LISTEN Jack Dwyers’ Sessions Set: Blues, folk, n’ jazz
Aug11

LISTEN Jack Dwyers’ Sessions Set: Blues, folk, n’ jazz

Click the image to hear Jack Dwyer’s style of jazz, folk, and blues in the spirit of Tin Pan...

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Love, Hate, and Horniness With Sondheim’s ‘Company’!
Aug07

Love, Hate, and Horniness With Sondheim’s ‘Company’!

Company, one of Stephen Sondheim’s early musicals, is a funny, relatable, and insightful look at marriage, divorce, and single life. The story follows Bobby, a single man on his 35th birthday, who is celebrating with his married friends — who are all in various states of love, hate, and horniness. The audience is treated to a series of vignettes featuring Bobby during visits with one of the couples or alone with a girlfriend....

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Hey Boss, Is Being a Woman Holding Me Back?
Aug07

Hey Boss, Is Being a Woman Holding Me Back?

I have a confession to make: I’ve always worried about being underpaid. This concern has been present whether working for a supportive company or fast food joints. Why? Because I’m a woman aware of the U.S. wage statistics that say there’s a good chance I am being paid less for my work than men in similar employment situations. On a national average, women earn 73 cents for every dollar a man earns, according to the Pew Research...

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Look Up: FREE Westfield International Air Show All Weekend
Aug07

Look Up: FREE Westfield International Air Show All Weekend

Blown Away Is it a bird? Is it a plane? Superman? Better. It’s LOTS of planes. This Saturday and Sunday Barnes-Airport, the home of the 104th Fighter Wing in Westfield, is hosting its insanely popular international air show. There will be live I-can’t-believe-they-just-did-that! performances by the U.S.A.F. Thunderbirds out of Las Vegas, the Acemaker T-33 (the U.S.A.’s first operational jet fighter), the Black Daggers U.S. Army...

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Ballerinas in the Wild this Saturday in Brattleboro
Aug07

Ballerinas in the Wild this Saturday in Brattleboro

Ballet and farming go together like fine art and craft beer — the combo isn’t typical, but it should be. On Saturday, Vermont’s Farm to Ballet troupe will perform at Retreat Farm in Brattleboro, an historic farm dating back to 1836 that has long shared a connection with the patients of Brattleboro Retreat. Each of the company’s seasonal performances take place at and tell the stories of various local farms. Instead on focusing on the...

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On View: Exhibits at the area’s museums and galleries
Aug07

On View: Exhibits at the area’s museums and galleries

Amherst Visitor’s Center: Pioneer Valley Perspectives II. Susan Dion will share art depicting local scenes in Western Mass. Portion of proceeds goes to Trustees of Reservations. Aug. 3-25. Free. 35 South Pleasant St., Amherst. sue1952us@yahoo.com. Anchor House of Artists: Kevin Bouricius — 50 Visions. Painter Bouricius (b. 1951) has developed his visionary oeuvre in relative obscurity since he began painting in 1968. Through Aug. 12....

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LISTEN UP: Krunkelstiltskin plays that heavy rock with humor for you (SESSIONS VIDEO)
Aug04
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Ray Mason, the Valley’s Neil Young, Playing Aug. 3
Jul31

Ray Mason, the Valley’s Neil Young, Playing Aug. 3

Ray Mason, the Valley’s Neil Young If there’s a mic and some place for him to plug in his old Silvertone guitar, you’ve got a good chance of seeing Ray Mason. The tireless musician gigs up and down the Valley several times a week and for good reason — he’s awesome. Mason, who plays solo and with the Lonesome Brothers, is a talented storyteller and songwriter with a gift for infusing humor and honesty into his roots-style folk rock. Go...

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WOOF: Westfield’s Ales for Tales Pub Crawl Friday
Jul31

WOOF: Westfield’s Ales for Tales Pub Crawl Friday

Ales for Tails Hoist a pint for man’s best friend Friday in downtown Westfield for the third annual Ales for Tails Pub Crawl. Organized by Susie Howard, the roaming pack of beer nuts are raising money for the Westfield Animal Shelter. Things get going at 6 p.m. at Skyline Trading Co. on Elm Street. Then it’s off to Two Rivers Burrito Co., The Maple Leaf (if you didn’t fill your belly with burritos already, The Leaf has excellent...

