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I don't get down to Keene, NH on a super regular basis

I don't get down to Keene, NH on a super regular basis, but did get down last week and discovered a nice gem for the arts community down there - The Starving Artist Creative Collective, a non-profit organization headquartered at 10 West Street, just where it comes into The Square.

The Starving Artist refers to itself as "a unique space and people dedicated to serving both artist and audience through performance, lecture, workshop and gallery." Last Wednesday evening they hosted a concert featuring The Winterpills and a North Carolina based band named Stephaniesid.

Now my girlfriend and I happen to really like The Winterpills, especially after seeing them at the Signature Sounds 15th Anniversary concert this past summer. It was then that I realized that Flora Reed was a member of the group.

Flora and I have known each other via email for years, as she's handled publicity for Signature Sounds and has sent me dozens of CDs and tickets for Signature Sounds artists in performance - some of my favorites like Peter Mulvey, Richard Shindell, Chris Smither, Josh Ritter, Amy Rigby, Erin McKeown, Eilen Jewel, Crooked Still, Kris Delmhorst and Jeffrey Foucault. We'd never met, just have written back and forth many times, as Signature Sounds artists very frequently play up this way.

I wasn't sure what to expect. I thought The Starving Artist was probably a club or restaurant of some sort. Well, it does offer a few things to eat and drink, but that's about it. It's more like attending a house concert, and the intimate space and closeness to the band is wonderful for music lovers. We ended up enjoying the concert at a very reasonable ticket price with about 50 other people, most of whom seemed to be local college students.

You can keep an eye on what's happening at The Starving Artist via their website, www.thestarvingartistcollective.com.

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Website Recommendation of the Week: www.stopsmilingonline.com.

Stop Smiling is an arts and culture magazine started in Chicago in the mid-1990s. The site contains a great archive of author interviews, music reviews and recommendations, and tons of other arts and culture stuff . Check it out.

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