodynamic farm established by Temple-Wilton Community Farm co-founder Trauger Groh.

After a few months indoors from January to April, the Concord Farmers Market also kicked off its summer season at its usual spot on Capitol Street, steps away from the Statehouse. Market president Wayne Hall said the board has been closely following guidelines from the City of Concord, which still has a mask ordinance in effect through June 1.

“Samples are allowed now … but the vendor has to hand it to the person rather than them just reaching for it,” said Hall, who also owns Rockey Ole Farm in Concord, a purveyor of leafy greens, fresh berries and other produce in addition to eggs and cut flowers.

The Contoocook Farmers Market moved back outdoors on May 1, a few weeks earlier than normal, to its normal spot by the gazebo next to the Contoocook Railroad Museum. Many of the same guidelines from the start of the last summer season remain in effect, such as the encouragement of one shopper per household to visit the market to promote social distancing. Most of the vendors also offer several types of alternative payment methods to limit cash use.

Another market that recently moved back outdoors, the Salem Farmers Market is in a new spot as of May 16, according to president Bonnie Wright — the Tuscan Village shopping plaza. You’ll find it there every Sunday behind Drive Fitness and adjacent to the building housing Williams Sonoma and the new Tuscan Market. For the first time in more than a year, Wright said, the Salem market has extended its hours back to its usual 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. time frame.

Salem also has the distinction of being one of the only year-round markets in New Hampshire that has remained nearly uninterrupted. From March 2020 all the way until January of this year, the market had been outdoors, before finding a temporary indoor spot at 369 S. Broadway.

“Our market is so critical to the livelihood of our customers … that our vendors agreed to keep coming out,” Wright said. “Other farmers markets have used us as a model, because we were proactive right at the beginning. We were strict about social distancing and masks from the start.”

Markets on deck

Fresh vegetables from Kearsarge Gore Farm in Warner, a vendor at Concord and Warner’s markets. Courtesy photo.

As Memorial Day weekend approaches, more outdoor markets across New Hampshire are set to begin their summer seasons. Next up are the Henniker Community Market, kicking off on May 20, and the Weare Real Food Farmers Market, due to hold its first outdoor market on May 29.

Henniker is coming off the heels of an “outstanding” inaugural Handmade & Homegrown event on May 8 in the Community Center park, a primarily arts-focused market that also featured a few local prepared food vendors, according to market manager Monica Rico. The Henniker Community Market will continue every Thursday in that spot through Oct. 21.

The Weare Real Food Farmers Market held its first year outdoors last July through the weekend before Thanksgiving, and a new indoor space opened March 15, owner Marek Rivero said. Outdoors, the market has received clearance from the Town to remain open from Memorial Day weekend through the entire rest of the year, weather permitting. You’ll find vendors’ products from right in town as well as in neighboring communities — Warner River Produce of Webster, for example, has been featuring items like spinach, carrots, microgreens and shiitake mushrooms, while the New Hampshire Doughnut Co. has been dropping off deliveries of its fresh doughnuts.

On Wednesday, June 2, the Derry Homegrown Farm & Artisan Market will return for the first time since the 2019 season. Just one day before its original opening date last year, the market’s board announced it had unanimously voted to sit the 2020 season out.

“Most of our vendors have been with us since the beginning, and just about everybody is back with us and equally excited as us to be back,” market manager and board vice president Neil Wetherbee said. “The community response also has been great so far.”

New vendors are expected, like Meta Microgreens of Dracut, Mass., and Mimi Rae’s Gluten Free Bakery of Chester, which offers cookies, brownies and other treats.

With Derry holding its first farmers market since the onset of the pandemic, Wetherbee said several critical decisions were made early on, among them to permit vendors to give out samples.

“We usually have alcohol vendors … and it’s a huge thing for them to come but not be able to do samples,” he said, “and the alcohol has to be in a roped off section of the market anyway.”

Live music performances and art demonstrations are returning to the Derry market too, thanks to a grant the board received from the New Hampshire State Council on the Arts.

Also on June 2 will be the return of the Canterbury Community Farmers Market, which is set up in the parking lot of the Elkins Public Library. Like in Contoocook, the market is continuing to observe its best practices from last year, which can be viewed on the website.

The New Boston Farmers Market is due to return on June 12, co-manager Allison Vermette said.

“We have a few of our craft vendors coming back who had taken last year off,” she said. “We do have a few new vendors coming too, which is always exciting. … We have one right here in town called Coyote’s Kitchen that will be bringing vegan organic pizza crusts.”

