Nineties energy

Gin Blossoms-Vertical Horizon twin bill hits town

Gin Blossoms singer Robin Wilson knows his band’s odds of making the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame are slim — “There’s a pretty deep bench you gotta work your way through before you get to us,” he said in a recent phone interview. It’s OK, though; the music HoF in Wilson’s home state of Arizona inducted them in 2017. Better still, the ’90s band is buzzing in the current zeitgeist.

They were name-checked on the season opener of Apple TV+’s hit show Ted Lasso and drafted into a Twitter war during the Phoenix Suns’ NBA playoff run. The Lasso mention was especially gratifying for Wilson. “‘Hey Jealousy’ is the best Gin Blossoms song,” the American football turned English soccer coach played by Jason Sudeikis said, “but ‘Follow You Down’ is my favorite.”

The latter song came at a critical juncture in the band’s career. After their major label debut New Miserable Experience went multiplatinum, Gin Blossoms founder and creative leader Doug Hopkins was consumed by addiction, left the band, and later died by suicide. “Follow You Down” was the lead single of their 1996 follow-up, Congratulations I’m Sorry. It would be their first and only Billboard No. 1.

“That helped legitimize the rest of the band,” Wilson said. “If that hadn’t happened, we would have been living in Doug’s shadow forever. ‘Follow You Down’ and ‘Till I Hear It From You’ — those songs were our opportunity to really prove that we had what it took … then for Ted Lasso to say it’s his favorite song 30 years later, it’s pretty … cool.”

“Follow You Down” came late in the process, recalled Wilson, when their record label demanded another hit.

“They were perfectly clear that they didn’t want just another song,” he said. “That’s about as much pressure as any band can ever be under; trying to follow up a multi-platinum debut, and then being told you’re not quite there yet. … I take an immense pride in what we did … but it’s not like we cured cancer; we just wrote a good song.”

Their first two albums represented a commercial pinnacle, and the group disbanded in 1997, but a reunited Gin Blossoms has continued to make new music since the early 2000s. Their most recent, 2018’s Mixed Reality, is a gem. For Wilson the creative spark is always around.

“It’s a deep ingrained passion I’ve had my whole life,” he said. “The first time I ever wrote a song, I think I was in the third grade, writing about UFOs and stuff. … It’s easy to perform, it’s easy to write. The hard part is being in a band and compromising with your bandmates, finding the middle ground, and even that isn’t as difficult as a lot of other things.”

Wilson is working on a solo project, Poppin’ Wheelies. It’s currently a soundtrack to an animation series that he hopes to place on Cartoon Network, Netflix or a similar platform. A video for one of the songs, “Little Stars,” is up on YouTube and has an unmistakable Gin Blossoms sound.

“My vision is Scooby Doo in outer space with great humor, retro ’70s, Saturday morning nostalgia,” he said. “On top of that it would be full of just great animation, and the music video sequences would be the standout moments. I’d like it to basically be like Spinal Tap in outer space.”

Perhaps he should pitch to Apple, given the Ted Lasso connection?

“That’s definitely one of my targets, but my agent is saying he’s not sure they’re really interested in animation … but a big part of Poppin’ Wheelies is guest stars and licensed music; in that sense I think they’d really get it. Clearly they have the budget we’d be hoping for, and it’s a prestige network.”

Gin Blossoms & Vertical Horizon
Saturday, Sept. 18, 1 p.m.
Where: Anheuser-Busch Brewery, Merrimack
Tickets: $29 and up at
More: 16 and over unless accompanied by a parent. Children under 5 not permitted.

Featured photo: Gin Blossoms. Courtesy photo.

The Music Roundup 21/09/16

Local music news & events

Frenetic: Along with playing and writing with Godsmack singer Sully Erna, Chris Lester is a fixture on the regional music scene, from the beloved Mama Kicks and Monkeys With Hammers to his ubiquity as a solo performer at places like this upscale Salem restaurant and bar. He’s also an entertaining guitar geek; his Instagram offers an ongoing display of alluring and unique axes, from Les Pauls to Stratocasters to a geometric bass. Go Thursday, Sept. 16, 7 p.m., Copper Door, 41 South Broadway, Salem. See

Electric: Anyone claiming that electronic music is only knob-twirling hasn’t witnessed a performance by Evanoff. The Colorado band is a music machine. Yes, there are a pair of Ableton-equipped laptops onstage, synched together like twin minds and packed with loops, effects and other studio-created sounds, but when the group’s namesake, JJ Evanoff, plays guitar, he evokes Hendrix and Zappa, not Skrillex. Friday, Sept. 17, 8 p.m., Shaskeen Pub, 909 Elm St., Manchester, $15 in advance at

Celtic: Incredibly, the calendar is already halfway to St. Patrick’s Day, a mark that Steven DeLuca will celebrate with a set of Irish music at a recently opened pub with Guinness on tap and bottles of Magner, and items on the menu like boxty (two potato pancakes covered in cheese and bacon with a side of sour cream) and Irish coffee made with Slaine whiskey. Saturday, Sept. 18, 6 p.m., Casey McGee’s Irish Pub & Music Hall, 8 Temple St., Nashua,

Eclectic: Everything is wonderful about the union of John Hiatt & Jerry Douglas. Storied songwriter Hiatt met Dobro master Douglas in 1988 while working on the Dirt Band’s star-packed Will The Circle Be Unbroken, Vol. 2, but it took more than three decades for their first album Leftover Feelings to happen, in the same Nashville studio where the Everly Brothers recorded and Chet Atkins produced so many hits. Sunday, Sept. 19, 7 p.m., Capitol Center for the Arts, 44 S. Main St., Concord, tickets $49 to $69 at

Ecclesiastic: A fitting follow-up to Sunday brunch, Signed, Sealed, Delivered – The Spirituality of Soul offers vocals from Pastor Emilia Halstead and Mary Fagan, with music from the Jazz Sanctuary House Band focusing on the soul and Motown era. Fagan has been jazzing it up of late, recently performing in New York City with the JT Wildman and Hot Papa jazz bands. The worship service happens monthly. Sunday, Sept. 19, 1 p.m., First Congregational Church, 177 N. Main St., Concord,

At the Sofaplex 21/09/16

He’s All That (TV-MA)

Addison Rae, Tanner Buchanan.

