The Resistance is Just Getting Started: Today Science, Tomorrow (May  Day) Workers’ Rights
Apr24

The Resistance is Just Getting Started: Today Science, Tomorrow (May Day) Workers’ Rights

On a hill of gravelly mud in Kendrick Park — that little strip of grass in downtown Amherst flanked by Triangle and Pleasant streets — a family of protesters are passing around plastic instruments and bird masks in preparation for the March for Science.“Everyone got one?” the mother asks. “Just like we practiced.”And the big plastic band starts playing a buzzy, flatulent “When the Saints Go Marching In.”A man with a tambourine and a...

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@Play
Apr24

@Play

Nice Pot!Flowers are blooming on the trees, the sun is shining, and asparagus are being planted in the Valley, which means it’s time for the annual springtime Asparagus Valley Potter Trail. Every year the self-guided tour takes place across nine pottery studios in Western Mass. This year 13 guest artists will also be displaying their work. Witness the elegance of a sassy red clay robot by Francine & Frank Ozereko or creations such as...

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Help to upgrade fire safety in Holyoke available It was a terrible way to start the New Year.Three people died and nearly 50 were displaced as a fire consumed the five-story building at 106 North East Street on January 1, 2017.Looking for a quick way to respond, the City of Holyoke has expanded its federally funded Rental Neighborhood Improvement Program to provide financial incentive to rental property owners to include more robust...

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Review: Krakatoa Picnic Got Me Lit, Check out James Heflin’s palpable poetry Friday
Apr24

Review: Krakatoa Picnic Got Me Lit, Check out James Heflin’s palpable poetry Friday

The first thing you need to know about Krakatoa Picnic is that the imagery in this book of poems, by James Heflin, will sear you to the side of the Indonesian volcano.The collection of sci-fi-influenced prose is vivid in its tactile descriptions of place, people, and time. Heflin, a Deerfield resident and former Advocate arts editor, creates scenarios that are lyrical and triple-doused in meaning, yet nimble and often a little...

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Suffocating in Silence: Winner of Valley Advocate Juniper Writing Scholarship puts displacement in its place
Apr24

Suffocating in Silence: Winner of Valley Advocate Juniper Writing Scholarship puts displacement in its place

For writer Elinam Agbo, words are like air.      “If I go too long without expressing my thoughts in one way or another, I begin to feel suffocated and distant from my memories as well as my lived moments,” said Agbo, this year’s winner of the Valley Advocate’s Juniper Summer Writing Program scholarship at UMass Amherst.The Juniper program focuses on poetry, fiction, and nonfiction, and is hosted by the UMass Master of Fine Arts...

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What Red State Special Elections Mean for 2018

Change may be coming!         Results from special             congressional elections this month in Kansas and Georgia should give Democrats hope for capturing the House in 2018 and thwarting the second half of Donald Trump’s term as president.In the short term, neither of the April elections resulted in a Democrat victory, but the Dems in question put up some impressive numbers in deep red districts — and the fight isn’t over...

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Basemental: Bella’s Wild Rose Tracks Reviewed
Apr24

Basemental: Bella’s Wild Rose Tracks Reviewed

Editor’s note: Bella Ortia-Wren uses they/their pronouns.Bella Ortia-Wren, who goes by just “Bella” on stage, plays a blue Fender Mustang, a small-bodied guitar with single coil pickups, that sounds shimmery and crisp through a few hot-tempered distortion boxes. Decadent chords cut through creating a wild, untamed haze which is the foundation for Wild Rose Tracks, their new album to be released on Bandcamp later this...

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Free Will Astrology: Virgo, cook an omelet over Niagara gorge
Apr24

Free Will Astrology: Virgo, cook an omelet over Niagara gorge

ARIES (March 21-April 19): I have misgivings when I witness bears riding bicycles or tigers dancing on their hind legs or Aries people wielding diplomatic phrases and making careful compromises at committee meetings. While I am impressed by the disciplined expression of primal power, I worry for the soul of the creature that is behaving with such civilized restraint. So here’s my advice for you in the coming weeks: Take advantage of...

