Get Out With Staff Picks: Hang Out With Master Beaders, or Hit Up ShenaNiFest
Jul24

Get Out With Staff Picks: Hang Out With Master Beaders, or Hit Up ShenaNiFest

200 Master Beaders, 1 Project — ALL WEEKEND This weekend maser beadwork artist Darcy Rosner and beaders from SweetBananberry will be at Three Sisters Sanctuary in Goshen adding another whimsical art installation to the outside gallery. They’ll be assembling a mosaic mannequin out of the beadwork of 200 participating artists from across the globe. The mannequin will become a regular feature at Three Sisters, but if you want to...

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Pioneer Valley Roller Derby Open To More Than Just Fierce Females
Jul24

Pioneer Valley Roller Derby Open To More Than Just Fierce Females

In its heyday in the 1970s and ‘80s, roller derby was known for fierce females, fishnets, spiked hair and names like “Iron Maven.” After a lull in the ‘90s, roller derby was resurrected in the early 2000s as an all-female, athletic sport. But in the Pioneer Valley, which was at the forefront of the roller derby revival, the sport has evolved from, as Pioneer Valley Roller Derby (PVRD) Team Captain Teresa Huang described it, a...

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Free Will Astrology: Libra, You’re Nobler and Sparklier Than the Rest of Us
Jul24

Free Will Astrology: Libra, You’re Nobler and Sparklier Than the Rest of Us

ARIES (March 21-April 19): Are you feeling as daring about romance as I suspect? If so, I’ve composed a provocative note for you to give to anyone you have good reason to believe will be glad to receive it. Feel free to copy it word-for-word or edit it to suit your needs. Here it is: “I want to be your open-hearted explorer. Want to be mine? We can be in foolishly cool drooling devotion to each other’s mighty love power. We can be in...

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Feel Good Drift Acoustic Duo on The Valley Advocate Sessions Stage
Jul21

Feel Good Drift Acoustic Duo on The Valley Advocate Sessions Stage

Alex Rohan & Joe Staf are half of Springfield-based acoustic jam rock band, Feel Good Drift. The duo performed for Valley Advocate Sessions LIVE on the front lawn of the Daily Hampshire Gazette on June 29. Like what you’re listening to? Check out the Valley Advocate Sessions page for bands and artists, including The Mary Jane Jones, Sodada, Seth Newton, and...

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Staff Picks: Harry Potter Inspired Music with Draco and the Malfoys
Jul17

Staff Picks: Harry Potter Inspired Music with Draco and the Malfoys

Draco and the Malfoys • Saturday  I held out on Harry Potter mania for years, but finally succumbed when the last book came out in 2007. I read them all in a matter of months, but I didn’t go as far as these folks, who wrote albums of Harry Potter-inspired music. I can’t think of a better venue to appreciate this band than a library, and that’s exactly where they’re having the show. Hoping they play “All...

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Free Will Astrology:Strawberry Is Your Power Fruit, Pisces
Jul17

Free Will Astrology:Strawberry Is Your Power Fruit, Pisces

ARIES (March 21-April 19): The Greek word philokalia is translated as the “love of the beautiful, the exalted, the excellent.” I propose that we make it your keyword for the next three weeks — the theme you keep at the forefront of your awareness everywhere you go. But think a while before you say yes to my invitation. To commit yourself to being so relentlessly in quest of the sublime would be a demanding job. Are you truly prepared...

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The Mary Jane Jones on the Valley Advocate Sessions Stage
Jul14

The Mary Jane Jones on the Valley Advocate Sessions Stage

The Mary Jane Jones blends vintage soul, jazz, and blues together with heavy horns, intricate guitar-work, and vocals that transport you back in time to a dimly lit speakeasy. The group performed for Valley Advocate Sessions LIVE on the front lawn of the Daily Hampshire Gazette on June 29. Like what you’re listening to? Check out the Valley Advocate Sessions page for bands and artists, including Shokazoba, Flava Evolution, Peter...

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VIDEO Coming to Sessions: The Mary Jane Jones
Jul12

VIDEO Coming to Sessions: The Mary Jane Jones

The Mary Jane Jones is vintage soul, blues, and jazz with heavy horns. The band played at LIVE set on the front lawn of the Daily Hampshire Gazette and the full performance will be released this Friday on July 14. Until then, here’s a teaser for the The Mary Jane Jones. Can’t wait for Friday to see more Sessions? Check out some local bands...