Also appearing here is Rachel Leigh Cook — who you may remember took her glasses off thus signifying her transition from nerd to looker in 1999’s She’s All That. Here she plays Anna, mom to lead girl Padgett (Rae). A high school senior, Padgett doesn’t just dress fancy and use eye-puffiness-reducing masks for funsies; she’s a paycheck earning, free-stuff getting social media influencer with hundreds of thousands of followers. She even helped her boyfriend Jordan (Peyton Meyer) gain followers and jump-start his pop star career. But then she catches Jordan cheating on her — and, horror of horrors, the moment is livestreamed. She loses her sponsorship (which she’d been counting on to fill her college fund) and finds herself meme-ed as “bubble girl” from the snot bubble in her nose during her break-up crying. To earn back her followers (and her sponsorship) she agrees to a bet with frenemy Alden (Madison Pettis): find a loser and make him a hottie. Alden picks as the loser a flannel-wearing 1990s throwback named Cameron (Buchanan, who is also on the TV show Cobra Kai and is really making a nice career out of nostalgia-based media).

Cameron is all sarcasm about high school and taking film photos with messaging about the shallowness of society, which his best friend Nisha (Annie Jacob) finds entertaining. (Nisha is probably the movie’s most interesting character overall. When Netflix turns this thing into a series or cinematic universe or whatever, it should follow Nisha.) At first he isn’t sure what to make of Padgett’s sudden interest in him, but soon, and with some nudging from his younger sister Brin (Isabella Crovetti), he finds himself genuinely starting to like her. Likewise, Padgett starts to see Cameron as more than just a project, but will the secret of what led her to start hanging out with him jeopardize their chance at a real friendship?

Ooo, will it? If, based solely on the movie’s title, you sketched out all the beats in this movie and then took a drink every time the movie hit one, you’d be drunk before the first half hour. He’s All That hits every expected plot point — but delightfully. This movie knows what it is and knows who is watching it, a group that probably includes some actual teenagers but probably also includes a fair number of me-agers who saw the 1999 original and enjoy the Snapple-and-a-Hot-Pocket treat that is this silly blend of “Ha! That guy!” and teenage rom-com storytelling. So pop some popcorn and watch this puppy, fellow Olds; come for the Rachel Leigh Cook and modern day Clueless-y look at excessively rich teenagers, stay for an entertainingly cast supporting character who shows up in the movie’s final scenes. B Available on Netflix.

Vacation Friends (R)

John Cena, Lil Rel Howery.

Marcus (Howery) and his girlfriend Emily (Yvonne Orji) are in Mexico for a relaxing getaway — or it could be relaxing if Marcus weren’t so tense about all of his plans for his big proposal. When they get to their fancy suite, which should be all rose petals and romantic music, they find a soggy mess from a burst Jacuzzi from the room above. Despondent and unable to find a room at any hotel better than a Best Western by the airport, Marcus and Emily agree to accept the offer of random fellow vacationers Ron (Cena) and Kyla (Meredith Hagner) to stay in their giant suite (which happens to be the one whose leaky Jacuzzi flooded their room). Rona and Kyla seem crazy to the tightly wound Marcus, what with their carefree jet-skiing and their cocaine-rimmed margaritas, but, in the spirit of having a romantic vacation, Emily convinces him to just go with it. Eventually, the four end up having an adventure-filled week, full of bar-dancing (Marcus) and bar fights (Kyla) and culminating with Marcus and Emily getting married (for real? Maybe?) in a cave by a shaman type and then getting so drunk Marcus can’t totally remember the rest of the evening. And maybe doesn’t want to, as the flashes he does remember seem to suggest that he and Kyla got a little friendlier than is cool for the night of one’s wedding to another person.

When they say goodbye to Ron and Kyla at the airport, Marcus and Emily are fairly confident that they will never see that couple again but then, in the midst of the festivities for their “real” wedding — with Emily’s posh, disapproving parents (Robert Wisdom, Lynn Whitfield) running the show — Ron and Kyla show up again.

Cena and Howery have very good buddy (or maybe reluctant-buddy) chemistry. This is the type of role that makes great use of Cena — one that balances his physicality with his comedy chops. And the pairing with Howery works to complement both actors, playing up Howery’s stress so that he isn’t just a straight man to Cena’s wackiness. Orji and Hagner are also key elements to the mix here, not just “girlfriend role” characters who fill out the scene. Hagner in particular has a kind of good-hearted, upbeat zaniness that feels like a blend of Kate Hudson and Isla Fisher.

Have the dumb “crazy people in extreme situations” comedies changed or have I changed, because Vacation Friends feels like the kind of movie that might have once annoyed me but that I really enjoyed. I mean not “and the Oscar for best original screenplay goes to” enjoyed but laughed a couple of big belly laughs at and basically liked spending time with. Is this another example of a movie being more suited to the relaxed atmosphere of one’s own sofa versus the “you paid money to be here and even more money for this popcorn” of the theater, where one (me) may be less forgiving? I don’t know the answer to these questions but I do know that Vacation Friends was enjoyably stupid fun. B Available on Hulu.

Kate (R)

Mary Elizabeth Winstead, Woody Harrelson.

Birds of Prey underused Winstead’s awesomeness in her role as The Huntress and this movie feels like the demonstration of how much more action hero she has in her. Here, Kate (Winstead) is an assassin who is bothered by a job that had her killing a man right in front of his teenage daughter, Ani (Miku Patricia Matineau). Months later, she tries to tell her handler Varrick (Harrelson) that she wants to retire but as you know if you see even one of these movies, retirement is seldom in the cards for your fancy assassin-types. Instead, she finds herself poisoned with about a day to live and seek vengeance on everyone who had something to do with her fast-approaching death.

The movie is set in Tokyo and takes place mostly at night, giving the whole thing a kind of neon coolness. She does a fair amount of snazzy fighting — some shooting, some stabbing, one guy is felled by her getting him to trip. Winstead is entertaining enough that I regularly forgot the movie didn’t have a whole lot more going on. This is a fine if not particularly innovative pick for when you just want some low-effort action. C+ Available on Netflix.

Disney Princesses Remixed: An Ultimate Princess Celebration (G)

This special/short film is primarily a handful of performances by what the internet tells me are Disney stars (in the live-action people sense) doing pop (or in one case, punk-y rock) takes on Disney movie songs. Brandy also shows up to sing an original song. The whole thing is knit together with a framing device that has a skateboarding, Disney-loving young girl picking the songs and princess qualities to build the remix with the help of an Alexa-like personal assistant. The gist of all of this is, I think, to sell the princesses, even some of the older ones with soppier character stories, as good and non-problematic modern girl avatars. And I think this special is fairly successful at this. The songs, while a bit on the poppy side for my personal taste, were a hit with my kids, whose big complaint is that there weren’t more. B Available on Disney+.