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Cinemadope: This Is Spinal Tap deadpans for gold
Apr24

Cinemadope: This Is Spinal Tap deadpans for gold

While the idea of a “mockumentary” now seems almost old-hat, in 1984 director Rob Reiner gave birth to the zany medium.His ridiculously entertaining satire about life on the road with aging, British metal band Spinal Tap during their American comeback tour was mostly improvpotised, with stars Michael McKean, Christopher Guest, and Harry Shearer leading the charge. At the time, it was almost puzzling in the strength of its deadpan.Not...

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va17-artPIC-2017
Apr24

va17-artPIC-2017

Drawn Home is Paul Shore’s  attempt to draw everything in his house. Check it out at  Brattleboro Museum and Art Center.

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va17-artsHAP-2017

Anchor House of Artists: SOTC — Fourteen Paintings by Charles Miller. Visual translation of Christ’s crucifixion and stations of the cross, set in urban Boston. Free. 518 Pleasant St., Northampton. (413) 588-4337, anchorhouseartists.org.A.P.E. Gallery: Surveillance Landscapes. Exhibit by Marcus DeSieno interrogates how surveillance technology has changed our relationship with and understanding of landscape. Through April 30. Free. 126...

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va17-stagePIC-2017
Apr24

va17-stagePIC-2017

Kathleen Madigan, winner of both the Phyllis Diller Award and the American Comedy Award, will  perform at the Calvin in Northampton on Saturday.

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va17-stageHAP-2017

Thursday 4/27National Theatre Live in HD — Twelfth Night: Performance by Britain’s National Theatre. 4 p.m. Amherst Cinema, 28 Amity St., Amherst. amherstcinema.org.Cavalleria Rusticana & Pagliacci: Recorded at the 2015 Salzburg Easter Festival and drawing record attendance with Jonas Kaufmann, as both Turiddu and Canio. 6:30pm. $12-$14. South Hadley’s Tower Theaters, 19 College St., The Village Commons, South Hadley....

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va17-etcPIC-2017
Apr24

va17-etcPIC-2017

Amherst Chalk Walk  Saturday, 10 a.m.,  Downtown Amherst

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va17-etcHAP-2017

Thursday 4/27 Close Look — Artist Meleko Mokgosi in Conversation: Curator of contemporary art, Lisa Dorin and artist Meleko Mokgosi discuss process and his exploration of history and allegory. 4 p.m. Free. Williams College Museum of Art, 15 Lawrence Hall Dr., Williamstown.Conversation with Screenwriter Erin Cressida Wilson: Conversation with screenwriter and Smith College alumna Erin Cressida Wilson ’85, whose projects include The...

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va17-musicPIC-2017
Apr24

va17-musicPIC-2017

FlavaEvolution CD  Release Party Saturday at New City Brewery in Easthampton

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va17-musicHAP-2017

Thursday 4/27 Eric Phelps: 5 p.m. Fort Hill Brewery, 30 Fort Hill Road, Easthampton.Luke Baillargeon: Italian music. 6 p.m. Free. The Mick, 3 Country Club Road, Holyoke. (413) 532-1800, info@logcabin-delaney.com, logcabin-delaney.com.Tomas Fujiwara and the Hook Up: Part of the Magic Triangle Jazz Series. 8 p.m. Free. Bezanson Recital Hall, UMass, Amherst. (413) 545-2511,  gsiegel@umass.edu,...

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Garage Pop Band Hammydown to be Featured on Sessions this Friday
Apr19

Garage Pop Band Hammydown to be Featured on Sessions this Friday

Who is Hammydown?To see more come back Friday afternoon when we’ll post the full 20 minute concert and interview with Hammydown. Want more Sessions? Check out past performances from bands that include Mammal Dap, The Suitcase Junket, Mikey Sweet, Ray Mason, The Eavesdrop Trio, and Fancy Trash at...

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Between the Lines: A Packed 4/20 Issue
Apr18

Between the Lines: A Packed 4/20 Issue

Welcome, to this week’s jam-packed Advocate. We’ve got the winners of our annual Best of the Valley Readers’ Poll, 4/20-themed stories in celebration of Massachusetts’ first year of legal recreational weed, more about our new online Friday music concerts, Sessions, and news about what’s going on at the paper.First up: The Best Of the Valley Readers’ Poll is a who’s who and what’s what of all the top people, places, and businesses...

