Staff Picks:  Dirty Words II, Rock at the Bing, Bon Appetit Burlesque, and French Film Fridays
Jan08

Staff Picks: Dirty Words II, Rock at the Bing, Bon Appetit Burlesque, and French Film Fridays

Children of Paradise // FRIDAY French Film Fridays up at the Hooker-Dunham in Brattleboro is featuring Children of Paradise (Les Enfants du Paradis). I just read about this movie somewhere and the claim was that it was like Gone with the Wind only better … not that I’ve seen Gone with the Wind. The Hooker-Dunham is a cool theater and this flick is only 5 bucks. Tickets come with free popcorn. Not too bad. One warning, though:...

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Back Talk: Raising Awareness about Myalgic Encephalomyelitis (M.E.)
Jan08

Back Talk: Raising Awareness about Myalgic Encephalomyelitis (M.E.)

Editor’s Note: Welcome to our letters to the editor page. Here you’ll find reader comments on Advocate articles and other news. We collect readers’ opinions from emails, letters, Facebook comments, and comments to valleyadvocate.com. Want to get in on this? Email deisen@valleyadvocate.com and put “BackTalk” or “letter to the editor” in the subject. Raising Awareness about Myalgic Encephalomyelitis (ME) Many readers commented and...

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Free Will Astrology: It’s Leo Makeover Season!
Jan08

Free Will Astrology: It’s Leo Makeover Season!

ARIES (March 21-April 19): I’m happy to inform you that life is giving you permission to be extra demanding in the coming weeks — as long as you’re not petty, brusque, or unreasonable. Here are a few examples that will pass the test: “I demand that you join me in getting drunk on the truth”; “I demand to receive rewards commensurate with my contributions”; “I demand that we collaborate to outsmart and escape the karmic conundrums...

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Puerto Rico Professionals in Limbo: Massachusetts Laws Create Roadblocks to Employment
Jan05

Puerto Rico Professionals in Limbo: Massachusetts Laws Create Roadblocks to Employment

When Hurricane Maria devastated her area of Isabela, Puerto Rico, 52-year-old Brenda Trujillo traveled to Holyoke in search of a more stable life and employment. Trujillo has been a nurse for nearly 30 years, but since arriving on November 3 she has not been able to find a job in her profession. One of the reasons is that despite her vast experience, she does not have a license to practice nursing in the state of Massachusetts. “I...

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Ginger Libations on the Valley Advocate Sessions Stage
Jan05

Ginger Libations on the Valley Advocate Sessions Stage

Ginger Libations is a Northampton-based jazz fusion group in love with jamming and ginger. Interview with Ginger...

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VIDEO: Ginger Libations on Sessions Friday
Jan03

VIDEO: Ginger Libations on Sessions Friday

Ginger Libations is a Northampton-based jazz fusion group in love with jamming and ginger. Check out a teaser video for the band’s Valley Advocate Sessions performance to be released in full this...

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Staff Picks: Stay inside with comic books, fusion jazz, democratic candidates for Governor, and yoga
Jan02

Staff Picks: Stay inside with comic books, fusion jazz, democratic candidates for Governor, and yoga

Comic Book Craft Night with Beer // SUNDAY Oh my goodness, comic book crafting and beer?? Wake up your inner nerd from freezing cold weather-induced hibernation and get your craft on! Comics N’ More will provide all the materials needed to make some collages, ornaments, garlands, and other holiday-style gifts or just something for yourself. Old, well-read, and ready to be retired comics will be used, as well as glue and glitter. $20...

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Vote Here for Best Of The Valley
Jan04

Vote Here for Best Of The Valley

Best Of The Valley Readers’ Poll 2018 ballot voting is now live!! Click here to vote!

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Bizarro Briefs: Frisky Interspecies Bird Sex
Jan02

Bizarro Briefs: Frisky Interspecies Bird Sex

Get the Lead Out The Flint, Michigan, drinking water crisis has likely done permanent damage to thousands of children, but for at least one child, it served as an inspiration. Twelve-year-old Gitanjila Rao of Colorado used her scientific knowledge to invent a fast, accurate, portable, and inexpensive device to detect lead in water. She has followed the Flint water crisis for two years, even though she lives about 1,000 miles away from...