Similar to last year, Vermette said live musicians will be performing from the nearby gazebo each week throughout the season. One-way entrances and exits for customers are also in effect.

“We’re going to see if we can get food trucks like we have at the market in the past, and we’ll kind of have a separate eating area where there’s enough space,” she said.

On June 15, the Bedford Farmers Market will begin its season. The market had moved to the parking lot at 209 Route 101 in Bedford last year out of necessity, but according to manager Lauren Ritz, it was such a success that they decided to keep it there.

Because Wicked Good Butchah and Flight Coffee Co. are both located in the shopping plaza, Ritz said, this year’s market does not have a meat or coffee vendor. Instead, there will be around 20 local vendors selling everything from fresh produce to maple syrup, baked goods, seafood and more. New faces to the Bedford market this year include Jajabelles of Nashua offering fresh pastries; Sunfox Farm, which will have sunflowers and sunflower oil; and Oasis Springs Farm, also of Nashua, offering its own hydroponically grown lettuce and microgreens.

Intown Manchester is also planning on bringing back its farm stand, which debuted at Victory Park last year, executive director Sara Beaudry said. Intown Manchester’s Farm Stand & Artisan Shop will be held on Thursdays from June 17 through Aug. 26, with produce from Fresh Start Farms, as well as a small selection of other vendors, like DJ’s Pure Natural Honey and Dandido Hot Sauce.

New markets for 2021

Shortly after the formation of the Pelham Agricultural Commission, chairwoman Jenny Larson said its board members began planning to organize a subcommittee for a farmers market.

“We got involved in the community and asked citizens what they’d like to see from us … and the overwhelming response was for a farmers market,” Larson said. “So that was the No. 1 thing we immediately put on our agenda, and it went off without a hitch from there. … Pelham had had one years ago, but it just kind of fell apart due to a lack of volunteers.”

The new Pelham Farmers Market, expected to feature more than a dozen vendors, is set to begin June 19 outside the First Congregational Church of Pelham, continuing on Saturdays through October.

“We’re going to have something pretty much for everyone,” Larson said. “Farmer Dave’s over in Dracut, [Mass.,] will have all kinds of fruits and veggies. We’re going to have a meat vendor, some breads, baked goods, some microgreens, some honey, and some organic soaps. Our applications for vendors are on a continuous basis, so they can send one in three months from now if they just want to sell in the fall.”

The market will be held rain or shine from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Larson said additional events such as live music and demonstrations have also been in discussion for future markets.

Candia’s Agricultural Commission is also planning a new Candia market that will begin on June 19. According to market manager Pattie Davis, it will be on the grounds of the Smyth Public Library on the third Saturday of each month, from 9 a.m. to noon, wrapping up Oct. 16.

“The original idea … was for people with farms in town to be able to sell their wares once a month if they didn’t have enough stuff to come every week,” Davis said. “At this point, there’s one bakery and one crafter, and after that it’s all fruits and vegetables.”

She added that each market will feature a booth highlighting a different community organization — the first one will be the local gardening club, which will be there selling perennials.

Local farmers markets
Here’s a list we’ve compiled by the day of the week of summer farmers markets happening in southern New Hampshire this year. Some markets are rain or shine while others may be postponed or canceled due to weather — be sure to visit their websites or Facebook pages for the most up-to-date information on each individual date.

Gilmanton Community Farmers Market will be from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. at the Gilmanton Year-Round Library (1385 Route 140) beginning June 13 and through Sept. 26. Visit or find them on Facebook @gilmantoncommunityfarmersmarket.

Nashua Farmers Market will be from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. at City Hall Plaza (229 Main St.) beginning June 20 and through Oct. 17. Visit or find them on Facebook @nashuafarmersmarket.

Salem Farmers Market is from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. As of May 16 the market has moved to a new outdoor location at Tuscan Village South, behind Drive Fitness (12 Via Toscana Drive). Visit or find them on Facebook @salemnhfarmersmarket.

Durham Farmers Market will be from 2:15 to 5:30 p.m. in the parking lot of Sammy’s Market (5 Madbury Road) beginning June 7 and through Oct. 4. Visit or find them on Facebook @market03824.

Bedford Farmers Market will be from 3 to 6 p.m. in the parking lot of Wicked Good Butchah (209 Route 101), beginning June 15 and through Oct. 12. Visit or find them on Facebook @bedfordfarmersmarketnh.

Rochester Farmers Market will be from 3 to 6 p.m. on the Rochester Town Common (Route 108 and South Main Street) beginning June 15 and through Sept. 28. Visit or find them on Facebook.