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From our Readers: hot haikus and science marches
Apr17

From our Readers: hot haikus and science marches

Hot HaikusIn response to our call on our Facebook page “It is in the 80s today. Someone write a haiku about the weather in the comments”, here’s a few entries from the community:Massachusetts spring No rhyme or reason to it Roller coaster ride— Frank GiulianoHot enough to swim Spring has only just started Be prepared for snow— Wil KingHey, now I can use all of these ice cubes in my refrigerator.— Corey Plucker  Not so Rattled by...

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VA16-ArtsCulture-2017-USETHISONE
Apr17

VA16-ArtsCulture-2017-USETHISONE

Green SceneChill out and share the love at Greenfield’s first-annual Greenfest this week, a full evening of free music on — you guessed it — 4/20. With the exception of guest speaker Dick Evans, who served as chair of the Yes on 4 Campaign (aka the Campaign to Regulate Marijuana Like Alcohol in Massachusetts), it’s non-stop music. Headlining is the Funky Dawgz Brass Band (pictured),  playing a mix of traditional New Orleans R&B,...

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VA16-pickETC-2017
Apr17

VA16-pickETC-2017

Nevertheless …Democrat and U.S. Senator Elizabeth Warren’s new book, This Fight is Our Fight: The Battle to Save America’s Middle Class, published April 18, champions progressive economic policies by examining how the United States built its strong middle class from the New Deal of the 1930s to the present, and chronicles recent efforts to undermine working families. During her book talk, Warren will also offer “candid accounts of her...

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The DO NOT WATCH List
Apr17

The DO NOT WATCH List

 This week, our resident Stream Queen Lena Wilson offers a journey into some high-minded flicks beyond old Cheech and Chong movies (see pg. 18). But Advocate staff thought it equally important to share a blacklist of movies and TV shows to avoid when high — at all costs.This list was compiled from writers’ personal experience… but that’s probably obvious.Eraserhead (dir. David Lynch, 1977) Watching Lynch work his doomy...

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VA16-pickMUSIC-2017
Apr17

VA16-pickMUSIC-2017

Righteous WeirdnessThe happy Valley bubbles daily with politics, but we could certainly stand to be louder about it. Enter, stage left: Out of System Transfer, Brooklyn’s “gonzo anti-folk punk rock radical leftist hootenanny.” Their funny and fierce tunes blend the rage of Reagan-era punks like Dead Kennedys and Mojo Nixon with the rootsy feel and harmonies of acts like the Carter Family and Pete Seeger. With unparalleled energy,...

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VA16-pickSTAGE-2017
Apr17

VA16-pickSTAGE-2017

Birds of a FeatherThe Majestic Theater concludes its 20th anniversary season with the musical La Cage aux Folles, written by Jerry Herman and Havey Fierstein. The play, which won Tony Awards for Best Musical, Best Score, and Best Book for its original 1983 Broadway production, tells the story of Georges, his longtime romantic partner Albin, and the complications that arise when Georges’ son Jean-Michel comes home to announce...

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VA16-pickART-2017
Apr17

VA16-pickART-2017

The Pagemaster  Orange-based artist Keila Ploof loves to rescue books from her local recycling center. Those pages take on second lives when Ploof turns them into original artworks using paint and charcoal. In Ploof’s environmentally-friendly hands, each piece of paper is torn, cut, and manipulated to form a “brush stroke” that is applied using a paintbrush to create a 3-D quality. “I feel it’s an honer to give these books one...

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Thursday 4/20 Friends of Edwards Library: New members welcome. 6:30 p.m. Edwards Library, 30 East St., Southampton. (413) 527-9480, southamptonlibrary.org. Kahn Lecture — Michael Singer: 5 p.m. Smith College, 10 Elm St., Northampton. smith.edu/events. Old Book or Rare Book?: Ken Gloss of the Brattle Book Shop speaks. Free appraisals of books. 6 p.m. Free. Jones Library, 43 Amity St., Amherst. (413) 835-0870, gigi.barnhill@comcast.net....