Worth (PG-13)

Michael Keaton, Amy Ryan.

Keaton gives a solid performance, reminiscent of his work in Spotlight, as Ken Feinberg, the lawyer who was the Special Master of the federal Sept. 11 Victim Compensation Fund. Shortly after the attacks of Sept. 11 he is appointed to get victims’ families to sign on to receiving money from the U.S. government in lieu of suing — the airlines, among other possible targets. His team has to deal with the raw emotions of people who recently lost loved ones, many of whom see pretty much any dollar figure as an insult. Though full of individual heartbreaking 9/11 stories (many of which are based on real people or are composites of real people, according to an article in Slate), the movie is actually largely a procedural about how Feinberg attempts to balance the staggering weight of the emotion of the situation with what both Congress and the president paint as an urgent need to get the financial aspect of the deaths settled without potentially economy-tanking lawsuits. The movie shows Feinberg mess up in his initial attempts to present the fund to the families, and slowly learn how to navigate his difficult task. This is not a particularly fun watch but it is a solid group of performances and an interesting look at the messy, personal aftermath of the attacks for those who lost someone. B+ Available on Netflix.

Come from Away (TV-14)

Jenn Colella, Sharon Wheatley.

This musical play tells the story of the passengers from all over the world who found their flights diverted to Newfoundland on Sept. 11, 2001. The Broadway cast performs a live stage production, recorded earlier this year in front of an audience of people wearing masks as we see in the movie’s opening scenes. The cast, most of whom play several characters (identifiable by a change of hat or jacket and maybe a different accent), make up the townspeople of Gander and the people from across the globe who wind up in the town after a harrowing day on a plane. Sometimes, literally more than a day, as passengers sat on their airplanes, between flights and just waiting on a tarmac, for 28 hours. We meet the mother of a New York City firefighter, a couple who find their relationship fraying, a man from London who becomes smitten with a woman from Texas, a female pilot who knew one of the pilots in the hijacked planes as well as the head of the local SPCA who is desperate to get food and water to the pets stuck in airplane cargo holds, various small-town mayors, a new TV reporter. It’s a lively show that manages to have humor and energy while still capturing some element of anxiety and the gravity of the event it’s depicting. And it does a good job of bringing us up close to the performers while still letting us see some of the staging magic. B Available on Apple TV+.


Malignant (R)

After a brutal attack, a woman finds herself seeing through the eyes of a killer in Malignant, an unexpected bit of horror from director James Wan.

Wan’s filmography, according to IMDb, includes “story by” credits on some of the Saw movies, some of the Conjuring universe movies, Aquaman and this movie, and he directed the first Saw, some Insidious movies, two Conjuring movies, Aquaman and its upcoming sequel. This movie fits well in that mix — it’s very “1980s classic horror”-styled horror with some, I don’t know, humor, I guess. I’m not saying Malignant is funny but it does have some moments of real kookiness.

Madison (Annabelle Wallis) comes home from work suffering from some pregnancy achy-ness. She is also suffering from having a violent jerk as a husband — Derek (Jake Abel), who takes time out of his busy afternoon of lying around to first harangue Madison about working while pregnant and then slam her head against a wall. Madison uses his run to get her some ice for her bleeding head wound to lock him out of the bedroom. He eventually falls asleep on the downstairs sofa, only to wake to the sound of someone in the kitchen. When he goes to investigate, he first finds the blender on, then the refrigerator door pops open, etc., in the manner of Spooky Things Messing With You so familiar in these movies. This spooky thing, which appears to us as a kind of a shadow person, doesn’t waste time escalating the Messing With Derek and pretty quickly clobbers him (the visuals and foley work here — and in the rest of the movie — are extravagantly “ew”).

Madison wakes up, tentatively coming out of the room, sees Derek’s very lifeless body and is then attacked herself and left unconscious in the nursery. She comes to in the hospital and is devastated to learn that she has lost the baby and falls into a stupor, with younger sister Sydney (Maddie Hasson) having to do the talking for her to Detective Kekoa Shaw (George Young). Shaw isn’t sure what’s happening but his partner Detective Regina Moss (Michole Briana White) thinks that Madison probably has something to do with Derek’s death. Then other people start dying and Madison, recovered enough to go home but still quite shaken, goes to the detectives to report that she can see the murders — she’s doing her laundry in her house, for example, when she suddenly finds herself watching the crime as if she were there.

For a while I found myself wondering if this movie was just a study in spooky atmospherics. There’s a lot of “room bathed in red light” and “crime scene in the rain” and “barely lit hospital/police station” and a few stretches shot in the Seattle Underground (a real thing, according to Wikipedia, where streets and first-story storefronts from ye olden times, now below the ground level, can be visited as a tourist attraction). And all of this is scored to some pretty top-notch “you are watching a modern riff on classic horror” style music, all screaming strings and anxiety synth. It’s cool but, like, why, I thought. Why are we spending time in a bunch of very familiar “movie like this” setups with some very “sure, I believe these people as people” characters who are otherwise not terribly memorable, I thought.


When you realize the “why” — well, the movie takes on a whole new vibe. I’m still not exactly clear on where we, as a culture, landed with the whole “what is camp” discussion. I feel like, OK, maybe Malignant isn’t camp, per se, but it’s not totally not camp. It’s a crazy little ride, this movie, one that had me checking my watch initially but ultimately left me more amused than not.

I think, if you at all like horror, if you at all enjoy a late night and a bowl of popcorn and a feeling that maybe there should be more lights on in the house, this movie is probably a fun Saturday night in. B-

Rated R for strong horror violence and gruesome images, and for language, according to the MPA on Directed by James Wan with a screenplay by Akela Cooper, Malignant is an hour and 51 minutes long and distributed by New Line Cinema. The movie is available on HBO Max through Oct. 10 and in theaters.



AMC Londonderry
16 Orchard View Drive, Londonderry

Bank of NH Stage in Concord
16 S. Main St., Concord

Capitol Center for the Arts
44 S. Main St., Concord

Cinemark Rockingham Park 12
15 Mall Road, Salem

Chunky’s Cinema Pub
707 Huse Road, Manchester; 151 Coliseum Ave., Nashua; 150 Bridge St., Pelham,

Dana Center
Saint Anselm College
100 Saint Anselm Drive, Manchester

The Flying Monkey
39 Main St., Plymouth

LaBelle Winery
345 Route 101, Amherst

The Music Hall
28 Chestnut St., Portsmouth

O’neil Cinemas at Brickyard Square
24 Calef Hwy., Epping

Red River Theatres
11 S. Main St., Concord

Regal Fox Run Stadium 15
45 Gosling Road, Newington

Rex Theatre
23 Amherst St., Manchester

The Strand
20 Third St., Dover

Wilton Town Hall Theatre
40 Main St., Wilton, 654-3456


David Byrne’s American Utopia (NR) will screen at O’neil Cinemas in Epping on Wednesday, Sept. 15, at 7 p.m.