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‘It Was Against the Law for Black and White Musicians to Play Together,’ Springfield Jazz & Roots Fest Seeks Justice
Jul31

‘It Was Against the Law for Black and White Musicians to Play Together,’ Springfield Jazz & Roots Fest Seeks Justice

Music is never just some notes of a melody — it’s always something more, says legendary New Orleans jazz saxophonist Charles Neville. Neville, who grew up in New Orleans during the Jim Crow era, but now resides in Huntington with his wife and children, has seen music change America. “I remember when the first black cops were allowed on the police force and one of the things we all as young teenagers laughed at was the fact that they...

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‘Hold These Truths’ Explores Japanese Internment During WWII
Jul31

‘Hold These Truths’ Explores Japanese Internment During WWII

We (Sort Of) Hold These Truths When the U.S. ordered more than 100,000 Japanese Americans living on the West Coast to relocate to internment camps after the bombing of Pearl Harbor in 1942, Gordon Hirabayashi refused to listen. The son of Japanese immigrants and a legal U.S. resident, Hirabayashi challenged the forced detention in the courts — and lost. “My citizenship didn’t protect me one bit,” Hirabayashi told The New York Times in...

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Tom Wyatt Creates Metal Illusions
Jul31

Tom Wyatt Creates Metal Illusions

Metal Reflections “With bounced light, magic can happen. Curving or bending light and the resulting shapes and forms open a doorway for our subjective minds. Whimsical or mysterious possibilities abound,” says Tom Wyatt in his artist bio on the Salmon Falls Gallery website. Wyatt, of Warwick, is a photographer who experiments with angels and times of day to bring dramatic color and texture to his work.   Tom Wyatt — Illusion and...

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EXHIBITS: What’s On View at Museums and Galleries
Jul31

EXHIBITS: What’s On View at Museums and Galleries

Amherst Visitor’s Center: Pioneer Valley Perspectives II. Susan Dion will share art depicting local scenes in Western Mass. Portion of proceeds goes to Trustees of Reservations. Aug. 3-25. Free. 35 South Pleasant St., Amherst. sue1952us@yahoo.com. Anchor House of Artists: Kevin Bouricius — 50 Visions. Painter Bouricius (b. 1951) has developed his visionary oeuvre in relative obscurity since he began painting in 1968. Through...

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The Buddy McEarns Band Playing Friday
Jul24

The Buddy McEarns Band Playing Friday

Buddy McEarns Your Musical Respect Good time, blusey bar band Buddy McEarns rocks with driving, classical guitar riffs and just the tiniest dash of hippie jam. There’s something comforting about The Buddy McEarns Band, like looking at an old friend named nostaligia through beer goggles. Catch them once, or twice this weekend! The Buddy McEarns Band: Friday (with the full band), 6-9 p.m. Free. Luxe Burger Bar, 1200 W. Columbus...

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Whatever Happened To … Dog Sees God Looks at Peanuts Characters as Teens
Jul24

Whatever Happened To … Dog Sees God Looks at Peanuts Characters as Teens

Charlie Brown Would Be So Emo If you’ve ever wondered what happened to Good ‘ol Chuck, from the Peanuts comics, Gateway City Arts can fill you in; A week-long run of Bert V. Royal’s Dog Sees God: Confessions of a Teenage Blockhead begins Friday. Satirizing the Peanuts, the play imagines the characters as teenagers dealing with an existential crisis — so, in a lot of ways, it’s similar to the strip. The play gets...

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The Original Game of Thrones: Queen Margaret Takes Center Stage in Springfield/Turners
Jul24

The Original Game of Thrones: Queen Margaret Takes Center Stage in Springfield/Turners

Queen Margaret, Historical Bad-Ass Before there was Game of Thrones and Cersei, there was the War of the Roses and Queen Margaret of Anjou. In fact, many people believe the hit HBO show was based on the War of the Roses, a 30-year war (of which Margaret was a key player) fought between enemy houses — the Yorks and the Lancasters — for control of the English throne. Margaret was queen of England for 17 nonconsecutive years. She led the...

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Western Mass Missed Connections — 1st dates SUCK
Jul24

Western Mass Missed Connections — 1st dates SUCK

The Missed Connections forum on Craigslist is a wasteland of terrible poetry, dick pics, and whining, but among the detritus are some truly fascinating, funny, and occasionally sweet entries. The following are highlights from the Western Mass Missed Connections forum, sans detritus. 1st dates SUCK — m4w (eastside grill) Yeah, I texted you too soon after it ended. I seemed desperate probably. Whatever. I just thought you were cool and...