Canterbury Community Farmers Market will be from 4 to 6:30 p.m. in the parking lot of the Elkins Public Library (9 Center Road) beginning June 2 and through Sept. 29. Visit or find them on Facebook @ccfma.

Derry Homegrown Farm & Artisan Market will be from 3 to 7 p.m. at 1 W. Broadway beginning June 2 and through Sept. 29. Visit or find them on Facebook @derryhomegrown.

Dover Farmers Market will be from 2:15 to 5:30 p.m. in the parking lot of the Greater Dover Chamber of Commerce (550 Central Ave.) beginning June 2 and through Oct. 6. Visit or find them on Facebook @market03820.

Peterborough Farmers Market is from 3 to 6 p.m. on the lawn of the Peterborough Community Center (25 Elm St.) now through October. The market moves indoors during the winter months. Find them on Facebook @peterboroughnhfarmersmarket.

Exeter Farmers Market is from 2:15 to 5:30 p.m. at Swasey Parkway (off Water Street) now through Oct. 28. Visit or find them on Facebook @market03833.

Franklin Farmers Market will be from 3 to 6 p.m. at Marceau Park (Central Street) beginning June 24 and through Sept. 30. Visit or find them on Facebook @franklinlocalmarket.

Henniker Community Market is from 4 to 7 p.m. in the town’s Community Center park (57 Main St.) now through Oct. 21. Find them on Facebook @hennikercommunitymarket.

Intown’s Farm Stand & Artisan Shop will be from 3 to 6 p.m., at Victory Park (Concord and Chestnut streets, Manchester) beginning June 17 and through Aug. 26. Find them on Facebook @manchesterfood.

Rindge Farmers & Crafters Market is from 3 to 6 p.m. at West Rindge Common (Route 202 North) now through Oct. 7. Find them on Facebook @rindgefarmersandcraftersmarket.

Wolfeboro Area Farmers Market is from 12:30 to 4:30 p.m. at Clark Park (233 S. Main St.) now through Oct. 28. Visit or find them on Facebook @wolfeboroareafarmersmarket.

Francestown Community Market is from 4 to 7 p.m. at the horse sheds near the Francestown Police Station (15 New Boston Road). Find them on Facebook @francestowncommunitymarket.

Newport Farmers Market will be from 3 to 6 p.m. on the Newport Town Common (N. Main and Park streets) beginning June 11 and through Oct. 1. Visit or find them on Facebook @newportfarmersmarketnh.

Barnstead Farmers Market will be from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. at 96 Maple St. in Center Barnstead beginning June 12 and through Sept. 25. Visit or find them on Facebook @barnsteadfarmersmarket.

Candia Farmers Market will be from 9 a.m. to noon outside the Smyth Public Library (55 High St., Candia) beginning June 19. (Note: This market will only be held on the third Saturday of each month through October. Dates are June 19, July 17, Aug. 21, Sept. 18 and Oct. 16). Visit or email

Cole Gardens Farmers Market is from 9:30 a.m. to 1 p.m. at Cole Gardens (430 Loudon Road, Concord) now through Oct. 30. Visit or find them on Facebook @colegardens.

Concord Farmers Market is from 8:30 a.m. to noon on Capitol Street (near the New Hampshire Statehouse) now through Oct. 30. Visit or find them on Facebook @concordfarmersmarketnh.

Contoocook Farmers Market is from 9 a.m. to noon at 896 Main St. (by the gazebo behind the train depot) now through October. Find them on Facebook @contoocookfarmersmarket.

Milford Farmers Market is from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. at 300 Elm St. (across the street from the New Hampshire Antique Co-op) now through Oct. 9. Visit milfordnhfarmersmarket or find them on Facebook @milfordfarmersmarketofnh.

New Boston Farmers Market will be from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. on the corner of Route 13 and Meetinghouse Hill Road beginning June 12 and through Oct. 9. Visit or find them on Facebook @newbostonfarmersmarket.

New Ipswich Farmers Market is from 9 a.m. to noon in the parking lot of New Ipswich Town Hall (661 Turnpike Road) now through October. Beginning in November the market typically moves indoors to the New Ipswich Congregational Church. Find them on Facebook @newipswichfarmersmarket.

Pelham Farmers Market will be from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. outside the First Congregational Church of Pelham (3 Main St.) beginning June 19 and through Oct. 30. Search “Friends of Pelham NH Farmers Market” on Facebook.