The Card Counter (R, 2021) will screen at Red River Theatres in Concord Friday, Sept. 17, through Sunday, Sept. 19, at 12:45 p.m., 3:45 p.m. and 6:45 p.m.

The Alpinist (PG-13, 2021) will screen at Red River Theatres in Concord Friday, Sept. 17, through Sunday, Sept. 19, at 1:15 p.m., 4:15 p.m. and 7:15 p.m.

Drifting (1923), starring Anna May Wong, Priscilla Dean and Wallace Beery, a silent film with live musical accompaniment by Jeff Rapsis, will screen Sunday, Sept. 19, at 2 p.m. at Wilton Town Hall Theatre. A $10 donation is suggested.

Hedwig and the Angry Inch (R, 2001) at Rex Theatre on Tuesday, Sept. 21, at 7 p.m. with a portion of the proceeds going to Motley Mutts Rescue. Tickets $12.

Serial Mom (R, 1994) at Rex Theatre on Wednesday, Sept. 22, at 7 p.m. with a portion of the proceeds going to Motley Mutts Rescue. Tickets cost $12.

National Theatre Live Follies,a broadcast of a play from London’s National Theatre, screening at the Bank of NH Stage in Concord on Sunday, Oct. 3, at 12:30 p.m. Tickets cost $15 ($12 for students).

National Theatre Live Cyrano de Bergerac, a broadcast of a play from London’s National Theatre, screening at the Bank of NH Stage in Concord on Sunday, Oct. 17, at 12:30 p.m. Tickets cost $15 ($12 for students).

Frankenweenie (PG, 2012) at the Rex Theatre on Sunday, Oct. 17, 7 p.m. with a portion of the proceeds going to Motley Mutts Rescue. Tickets cost $12.

The Nightmare Before Christmas (PG, 1993) at the Rex Theatre on Monday, Oct. 18, 7 p.m. with a portion of the proceeds going to Motley Mutts Rescue. Tickets cost $12.

The Phantom of the Opera (1925), a silent film starring Lon Chaney, with live musical accompaniment by Jeff Rapsis, on Thursday, Oct. 21, at 6:30 p.m. at the Flying Monkey in Plymouth. Tickets start at $10.

Nosferatu (1922), a silent film directed by F.W. Murnau, on Thursday, Oct. 28, at 7:30 p.m. at the Rex in Manchester, featuring live musical accompaniment by Jeff Rapsis. Admission costs $10.

The Big Parade (1925), a silent film with live musical accompaniment by Jeff Rapsis, on Thursday, Nov. 10, at 6:30 p.m. at the Flying Monkey in Plymouth. Tickets start at $10.

National Theatre Live No Man’s Land a broadcast of a play from London’s National Theatre, screening at the Bank of NH Stage in Concord on Sunday, Nov. 21, at 12:30 p.m. Tickets cost $15 ($12 for students).

National Theatre Live The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time a broadcast of a play from London’s National Theatre, screening at the Bank of NH Stage in Concord on Sunday, Dec. 5, at 12:30 p.m. Tickets cost $15 ($12 for students).

An evening with Chevy ChaseA screening of National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation (1989, PG-13) plus Q&A with audience on Saturday, Dec. 11, 7 p.m. at the Cap Center. Tickets start at $59.50.

Elf screening at Christmas Break on a Budget on Saturday, Dec. 18, at noon at The Strand in Dover. The afternoon will include storytime, family activities and the movie. The cost is $20 for a family of four or $8 each.

Featured photo: Malignant. Courtesy photo.

Water, A Biography, by Giulio Boccaletti

Water, A Biography, by Giulio Boccaletti (Pantheon, 300 pages)

Watching muddy brown water flood the streets of Louisiana, Mississippi and New York City, I want to turn to Giulio Boccaletti’s Water, A Biography for an explanation of how we suddenly seem on the verge of being extras in that 1995 film Waterworld.

The excess, or lack, of water gets more of its share of headlines these days, so the timing seems right for a serious look of how we got here and where we’re going, told in a compelling narrative that can engage non-scientists.

Unfortunately, Water, a Biography is not that book. It’s a treatise written by an economist and scientist for other economists and scientists, and for their policy-making friends. While it may win awards, Boccaletti’s book will not be attractive to the general public; for that, you’ll want Philip Ball’s H20: A Biography of Water, published in 1999. Boccaletti’s work is encyclopedic, in both scope and presentation.

He begins promisingly, with words that evoke Genesis if written by a physicist told to write a version of “In the beginning” without mentioning God:

“Long before Earth ever formed, the subatomic particles that emerged from the Big Bang’s first instants formed a plasma of hydrogen and helium. Gravity pulled them together in a nuclear fusion that fueled the first stars, the furnaces that forged heavier elements like oxygen. In the proto-stellar material left by the death of those first stars, hydrogen and oxygen reacted. They produced water.”

That’s lovely, and Boccaletti goes on to provide a fascinating overview of water throughout space and history: why water exists everywhere in our solar system, what caused ice ages, why a great flood myth is common to cultures all over the world, and why water, in the author’s words, is the “principal greenhouse gas” that wraps the planet like a blanket. He then moves into a history of how access to water played into the change from hunter-gatherer societies to the sedentary agriculture-based communities, and the development of crude dams, canals and irrigation systems.

In these early societies, water also played a role in religious myths. In one story found on tablets in Nineveh, Boccaletti writes, lesser gods were required to maintain the canals. “Eventually the gods, tired of having to do all the work, created man to do the digging for them. In other words, those who wrote [the epic] believed that humans existed for the struggle of managing water.”

He goes on to examine the use and control of water in Egypt, Greece, Italy and China, among other ancient societies. Rome’s system of controlling water was particularly sophisticated. “At the time of Augustus, Rome already had far better infrastructure than most European cities would have until the nineteenth century,” he writes. (In fact, one of those ancient aqueducts is still in use today.)