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CANCELLED Valley Advocate Sessions LIVE performance July 12
Jul11

CANCELLED Valley Advocate Sessions LIVE performance July 12

Unfortunately, we had to cancel the live show due to thunderstorms. Sessions will no longer be open to the public tonight. Hopefully we can plan another event sometime soon!

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Beerhunter: From Homebrew to Hotspot
Jul10

Beerhunter: From Homebrew to Hotspot

Don’t let the name of their new Westfield brewery fool you — Mark Avery and Rich DeSousa aren’t preparing to quit their day jobs. But the two friends and business partners are still opening up every spare hour, every day they can, to get Two Weeks Notice Brewing Company off the ground. Avery’s beers proved a hit during Western Mass Beer Week in June, when Two Weeks Notice collaborated on an IPA with Ludlow’s Vanished Valley Brewing...

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Leo, Press 3 For Fresh Inspiration
Jul10

Leo, Press 3 For Fresh Inspiration

ARIES (March 21-April 19): It’s not your birthday, but I feel like you need to get presents. The astrological omens agree with me. In fact, they suggest you should show people this horoscope to motivate them to do the right thing and shower you with practical blessings. And why exactly do you need these rewards? Here’s one reason: Now is a pivotal moment in the development of your own ability to give the unique gifts you have to give....

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Backtalk: Independent Media More Reliable Than Mainstream Lemmings
Jul10

Backtalk: Independent Media More Reliable Than Mainstream Lemmings

Independent Media for the Win During this past presidential election season mainstream media focused their cameras on an empty podium waiting for Donald Trump to give a speech. They could have broadcast images of Bernie Sanders giving his message to the people but they chose not to do so. This decision was made by mainstream media officials. The present situation has gotten worse. The White House Press Corps has become a bunch of weak...

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Brickabrack on the Valley Advocate Sessions Stage
Jul07

Brickabrack on the Valley Advocate Sessions Stage

Brickabrack is a indie garage rock/pop band with a lot of grunge attitude. The band draws its inspiration from popular culture with song names such as “The Abe Vigoda Birthday Bash” and “Tina Fey,” which are featured on their debut album Irrelevant Thoughts released on October 31, 2016. Brickabrack was recorded at the Valley Advocate Offices on June 13. Bonus interview with Brickabrack: Like what you’re listening to? Check out...

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VIDEO Coming to Sessions: Brickabrack is basement rock with grunge attitude
Jul05

VIDEO Coming to Sessions: Brickabrack is basement rock with grunge attitude

Brickabrack is an indie basement rock band with plenty of grunge rock attitude. The local trio played a set on the Valley Advocate Sessions stage and the full performance will be released this Friday on July 7. Until then, here’s a teaser for Brickabrack. Can’t wait for Friday to see more Sessions? Check out some local bands...

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The Future of Western Mass Music Is Here: Next Wave Stage at Green River Fest
Jul03

The Future of Western Mass Music Is Here: Next Wave Stage at Green River Fest

On July 14, attendees of the Green River Festival will get a taste of the future of music in the Valley. The Next Wave Stage will feature a five-band concert with local bands with members ages 18 and younger. As a bonus, anyone 18 and under gets into the festival for free that day. During the spring, bands from Western Mass and Southern Vermont applied to get on the stage’s debut lineup. Jim Olsen, president of Signature Sounds and...

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What’s Next for Weird (Zany) News: An Advocate Chat
Jul05

What’s Next for Weird (Zany) News: An Advocate Chat

The Advocate Chat is a recurring series where the Valley Advocate staff talks about a topic on their minds. The text below has been lightly edited. dave.eisen (Managing Editor Dave Eisenstadter): Last week we got the surprising news that longtime News of the Weird feature writer Chuck Shepherd is retiring! Like, very surprising, because we had no idea this was coming. BUT, the Advocate is all about weird news, so we’re going to...

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The News of the Weird Author is Retiring: Here’s a Retrospective
Jul03

The News of the Weird Author is Retiring: Here’s a Retrospective

Editors Note: News of the Weird is ending, but we’ll be continuing the tradition at the Advocate, starting our own feature highlighting the oddities we find in the news. Watch for it next week! Weird News is forever, but this is my last “News of the Weird” column, as I am now exhausted after almost 30 years in the racket. In this final edition, I remember a few of my favorites. My deep thanks to Andrews McMeel Syndication and to...