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VA16-happsMUSIC-2017

Thursday 4/20 Green Fest: Sets by the Funky Dawgz Brass Band, Mammal Dap, Outer Stylie, White Cliffs, The Medicinal Purpose, The Diamondstones, Solo Sexx, and Pinedrop. With guest speaker Dick Evans. Presented by The Enthusiast. 4 p.m. Free; all-ages. The Arts Block, 289 Main St., Greenfield. (413) 774-0150, theartsblock.com. John Pizzarelli: 7 p.m. Iron Horse Music Hall, 20 Center St., Northampton. (413) 586-8686, iheg.com. Lexi...

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VA16-happsSTAGE-2017

Thursday 4/20 Before the Flood — Film Screening: Documentary features Leonardo DiCaprio on a journey as a United Nations Messenger of Peace, traveling to five continents and the Arctic to witness climate change firsthand. 7 p.m. Amherst Cinema, 28 Amity St., Amherst. (413) 253-2547, amherstcinema.org.Getting Out: Holyoke Community College theatre department performs the play by Marsha Norman about a woman struggling to survive on the...

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VA16-happsART-2017

118 Elliot Gallery: Drawing the Visible World. Exhibition of work by Alden, Bowen, and Danaher. Through April 27. 118 Elliot St., Brattleboro. (802) 257-2757, 118elliot.com. Amherst Town Hall: Keila Ploof — Painting with Paper. Approximately 25 original works that highlight a creative approach to using paper and charcoal. An environmentally friendly artist, Ploof uses old books and paper. Each piece of paper is torn, cut or otherwise...

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The Pour Man: La Manarine is French red wine done right
Apr17

The Pour Man: La Manarine is French red wine done right

In the world of wine, Domaine La Manarine is a relatively minor player — about 89 acres of vines, 60,000 bottles of wine a year — and that’s a good thing.Good, because the wines made there by owner Gilles Gasq are well-crafted and a great value, and they reflect the character and attention to detail of other small, family-owned producers in the Rhone region whose wines sell for a lot more.Gasq purchased the vineyard, located in the...

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Advocate taste-off: Finding the perfect cheesecake
Apr18

Advocate taste-off: Finding the perfect cheesecake

Cheesecake is one of the most decadent and delightful treats of all the sweets. A cheesecake should be fluffy and creamy, sugary and buttery, fresh and delicate. Because when it’s not, it’s a damn waste of calories slathered onto your hips. Being one of the best desserts also means cheesecake is one of the worst for you in terms of calories, fat, and sugar (it’s wonderful for you in terms of soul-boosting). So, it’s important when...

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Review: Art Stop(s) on Main Street, Springfield, from magnificent to meh
Apr10

Review: Art Stop(s) on Main Street, Springfield, from magnificent to meh

I love the idea of art galleries everywhere — in empty downtown storefronts, in the halls of hospitals and the community rooms of nonprofit agencies — but it’s always a bit awkward, at first, to enjoy them.There’s a buzzer to hit, or a camera to stare into, or a front desk administrator from whom you need to request access or directions.But we should all hang that wariness at home — more than ever art is everywhere and we should take...

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Between the Lines: Western Mass Needs More Rattlesnakes
Apr03

Between the Lines: Western Mass Needs More Rattlesnakes

No one knows how many timber rattlesnakes there are in Massachusetts — and this is a sticking point for opponents of a plan to boost the endangered species population.Does this species of venomous snakes really need saving? Over the past few years, state scientists and conservationists have been devising plans to increase the what they’re calling an “endangered” timber rattlesnake population by creating a breeding ground for the...

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‘Fat Feminist’ Lindy West, Author of Shrill, Reads in South Hadley Saturday
Apr03

‘Fat Feminist’ Lindy West, Author of Shrill, Reads in South Hadley Saturday

The word “shrill” makes some people want to instinctively cover their ears, but Lindy West decided to make it the title to her 2016 book Shrill: Notes From a Loud Woman. The self-identified fat feminist will be reading from her book Saturday, 7 p.m., at the Hooker Auditorium at Mount Holyoke College in South Hadley. The event is open to the public.West said she chose the word for her recently published book of personal essays because...

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