It’s about here that the book begins to bog down for the reader who may not be overly fascinated by European power struggles over water access throughout the Middle Ages. There is relief in a discussion about what’s known as the Little Ice Age, the period of cooling temperatures that began in the 14th century and saw temperatures fall about 2 degrees below average in Europe for a few centuries. During that time, there were also violent, flooding storms in Denmark, Germany and the Netherlands. “Between 1620 and 1621 the Bosporus froze. Baghdad flooded in 1630. The Arctic pack ice grew enough for Inuits to land kayaks in Scotland. Snowfall, heavier than ever recorded — before or since — lay on the ground for months.”

The cause of the Little Ice Age? Well, no one is sure, just like no one is sure how water came to be on Earth, although there are theories to explain the Little Ice Age, to include volcanic eruptions and sun spots. Regardless, Boccaletti explains, the slight changes in temperature created societal problems to include a “shorter, less reliable growing season,” which led to higher costs of grain and, in some places, famine or malnutrition. “The political crisis of the seventeenth century was inseparable from changes in environmental conditions,” he writes.

As for our current climate, Boccaletti takes it up late in the book and does so carefully, saying it’s too early to predict the extent of the challenges ahead, although “There is a very good chance that [the climate] may change far beyond anything in recent experience, thanks to modernity’s impact on the chemistry of the atmosphere.”

Some countries, however, are better equipped to deal with the changes: “Countries that are rich can manage water better, but it is often the case that countries are rich because they found a better way of managing water.” China’s Three Gorges Dam, the largest dam in the world, may be one of the most impressive attempts by a society to control water. But Boccaletti argues that it is an illusion that society can protect itself from a variable climate with concrete. “The question, once again, is what will happen when — not if — that illusion is shattered.” And for that, he has no answers, or has saved them for another book. B-

Book Notes

In the aftermath of deadly flash floods in New York and New Jersey, The New York Times amused some of its readers by publishing a guide to packing a “go bag” and “stay bin” in order to be prepared for emergencies.

Such information is readily available, even on government websites, but the old gray lady is not usually in the ranks of doomsday preppers, people who are equipped to take on any sort of natural or man-made disaster.

One thing conspicuously absent from Tara Parker-Pope’s list, however, was any sort of book. This is odd because if you’re bugging out to an emergency shelter, bunker or cave, you’ll need something to do when you get there, possibly for a long time. (May I recommend Moby-Dick, The Gulag Archipelago or Les Miserables?)

More importantly, if a doomsday scenario ever occurs, you’re not going to have internet access. So it seems that any sort of survival bag should contain at least one book that teaches you, well, to survive. Enter the newly released 4th edition of The Survival Medicine Guide, by Dr. Joseph Alton and Amy Alton of YouTube survival video fame. It’s billed as “the essential guide for when help is not on the way” and, at nearly 700 pages in paperback, seems to cover everything. Moreover, it’s published by the brilliantly named company Doom and Bloom LLC.

From a legacy publisher, there’s also last year’s The MeatEater Guide to Wilderness Skill and Survival by Steven Rinella (Random House, 464 pages). You may not want to learn how to do everything Rinella teaches, but you definitely want to know someone who did.

And out this week is the paperback version of a 2009 book, Hawke’s Green Beret Survival Manualby Mykel Hawke (Skyhorse, 456 pages). He promises to deliver the information you need on not only medicine and food but also fire, tools, navigation, shelter and “survival psychology.” The publisher promises it’s geared to the untrained civilian, i.e., me.

Finally, one of the best fiction books about surviving a flu pandemic that wipes out much of the human race is Peter Heller’s The Dog Stars (paperback, Vintage, 336 pages). It was published in 2012 but feels alarmingly relevant these days.

Book Events

Author events

AMY TIMBERLAKE Newbery Honor winning author presents her second Skunk and Badger book, Egg Marks the Spot. Virtual event via Zoom, hosted by Gibson’s Bookstore in Concord. Tues., Sept. 21, 7 p.m. Visit or call 224-0562.

JEFF BENEDICT Author presents The Dynasty. Gibson’s Bookstore, 45 S. Main St., Concord. Wed., Sept. 22, 6 p.m. Visit or call 224-0562.

EMMA PHILBRICK Author presents Arkivestia. Barnes & Noble (1741 S. Willow St., Manchester, Sat., Sept. 25, 1 p.m.

DAVID SEDARIS Humor writer presents. Capitol Center for the Arts (44 S. Main St., Concord,, Sun., Sept. 26, 7 p.m. Tickets start at $49.

DIANNE TOLLIVER Author presents Life Everyone Has a Story. Barnes & Noble (1741 S. Willow St., Manchester, Sat., Oct. 9, 10 a.m.

Book sales

MULTI-BOOK AUTHOR SIGNING AND SALE A Freethinker’s Corner(652 A Central Ave., Dover, 343-2437,, Sat., Sept. 18, noon to 4 p.m.

MULTI-BOOK CHILDREN’S AUTHOR SIGNING AND SALE A Freethinker’s Corner(652 A Central Ave., Dover, 343-2437,, Sat., Sept. 25, noon to 4 p.m.

FRIENDS OF BROOKLINE PUBLIC LIBRARY TWO-DAY BOOK SALE Featuring hardbound and paperback books of all fiction and nonfiction genres, plus CDs, DVDs and audio books, for sale. 4 Main St., Brookline. Saturday, Sept. 25, and Sunday, Sept. 26, 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Visit


DOWN CELLAR POETRY SALON Poetry event series presented by the Poetry Society of New Hampshire. Monthly. First Sunday. Visit

SLAM FREE OR DIE Series of open mic nights for poets and spoken-word artists. Stark Tavern, 500 N. Commercial St., Manchester. Weekly. Thursday, doors open and sign-ups beginning at 7 p.m., open mic at 8 p.m. The series also features several poetry slams every month. Events are open to all ages. Cover charge of $3 to $5 at the door, which can be paid with cash or by Venmo. Visit, e-mail or call 858-3286.

Book Clubs

BOOKERY Online. Monthly. Third Thursday, 6 p.m. Bookstore based in Manchester. Visit or call 836-6600.

GIBSON’S BOOKSTORE Online, via Zoom. Monthly. First Monday, 5:30 p.m. Bookstore based in Concord. Visit or call 224-0562.