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O, Cannabis: Getting Into The Weeds On Massachusetts’ Pot Bill
Jul24

O, Cannabis: Getting Into The Weeds On Massachusetts’ Pot Bill

We’re no Nevada, but last week Massachusetts took two rippin’ steps toward weed legalization and protection in the state. First the Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court ruled that a business cannot fire an employee for being a medical marijuana patient — a decision that is causing headaches in HR offices around the state who claim it will be difficult to maintain drug-free workplaces. Then the Legislature passed a compromise bill on...

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Go See: Natural Fibers and Uncommon Weaves wtih Leonore Alaniz at Leverett Crafts and Arts
Jul24

Go See: Natural Fibers and Uncommon Weaves wtih Leonore Alaniz at Leverett Crafts and Arts

Natural Fibers and Uncommon Weaves Cloth may seem like something you can find in nature, something that just is; but people do have to make it. And creating cloth by hand is becoming a lost art. See why textiles are glorious at The Crafted Cloth, an exhibit of contemporary cloth by indigenous weavers from Africa, Peru, Guatemala, India, New England, and featuring local fiberista Leonore Alaniz. There will be textiles and items there...

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Can Western Mass Support Farm-To-Table For Everyone?
Jul24

Can Western Mass Support Farm-To-Table For Everyone?

Nathan pulls his mother by the hand through the Springfield downtown farmers market stopping at none of the booths she wants to visit: the cookie stand, the hand-made jewlery display, the gourmet chips, and honey. The 2-year-old loves the farmers market, his mother Emily Riehl says, but she wishes he would gravitate toward more of the farm than the market. Lured by the musicians who often play the Friday afternoon market, Riehl, 20,...

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Your Guide to Local Farmers Markets
Jul24

Your Guide to Local Farmers Markets

MONDAYS PALMER — Three Rivers, Hryniewicz Park, 1-5 p.m. Through October SPRINGFIELD — Church in the Acres, 1383 Wilbraham Road, 2-6 p.m. Through first week of October TUESDAYS GREENFIELD — Between Green Fields Market and King’s Gym, Sears Avenue, 1:30-6:30 p.m. Through October NORTHAMPTON — Behind Thornes Marketplace, 1:30-6:30 p.m. Through the first week of November SPRINGFIELD — Forest Park, 302 Sumner Ave., 12:30-6 p.m. Through...

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Peak Season

The summer theater season is at its peak, and the region’s stages are teeming with talent and imagination. In the Valley this week, New Century Theatre opens its second show, the internment drama Hold These Truths, the Ko Festival of Performance continues with the big-business exposé Death of a Man, Real Live Theatre revives The Life and Death of Queen Margaret on its way to New York, and Silverthorne Theater Company completes its...

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O Cannabis: Getting Into The Weeds Of Massachusetts’ Pot Bill
Jul21

O Cannabis: Getting Into The Weeds Of Massachusetts’ Pot Bill

We’re no Nevada, but last week Massachusetts took two rippin’ steps toward weed legalization and protection in the state. First the Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court ruled that a business cannot fire an employee for being a medical marijuana patient — a decision that is causing headaches in HR offices around the state who claim it will be difficult to maintain drug-free workplaces. Then the Legislature passed a compromise bill on...

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Tease VIDEO Feel Good Drift on Sessions Friday
Jul20
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Review: ‘In a Different Light’ at Easthampton City Arts Gallery
Jul10

Review: ‘In a Different Light’ at Easthampton City Arts Gallery

Thirteen of America’s presidents gather for a summit. They listen as Thomas Jefferson explains this new majesty before them — a giant, wonderfully fluffy chocolate-glazed doughnut with rainbow sprinkles. Teddy Roosevelt gathers his jacket at the hip judging the round table’s character. Ulysses S. Grant looks dumbfounded. George Washington, with his clenched fists and downcast eyes, appears to be looking for an excuse to leave. This is...

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At Play: All Things Scottish and Great
Jul10

At Play: All Things Scottish and Great

Get your Scot on at the 24th annual Glasgow Lands Scottish Festival Saturday at Look Park in Northampton. The day-long event is jammed with all things Celtic and “tidy” (that’s Scottish slang for excellent). The day will feature Scottish music, athletic feats of strength, vendors, historical recreations, food, and beer. Don’t miss Albannach (that’s them in front of that rippin’ hawk). The band is straight outta Scotland and features...