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EYES on the Valley Advocate Sessions Stage
Jun30

EYES on the Valley Advocate Sessions Stage

EYES is a post-rock/experimental band that excels at creating poly-rhythmic soundscapes and walls of sound that are meditative and engaging. Check out the band’s full performance recorded on June 13 at the Valley Advocate Offices. BONUS: Interview with EYES Like what you’re listening to? Check out the Valley Advocate Sessions page for bands and artists, including Shokazoba, Flava Evolution, Peter Blanchette, and...

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Valley Advocate Sessions Tease: poly-rhythmic post-rock with EYES
Jun28

Valley Advocate Sessions Tease: poly-rhythmic post-rock with EYES

EYES is a post-rock band that excels at creating sonic soundscapes; walls of sound that are meditative and engaging. There are a lot of epic moments with EYES’ music that defy genre conventions. This local experimental quartet appeared on the Valley Advocate Sessions stage and the band’s full performance will be released on Friday, June 30. Until then, here’s a teaser to keep you wanting more. Can’t wait for Friday...

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Staff Picks: Math Rock Rocks!
Jun27

Staff Picks: Math Rock Rocks!

Giraffes? Giraffes! + More Math — Friday It’s a night of awesome math rock at Hawks & Reed Performing Arts Center in Greenfield this Friday. Expect unusual time signatures, angular guitar lines, and sheer epic experimental forays into the boundaries of rock n’ roll. Giraffes? Giraffes! is an immensely popular Western Mass-based math rock duo that headlines the night. Other great acts include the jazzy, mathy, and...

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News Of The Weird: Carrier Pigeons Carrying Drugs
Jun26

News Of The Weird: Carrier Pigeons Carrying Drugs

Customs officials in Abdali, Kuwait, apprehended a pigeon in May with 178 ketamine pills inside a fabric pocket attached to its back. Update Three weeks ago, News of the Weird touted the “genderless,” extraterrestrial-appearing Hollywood makeup artist known as Vinny Ohh, but then Marcela Iglesias announced (following a leaked TV clip) that she had formed an agency for would-be celebrities who had radically transformed their bodies...

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Free Will Astrology: The Tides Of Destiny Shouting For Scorpio
Jun26

Free Will Astrology: The Tides Of Destiny Shouting For Scorpio

ARIES (March 21-April 19): This is a perfect moment to create a new tradition, Aries. You intuitively know how to turn one of your recent breakthroughs into a good habit that will provide continuity and stability for a long time to come. You can make a permanent upgrade in your life by capitalizing on an accidental discovery you made during a spontaneous episode. It’s time, in other words, to convert the temporary assistance you...

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Long Live the Staycation! Why Leave Western Mass?
Jun26

Long Live the Staycation! Why Leave Western Mass?

Hanging around the house is something we all do, but usually in an unfocused, squished-between-chores-and-obligations sort of way. But when you stay home for vacation, your dwelling can become a sanctuary, free from the day-to-day grind. If you can’t afford to get out of town, treat your home like a resort: stock it with your favorite goodies, splurge a bit on something comfy, and postpone responsibilities for a while. Indulge in the...

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Back Talk: Congressman Neal Needs A Progressive Challenger
Jun26

Back Talk: Congressman Neal Needs A Progressive Challenger

Readers Respond to Story on Congressman Neal Several readers wrote in about our cover story on rural and progressive activist dissatisfaction of Congressman Richard Neal [“Can Rankled Rural Voters Dethrone Congressman Neal?” June 22-28, 2017]. Here are some of the responses. Progressive Challenger Needed Against Neal Terrific in-depth piece on Richie Neal. Thanks. Small correction: Neal was unopposed in the 2012 general, but was...

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Sodada on the Valley Advocate Sessions Stage
Jun23

Sodada on the Valley Advocate Sessions Stage

Check out Sodada, a dreamy indie jazz band combined with soulful punk rock, recorded for Valley Advocate Sessions on May 30 at the Valley Advocate Offices. BONUS: Interview with Sodada Like what you’re listening to? Check out the Valley Advocate Sessions page for bands and artists, including Shokazoba, Flava Evolution, Peter Blanchette, and more....