GOFFSTOWN PUBLIC LIBRARY 2 High St., Goffstown. Monthly. Third Wednesday, 1:30 p.m. Call 497-2102, email or visit

BELKNAP MILL Online. Monthly. Last Wednesday, 6 p.m. Based in Laconia. Email

NASHUA PUBLIC LIBRARY Online. Monthly. Second Friday, 3 p.m. Call 589-4611, email or visit

Album Reviews 21/09/16

Barry Altschul’s 3Dom Factor, Long Tall Sunshine (Not Two Records)

Jazz drummer Altschul is staring down the barrel of 80 years of age in 2023. Before the great Covid rain delay, he’d been (and assuredly still is) considering wrapping up the touring period of his career, the prime of which happened during the 1960s, when he worked with such legends as Paul Bley and Chick Corea and gained some fame out of it. So we come to the fourth album of his experimental sax-bass-drums trio, following 2017’s Live In Krakow, which, like this one, finds the band noodling around with five of Altschul’s originals, again in a live setting but this time recorded in a location no one seems to remember (“somewhere in Europe,” read the liner notes). The first 19-odd minutes, encompassing two songs, are a skronk-and-rattle clinic, a sure-sounds-like-improv frontal assault that spazzes and subsides over and over, until it ends with sax guy Jon Irabagon spitting and slurping on his instrument in a display of (so some think) contempt for jazz wonks. “Irina” is a well-behaved beatnik-post-bop ballad, fit for power-guzzling gin; “Martin’s Stew” is a workout that’s terrifying in its power. Not for beginner listeners, put it that way. A

Armored Saint, Symbol of Salvation Live (Metal Blade Records)

I’m probably the least qualified music journo to be discussing this vaunted Los Angeles metal band. One of my old bandmates and I met them once and hung out on their tour bus. It was a bit awkward; there were no girls with them, and they were so bored we finally had to make an excuse to leave. Anyway, I found their music singularly unexciting, vanilla indie-metal thingamajigs falling midway between Savatage and Iron Maiden (that’s a pretty small niche, if you don’t know), so really, the most notable thing for me with regard to this record is that the band is largely the same as it’s been for 38 or so years, save for their original guitarist, who died in 1990, the year before Symbol of Salvation — the album performed live on this LP — came out. Like the other live album mentioned this week, the (European or U.S.) venue isn’t stated, but it sounds somewhat large. The songs are jaw-droppingly generic, some cookie-cutter Judas Priest here, a little Accept-ish rough-housing there. Anyway, a new Armored Saint live album, everyone. B


• The next general CD release date for most album releases is Friday, Sept. 17, so let’s dive right into the deep end of this week’s foul-smelling bushel of new music albums, starting with Moor Mother’s Black Encyclopedia Of The Air! Yes, there are albums coming out from much bigger names, but this album sounds like it might actually be interesting, unless it’s some black metal band from Finland, so let’s find out. Nope, Moor Mother’s real name is Camae Ayewa, she’s from Aberdeen, Maryland, and is one half of the Black Quantum Futurism crew, along with Rasheedah Phillips; she also helps lead the group Irreversible Entanglements. She’s a musician, poet and activist, and her last album, Circuit City (released in 2020), dealt with “housing inequality, private ownership and institutional racism.” Given all that, I assumed this new record is super cool off the bat, but for due diligence’s sake I went and listened to the teaser track, “Obsidian.” Very much intended for hyper-urban tastes, it features edgy Alabama-based rapper Pink Siifu canoodling with Ayewa, their voices drenched with Death Grips and Oz-Munchkin effects, over a glitch-noise beat. It’s cool and largely inaccessible for normies, let’s just leave it at that and continue.

Lindsey Buckingham is of course the original genius guitarist for arena-pop superstar band Fleetwood Mac! He has created many many yuge and tremendous hits for people who don’t buy albums unless all their friends like them, but he did have a moment of ignominy in 1979, when he took over all control of the Tusk album, but no one else in the band really cared because they all hated each other anyway. The result, as we all know, was Fleetwood Mac’s worst album ever, and Buckingham has been busily making up for it ever since, even now, when he refuses to have anything else to do with the band. His new album is self-titled and features the single “I Don’t Mind,” which is pretty cool, quite the indie vibe, although it doesn’t really deliver much of a hook. His guitar emulates a mandolin, just like back when Jimmy Carter was president, in case that affects your buying decision. By the way, guess what, he was just here in the area recently, on Sept. 12, at the Music Hall in Portsmouth, so this is all a little late, but it’s his fault for going on tour before his new album was out. So tough cookies, Lindsey Buckingham, maybe work with me here next time.

• I’ve always loved everything about Melissa Etheridge except for her music, so it’s been a slightly strained relationship, given that her job is to make good music, not make people think about heavy stuff. But because she’s kind of an activist, she does make me think about heavy stuff, so I’ll listen to the title track from her new One Way Out album, because, oh, I don’t know, just because, whatever. Say what, looks like this is an old song she never got around to recording until now. It’s got a grunge-rock edge, like, imagine if Pearl Jam wore generic T-shirts with bald eagles on them and had Melissa Etheridge as their singer, this is what it’d sound like.

• We’ll end all this horror with Local Valley, the new album from José González, whom I really only know from his time singing for mildly trip-hoppy band Zero 7. The album opener “Swing” is of course mellow and only half-there, an upbeat beach lullaby to drink pina coladas by, pretty nice escapism.


Let’s go back to 13 years ago this week, when I was still all aflutter over shoegaze heroes Raveonettes, who were releasing four free digital EPs over the course of the coming months. The one they were releasing that week included re-dos of songs like “Dead Sound” (as an 80KIDZ remix, not that a remix was necessary, because the song is fine without one), the rather sucky “Aly Walk With Me” (Nic Endo redid that one) and “Lust,” as remixed by Trentemøeller. It was a nice gesture of them, and I’ll leave it at that.

The featured albums that week included Seattle emcee Common Market’s Tobacco Road, in which emcee RA Scion “gleefully expends terawatts of energy trying to put the Seattle hip-hop scene on the map,” oddly enough by being as townie as he could, that is to say most of his callouts were in-jokes. I failed to see the need for it: “Scion, in his shoulder-shrugging Lupe Fiasco voice and baseball-card-in-the-bike-spokes flow, gives an opaque shout-out to the Virginia Tech killer, scolds his townie brethren in code, then bawls for his lost Kentucky boyhood, not necessarily in that order of sequence or importance.” Blue Scholar beat guy Sabzi was on board with this high-end but a little too ’90s record, “whittling out rinky-dink gospel/blues/jazz samples and whatnot.” If this is all new news, you didn’t miss much.