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Get Pumped for Green River Fest With Pre-Show at The Root Friday
Jul03

Get Pumped for Green River Fest With Pre-Show at The Root Friday

Before the sounds of mic checks and inflating balloons echo over the Greenfield Community College verdant field to signal the start of Green River Fest next weekend (July 14-16), this Friday (July 7) Sun Parade and Twisted Pine will give the Valley a taste of the the genre-bending rock that’s in store with a show at The Root Cellar. Sun Parade’s music is chill and groovy with hypnotic melodies under a soft-fuzzy coo on the mic. Their...

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We Got Our -ERN Back; Now How ‘Bout That $80,000?
Jul03

We Got Our -ERN Back; Now How ‘Bout That $80,000?

Four months ago, then-Advocate arts editor Hunter Styles wrote an excellent take-down of the hugely unpopular ad campaign trying to rebrand our region with the name “West Mass.” The heart of it was a list of questions about a dizzying, poorly-thought-out video released along with the brand name — among them “Did it really need to cost $80,000 and take 11 months to decide to take the letters “-ern” off the existing name?” This week,...

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Brother/Sister Act
Jul03

Brother/Sister Act

The publicity for Downstairs, which opened at the Dorset (VT) Theatre Festival in June, gives rather short shrift to the fact that it’s a world premiere by the prolific Theresa Rebeck, whose plays Bad Dates and Mauritius are also being produced in the region this summer (at Shakespeare & Company and Oldcastle Theatre, respectively). Most of the attention has been showered on another first: Tyne Daly and her brother, Tim Daly,...

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Headline

Docs Denounce Use of Pigs for Surgery Instruction Over the last 20 years, medical education institutions across the nation have been phasing out the practicing of surgical procedures on live animals, but not Baystate Medical Center in Springfield. A protest on June 29 outside Baystate was organized by the Physicians Committee for Responsible Medicine to rail against the hospital’s practice of using live pigs to train the next...

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Lexi Weege Plays Homefield Brewing Sunday
Jul03

Lexi Weege Plays Homefield Brewing Sunday

Woman of Rock Lexi Weege has picked up on how solo female acts are received: they’re objectified, controlled, censored, and restrained — but you won’t see any of that at a Weege show or hear it in her music. She’s punk AF in that way. Weege’s sound is bold, alive, and woke as hell. Her powerful voice and jazz-inspired compositions are just one aspect of Weege’s electric performances. Weege is a regular on...

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Wizard of Oz Performed by Plucky PaintBox Theatre
Jul03

Wizard of Oz Performed by Plucky PaintBox Theatre

Do You Represent the Lollipop Guild? After more than 70 years since the film’s release (and more than 100 since the book’s), is there any more magic to be wrung from The Wizard of Oz? PaintBox Theatre has answered this jaded question with a resounding, Absolutely! With just three actors, a few props and a whole lot of cleverness and children’s art, the PaintBox troupe is going to recreate the wonderful world of Oz....

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Free Will Astrology: Make Fun Of Your Zealotry, Aquarius
Jul03

Free Will Astrology: Make Fun Of Your Zealotry, Aquarius

ARIES (March 21-April 19): Unless you were raised by a pack of feral raccoons or a fundamentalist cult, now is a perfect time to dive in to your second childhood. Is there a toy you wanted as a kid but never got? Buy it for yourself now! What were the delicious foods you craved back then? Eat them! Where were the special places you loved? Go there, or to spots that remind you of them. Who were the people you were excited to be with?...

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Sticks & Stones Won’t Break Your Bones at Hope and Feathers, Amherst
Jul03

Sticks & Stones Won’t Break Your Bones at Hope and Feathers, Amherst

Sticks and Stones II, the new exhibit at Hope & Feathers Framing and Gallery, is a contemplation of the very small and natural. The four artists contributing to this show meditated on things like pebbles, pieces of cloth, terra cotta, and textiles. The end result is a celebration of the little ones we take for granted. Look for terra cotta pieces by Mary Carroll, textile constructions by Sharon McCartney, mixed media/ assemblages...

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Summit View Rocks With Trailer Trash
Jun26

Summit View Rocks With Trailer Trash

Take in Some Trash Trailer Trash is headlining this Friday’s edition of Summit View’s Pavilion Summer Concert Series. The immensely popular weekly shows at the banquet hall, on Route 5 in Holyoke, are free and open to the public. There’s a BBQ buffet for purchase and a cash bar to keep you sated and dancing. The buffet opens at 5:30 p.m. and the music goes 6:30-10 p.m. Trailer Trash plays covers of modern country hits and has built up...

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