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Advocate Sessions Tease: Sodada
Jun21

Advocate Sessions Tease: Sodada

Sodada is a quintet that plays dreamy jazz meets soulful punk rock. Stay tuned for the band’s full performance out this Friday. Can’t wait for Friday to see more Sessions? Check out some local bands...

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Are Dems Doomed? An Advocate Chat
Jun21

Are Dems Doomed? An Advocate Chat

The Advocate Chat is a recurring series where the Valley Advocate staff talks about a topic on their minds. The text below has been lightly edited. kristinpalpini (Editor-in-Chief Kristin Palpini): I’m pumped! Let’s talk Dems and Reps, donkeys and elephants, tweedle dee and tweedle dumb. Jon Ossoff lost in Georgia after a promising campaign for Democrats in Georgia’s Sixth District. It made me depressed, but Dave,...

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Did Trump Get a Huge Tax Refund Post-2005? All Signs Point to Yes

The pressure is growing to force President Trump to turn over his tax returns. The other day, for example, 200 Congressmen filed a suit in federal court, arguing that voters and lawmakers have a right to know whether Trump’s businesses are violating the Constitution’s emolument clause, which bars the president from accepting payments from foreign countries. The lead Senate plaintiff in the suit, Sen. Richard Blumenthal (D-Conn.), said...

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Jun19

Everyone Wants A Piece of Blues Blues Hall of Famer Joe Louis Walker is coming to the Iron Horse Saturday to play an internationally-influenced set of heart-rending music on a flaming guitar backed by his “Cadillac” voice. Walker’s intense guitar work and booming vocals will touch you. The haunting refrains of loss and love will stay with you long after you’ve left the club. And to think this blues giant may never have found his...

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Jun19

Should You Give Money to Panhandlers? This question was posed to readers in the June 15-21, 2017 Between the Lines column. Here’s what you had to say via Facebook and the comment section: Michelle Pontbriant: [Full disclosure: Pontbriant is the Advocate’s circulation manager.] By Barnes and Noble in Holyoke I witnessed a homeless man walking through stopped traffic and getting into a yelling match with a bystander. I was thankful it...

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Jun19

Elusive Balance Life, at times, seems like a balancing act: keeping the demands of work, home, education, family, friends, and, of course, your own needs, in measured proportion to each other is a lifelong task. One that only some of us are able to master. At Leverett Crafts and Arts this month is a meditation on balance by Susan Valentine. The gallery is displaying works from two of her projects: Keeping Our Heads Above Water, oil...

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Jun19

City Ballet in Becket Bold, light, immediate and intensely musical are just some of the adjectives reviewers have used to describe Miami City Ballet, the storied dance troupe will open the 85th anniversary season of Jacob’s Pillow. The program will include a technically precise Allegro Brillante set to Tchaikovsky’s “Third Piano Concerto No. 3” and Christopher Wheeldon’s elegant Polyphonia danced to...

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Jun19

Mutton, Honey If you’ve ever wanted to see someone get clubbed in the head with a mace live! then you need to get over to the Mutton and Mead Festival, a full-contact kind of fair. The long-running Middle Ages fest features jousting; “Circque De Sewer,” trained rats and cats; the Wheel of Death, one man, one spinning wheel, watch to see what happens; Shakespeare; birds of prey; archery; something called “Vixens en Garde” with “fierce,...

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Jun19

WTF, Bird ? Anton Chekhov’s masterpiece on creativity and family, the destructive power of love and indifference, The Seagull, gets a comedic, modern reboot in Aaron Posner’s Stupid Fucking Bird, which is being performed now by the Silverthorne Theater Co. Both plays involve a cast of lovers who are in love with each other, requited or otherwise, often while pretending to be in love with someone else. The tension grows as some of the...

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Jun19

Dragons on the Water Springfield will play host to a competition of dragons on Saturday — the boat kind, not the flying around torching villages variety. The annual Springfield Dragon Boat Festival will be held at the North Riverfront Park, 121 West St., in Springfield, on Saturday, June 24, 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Teams of up to 16-people per dragon boat race in this high-speed, ultra-charged all-out dash to the finish line 200 meters away....

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