There was good news, though, in the form of goth-losers-turned-steampunk-winners Abney Park’s Lost Horizons. If we ever have geek conventions again, you’ll definitely want to check these guys out: “moderately grindy industrial with fiddle and a Loreena McKennitt chick doing the enchanted fairy thing.” Closing track “Post Apocalypse Punk” is “the most interesting slice of this pie, with its layer of steam-engine clatter and whatever other appropriate samples they could drum up.” HG Wells would wince at this noise, but it’s still a lot of fun.

If you’re in a local band, now’s a great time to let me know about your EP, your single, whatever’s on your mind. Let me know how you’re holding yourself together without being able to play shows or jam with your homies. Send a recipe for keema matar. Message me on Twitter (@esaeger) or Facebook (eric.saeger.9).

Boxes and cans

Eye-catching packaging, tasty wines

Traditionally grapes were picked, vinified, sometimes aged, and then bottled and sealed with a cork and foil or wax. The bottles were finished with simple labels identifying the vineyard or blender, grape varietals and vintage. The bottles were loaded into cardboard boxes or wooden crates and sent off to distributors for sale.

While the bulk of the wine industry still operates this way, the marketing of wine has evolved to appeal to a larger and younger market. There was a huge outcry when vintners started to put screw caps on bottles. There were claims that the screw tops would fail; they would not keep the wine from spoiling. Fact is that screw tops have replaced corks on many wines. Next came “box wine” — the wine that can be loaded onto the shelf of a refrigerator and tapped when one wants a glass of chardonnay. Then came “wine in a can.” A can is a perfect way to keep a carbonated beverage; why not make that beverage a wine?

The packaging and marketing of wine has become an industry unto itself. Several years ago, some vineyards commissioned artists to create labels for them. The label of the 2019 Navigator Sauvignon Blanc of Napa Valley (originally priced at $32.99, reduced to $14.99 at the New Hampshire Liquor & Wine Outlets) is a fine example of graphic artistry. The front label is very simple — just the wine’s name. The back of the bottle has an array of constellations, printed in white, with a sailing ship, printed in black, above blue scrolling ocean waves. This entire image is meant to be viewed through the bottle, magnified by the straw-colored wine. What a marvelous idea! The wine has a slight fruit nose, along with herbal lavender. To the mouth it is citric — a favoring lemongrass. A perfect wine to pair with seafood.

Another direction in marketing is to appeal to basic pleasures. The label of the 2018 Michael David Winery Old Vine Lodi Zinfandel (originally priced at $15.99, reduced to $12.99 at the New Hampshire Liquor & Wine Outlets) is an example of simplicity. The label refers to “Zinfandel grapes sustainably farmed in Lodi, California.” Modestly priced and presented, this wine is bold. The dark purple, opaque color and fruit-laden nose lead to notes of black raspberry, vanilla, some cinnamon and a touch of pepper. This wine is designed and marketed for a “kick-back” barbecue with friends.

Australian Thomas Angove invented boxed wine in 1965. Improved upon in 1967, with the creation of an air-tight tap welded to the plastic bag, his invention became salable. The science behind this packaging is simple; the wine is removed from the bag without adding air, thus removing the potential for oxidation of the remaining wine. The original large box containers have evolved into single-serve sizes. The Woodbridge Limited Edition Mondavi California Chardonnay (originally priced at $4.99, reduced to $3.99 at the New Hampshire Liquor & Wine Outlets) is packaged in 500 ml boxes. This results in three and a half 5-ounce servings. The packaging notes this has been proclaimed the “Official Wine of Major League Baseball.” The color is the classic gold color of a California chardonnay, with aromas of apple and pear. The nose carries through to the tongue with a toasty finish, perfect for pairing with roast chicken, eaten on a picnic.

Wine in a can? Why not? Beer has been put into cans since the mid-’30s! The House Wine Limited Edition Rosé Bubbles, 3.75 ml (originally priced at $5.99, reduced to $4.99 at the New Hampshire Liquor & Wine Outlets), was conceived in 2004 by ex-rock ’n’ roll manager and wine maker Charles Smith in Walla Walla, Washington. It is marketed as a “serious wine made by not so serious people.” The wine has a pale pink color and aromas of fresh berries with lively citric notes on the tongue. This is a light wine that can be paired with soft cheeses or enjoyed by itself on a warm afternoon.

19 Crimes 2019 Red Wine (priced at $11.99 at the New Hampshire Liquor & Wine Outlets) appears at first to be a novelty. Each bottle in the miniature four-pack is 187 ml, or a six-ounce serving. Produced in Australia by Treasury Wine Estates, it is a blend of mostly shiraz, with traces of other grapes. This is a bold red wine with a dark red color, dark cherries to the nose carrying through to the tongue, with firm tannins on the mid-palate. The packaging is novel, as it identifies the 19 crimes punishable by transportation from the U.K. to 19th-century Australia. Several criminals and their crimes are identified on the packaging!

The packaging and marketing of wine have indeed evolved with our changing world of marketing. Try some of these alternatives.

Featured photo: Courtesy photo.

Sweet potato biscuits

As much as the end of summer means the disappearance of long days and warm weather, it also means it’s the start of the baking season. Yes, I still enjoy cookies, homemade bread and more during the summer, but it’s so much nicer to have a toasty kitchen when it’s cooler outside.

Let’s kick off fall baking with a multi-purpose recipe: sweet potato biscuits. Not only is this a fairly simple recipe to use, these biscuits work well at various times of day. Lazing around the house on a weekend morning? These biscuits make a great part of an indulgent brunch. Want to serve warm bread with soup or stew? This is the recipe you need.

These biscuits are pretty easy to make, especially if you already have cooked sweet potato ready. Please note that while you need to mash the sweet potato, a few small lumps are fine. In fact, they add a nice burst of flavor and a little texture to the final product.

Welcome back, baking season!

Michele Pesula Kuegler has been thinking about food her entire life. Since 2007, the New Hampshire native has been sharing these food thoughts and recipes at her blog, Think Tasty. Visit to find more of her recipes.

Sweet potato biscuits
Makes 10

1 cup cooked, mashed sweet potato
3/4 cup buttermilk
2 cups all-purpose flour, plus more for dusting
2 Tablespoons granulated sugar
1 Tablespoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup cold unsalted butter, cut into small pieces

Preheat oven to 425 degrees.
Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
In a small bowl, stir together the sweet potato and 1/4 cup milk.
In a large bowl, whisk together the flour, sugar, baking powder and salt.
Add the butter to the flour mixture, and blend with a pastry blender, two forks, or your fingers until the butter is the size of peas.
Add the sweet potato mixture, folding to combine.
Add the remaining milk a little at a time until the dough is combined but not moist. (You may not need to use all of the milk.)
Sprinkle a work surface with flour.
Place the dough on the lightly floured work surface.
Using floured hands, pat it into a rectangle about 3/4″ thick.
Fold the dough into thirds (like you’re folding a letter); turn the dough 90 degrees and fold it in thirds again.
Sprinkle a little flour over the dough, and roll with a floured rolling pin until the dough is a 3/4″ thick rectangle again.
Cut into 10 to 12 rectangles.
Place the biscuits on the prepared baking sheet, and bake until light golden brown and firm to the touch, about 20 minutes.
Serve warm.