Portsmouth Farmers Market is from 8 a.m. to noon in the parking lot of Little Harbour Elementary School (50 Clough Drive, Portsmouth) now through Nov. 6. Visit or find them on Facebook @market03801.

Warner Area Farmers Market is from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. on the Warner Town Hall lawn (5 E. Main St.). Visit or find them on Facebook @warnerareafarmersmarket.

Weare Real Food Farmers Market will be outdoors from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. at 65 N. Stark Hwy. in Weare beginning May 29. Visit or find them on Facebook @wearerealfoodfarmersmarket.

Wilmot Farmers Market will be from 9 a.m. to noon on the Wilmot Town Green (9 Kearsarge Valley Road) beginning June 26 and through Sept. 25. Visit or find them on Facebook.

Feautred photo: Lakonian Olive Oil is a vendor at this year’s Milford Farmers Market. Courtesy photo.

The Weekly Dish 21/05/20

News from the local food scene

• ’Cue it up: The Grazing Room at The Colby Hill Inn (33 The Oaks, Henniker) launched its Sunday Night Out event series earlier this month — every Sunday now through Aug. 29, the eatery will serve a local seafood raw bar, a special barbecue-themed a la carte menu, and flight trios of beer, wine and sake, in addition to hosting a different live music act each week courtesy of the New Hampshire Music Collective. Items include New Hampshire oysters on the half shell, jumbo shrimp cocktail or crab claws with cocktail sauce, grilled marinated octopus with tzatziki, a fried clam po’ boy with spicy kimchi and chili mayonnaise, and a cider-braised pulled pork sandwich with coleslaw. Seatings are outdoors, from 4 to 7 p.m. each evening, with reservations required. Visit

Ready for tacos: Londonderry-based food trailer B’s Tacos is now open for its ninth season — you can find it outside the BP Gas Station (2 Mohawk Drive, Londonderry) every Tuesday through Saturday (exact times vary) through about October, serving up fresh items from tacos and burritos to taco salads and quesadillas, with fillings that include slow-cooked pork, seasoned ground beef, grilled chicken and chorizo sausage. B’s Tacos also now has a brick and mortar location at 372 Kelley St. in Manchester that is open year-round. Visit or find them on Facebook and Instagram @bstacos.

Foraged foods: Join the Beaver Brook Association for Wild Edibles, a program to be held at Maple Hill Farm (117 Ridge Road, Hollis) on Sunday, May 23, from 1 to 3 p.m. Presenter and clinical herbalist Rivka Schwartz will talk about the best methods and times for harvesting herbs and how to preserve them. The vitamins, minerals and health benefits of all kinds of wild edibles found in your garden will also be discussed. Attendees will participate in a wild harvest hike followed by preparing and eating foods they harvested. The cost is $22 for Beaver Brook members and $25 for non-members. Visit

New pasta-bilities: Table 8 Pasta in Bedford, a fast casual eatery specializing in customizable pasta dishes with scratch-made sauces and other ingredients, has assumed new ownership after three years in business. “We are passing the torch … [to] Lisa DeSisto, owner of Rig A Tony’s Italian Takeout and Catering, who we trust will keep our pasta lovers in good hands,” reads a May 9 Facebook post from Table 8 founders Mitch and Stacey DeBonville. “Table 8 will continue to operate during our normal business hours, serve our usual menu offerings and employ our regular … staff.” The post goes on to say that new menu items are expected to be added in the coming weeks, including sandwiches and salads, while catering orders with those expanded items can be placed by phone. Table 8 opened in the summer of 2018 in a 2,600-square-foot space that formerly housed the Royal Bouquet flower shop. DeSisto, who also took over ownership of Clam Haven in Derry last year, has owned Rig A Tony’s for two decades.

A taste of Haiti: Pre-orders are available now for the next installment of Ansanm, a Haitian-themed dinner series brought to you by owner and executive chef Chris Viaud of Greenleaf and Culture in Milford, along with his family. Viaud, along with his parents Myrlene and Yves, siblings Phil, Kassie and Katie, wife Emilee and sister-in-law Sarah, all work together to create a menu of authentic Haitian dishes each month, offering both dine-in and takeout options at Greenleaf on Sunday, May 23. Items will include poule nan sós (stewed chicken in creole sauce) and griot (marinated pork), each available with side choices of rice, plantains or pikliz, a spicy vegetable slaw of carrots, cabbage, onions and peppers; as well as diri djon djon, a black mushroom rice dish popular in Haiti, potato and beet salad, a Haitian-style spaghetti, and pineapple upside down cake. Order by Saturday, May 22, at 5 p.m., by visiting

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