*Buttermilk can be replaced with a combination of 1 Tablespoon lemon juice and enough milk to equal 3/4 cup. Allow to stand at room temperature for a couple minutes before using in the recipe.

Photo: Sweet potato biscuits. Photo by Michele Pesula Kuegler.

In the kitchen with Jessica Radloff

Jessica Radloff of Wilton is the owner of Granite State Cakes (find her on Facebook and Instagram @granitestatecakes), a homestead business offering custom cakes and cookies for all occasions. Her inspiration for founding Granite State Cakes began when she made a cake for her firstborn son’s first birthday and friends and family started asking if she could make cakes for them. Children’s birthday parties are among what she most commonly receives requests to make custom cakes or cookies for, but Radloff has also fulfilled orders for occasions like baby showers and weddings.

What is your must-have kitchen item?

A bench scraper. It just really helps you get super-clean edges on the cake and make it look nice and clean.

What would you have for your last meal?

Tacos. We used to live in Londonderry and we would frequent the B’s Tacos truck. Their shrimp tacos are my favorite thing ever.

What is your favorite local restaurant?

I love B’s Tacos, but there’s also a place I love in Londonderry called Bangkok Thai. They have the most delicious basil fried rice. My mother-in-law lives in Londonderry, so we still do visit there often.

What celebrity do you wish could try one of your cakes?

Anthony Bourdain, just because he was so real and genuine.

What is your personal favorite custom cake that you’ve ever done?

I don’t even think it was near Halloween, but I did a cake that looked like a brain. … It was just a really clean white cake, with another cake on top of it and raspberry preserves. It looked gruesomely awesome in a super-clean way. [It was] probably one of the most fun and realistic cakes I’ve ever made.

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

I think food trucks are really big right now. One of my dreams is to have a truck. I would do both sweet and savory options if I could.

What is your favorite thing to cook at home?

I think tacos are my favorite things to make. I like to do shredded pork tacos with my own hard taco shell.

Marshmallow cutout sugar cookies
From the kitchen of Jessica Radloff of Granite State Cakes

1 cup butter
150 grams (or about 1 cup) powdered sugar
75 grams (or about ½ cup) brown sugar, packed
1 egg
450 grams (or about 3½ cups) flour
1 teaspoon cornstarch
1 teaspoon almond extract
2 teaspoons vanilla
2 teaspoons marshmallow flavoring

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Cream butter with sifted powdered sugar and brown sugar until well-combined and mixture is slightly fluffy. Add egg and mix again until well-combined. Sift flour and cornstarch, and add half at a time to prevent a flour dust cloud. Once mixture is nicely combined, add vanilla, almond extract and marshmallow flavoring. Chill dough for about 30 minutes and roll out to about ¼-inch thickness. Cut and chill cutout cookies for about 5 to 10 minutes before baking on parchment paper until just golden around the edges and the tops no longer look shiny. Decorate with royal icing (optional).

Featured photo: Jessica Radloff. Courtesy photo.

Wood-fired deliciousness

OakCraft Pizza opens in Nashua

A new eatery in Nashua is inviting you to build your own wood-fired pizzas, featuring fresh dough, quality cheeses and house sauces cooked in an imported Italian oven.

OakCraft Pizza, which opened Sept. 13 in the Amherst Street Village Center, also has a selection of specialty pies to choose from, as well as starters, salads and several local craft beer options. It’s owned by Hollis native Rick Carvalho and his wife, Taylor, who took over the former Cold Stone Creamery space and began renovating it earlier this year.

Carvalho, whose family formerly owned franchises for four Dunkin’ Donuts stores across Nashua, said pizza making started out as a passion project for him a few years ago. In the spring of 2019, he went on to enroll in an intensive course in Staten Island, New York, where he learned how to make and serve pizzas in a restaurant setting.

OakCraft Pizza’s fast-casual concept, he said, can be compared to that of Chipotle, with completely customizable options on an assembly line before your pizza reaches the end. It’s then ready to be cooked in a Forza Forni wood-fired oven, which came overseas from Italy.

“You pick your sauce, your cheese and your toppings, and we take it from there. The oven cooks your pizza at close to 800 degrees in about three minutes, give or take,” Carvalho said. “So we throw it in our oven and in the time that you’re getting your drinks, it’s probably coming out and you’re good to go. … We really wanted to bring quality to the concept. We have fresh homemade sauces, fresh homemade dough every day, and we’re just trying to make the best.”

Diners start with either regular or gluten-free crusts, and while you can load it up pretty much however you’d like, there are some specialty options if you’re having a hard time deciding. There is the Old World Margherita, featuring fresh basil, mozzarella cheese and red sauce; or the Sunny Side, a breakfast-style pizza with bacon pieces, farm eggs and Parmesan.

“My personal favorite is our Vodka Pie. It’s a vodka sauce that’s made in house, with prosciutto, mushroom, fresh basil, peas and a really good mozzarella,” Carvalho said. “We think our crust is awesome. It has a really good crunch that’s just doughy enough but not soggy. It’s baked right on the stone, so you don’t get that spongy undercarriage.”

Other featured menu offerings include a rotating selection of salads, also with customizable options; starters, like meatballs with red sauce and shaved Parmesan cheese; and sweeter items, like hand-filled whoopie pies that can be rolled in toppings like sprinkles and Oreo cookie crumbles. Wines and local craft beer options are available too.

Online ordering will be implemented through OakCraft Pizza’s website. Carvalho said he also hopes to begin offering third-party delivery services within a radius of a few miles.

OakCraft Pizza

Where: 2 Cellu Dr., Suite 111, Nashua
Hours: Sunday through Wednesday, 11 a.m. to 9 p.m., and Thursday through Saturday, 11 a.m. to 10 p.m.
More info: Visit, follow them on Facebook and Instagram @oakcraftpizza or call 521-8452

Featured photo: Old World Margherita pizza, with fresh basil, mozzarella cheese and house red sauce. Photo by Matt Ingersoll.

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