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The Top 9 Ways to Get Fit in Western Mass this Winter
Jan02

The Top 9 Ways to Get Fit in Western Mass this Winter

The warmer fall was nice and December was capped off by a white Christmas. But now that we’re in the heart of winter, it might be a bit harder to get outside for your usual walks or bike rides. And meanwhile, one of your New Year’s resolutions was to get fit. So how to go about it? Here are a few ideas from your friends at the Advocate. 1) Join a Gym The Valley has plenty of places to train to get and stay fit. The 2017...

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Cannabis Consultant Ezra Parzybok Talks Marijuana as Medicine in New Book
Jan02

Cannabis Consultant Ezra Parzybok Talks Marijuana as Medicine in New Book

As its medical uses evolve and marijuana becomes legally available for recreation in Massachusetts, an area cannabis consultant is working to fill an information hole he thinks is undermining its use. “In our culture, marijuana is known for all the bad reasons because of its psychoactive abilities,” said Ezra Parzybok of Northampton, author of Cannabis Consulting: Helping Patients, Parents, and Practitioners Understand Medical...

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Free Will Astrology: Fly Your Freak Flag, Aquarius
Jan02

Free Will Astrology: Fly Your Freak Flag, Aquarius

ARIES (March 21-April 19): In 2018, your past will undergo transformation. Your memories will revise and rearrange themselves. Bygone events that seemed complete and definitive will shimmy and shift, requiring new interpretations. The stories you have always told about how you became who you are will have to be edited, perhaps even rewritten. While these overhauls may sometimes be disconcerting, they will ultimately be liberating....

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Valley Advocate Art Calendar: Jan. 4 – 10, 2018
Jan02

Valley Advocate Art Calendar: Jan. 4 – 10, 2018

AMHERST The Emperor’s New Clothes:  Laure Dennery is showing her penguin paintings that experiment with artistic techniques and composition to showcase these fascinating birds. Free.  Amherst Town Hall, 4 Boltwood Ave., Amherst. The Art of Eric Carle: Night:  Check out the latest exhibit at The Carle featuring the artwork of Eric Carle himself. $9 – $22. Museum admission. The Eric Carle Museum, 125 W. Bay...

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Austin James on the Valley Advocate Sessions Stage
Dec28

Austin James on the Valley Advocate Sessions Stage

Multi-instrumentalist singer-songwriter Austin James, who plays guitar, violin, and keyboards, performs original indie rock music mixed with folk pop sensibilities. James performed on the Valley Advocate Sessions stage on Nov. 28. Interview with Austin...

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VIDEO: Austin James on Sessions Friday
Dec27

VIDEO: Austin James on Sessions Friday

Multi-instrumentalist singer-songwriter Austin James, who plays guitar, violin, and keyboards, performs original indie rock music mixed with folk pop sensibilities. James performed on the Valley Advocate Sessions stage on Nov. 28 and the complete video of his performance will be released this...

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Halos & Horns: A look back at the good, the bad, and the dead of 2017
Dec26

Halos & Horns: A look back at the good, the bad, and the dead of 2017

It’s Halos and Horns with a side of hashtags this year. While President Donald Trump was busy tweeting from the White House throughout 2017 (we gave him his own whole article), the rest of the world had their own Twitter responses, many of which inspired the Advocate’s yearly doling out of halos to the good and horns to the bad. So we took that # symbol and made glowing, yellow-ringed hashtag halos and stretched red hashtag horns....

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Get Out With Staff Picks: First Night Music, Rubblebucket, Weeds, and Home Alone
Dec26

Get Out With Staff Picks: First Night Music, Rubblebucket, Weeds, and Home Alone

2018 First Night Northampton // SUNDAY Checking out all the great local bands while meandering through the chilly streets of downtown Northampton is a tradition for me on New Year’s Eve, and this year is no exception. There’s a plethora of amazing acts performing across the downtown area, including Heather Maloney, the Happy Valley Guitar Orchestra, Colorway (pictured), Fancy Trash, the Women’s Songwriter Collective,...

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A Bizarro Year
Dec26

A Bizarro Year

It’s been about six months now since longtime “News of the Weird” writer Chuck Shepherd decided to call it quits, which means it’s been about six months since we’ve taken up the reigns and delivered you our “Bizarro Briefs” right from the Advocate newsroom. Here are some of our favorites from over the course of this bizarro year! Watch Where You Sit  (published July 10) A 25-year-old Jacksonville, Florida, woman was surprised when a...

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Free Will Astrology: Pisces Theme is Secret Freedom
Dec26

Free Will Astrology: Pisces Theme is Secret Freedom

ARIES (March 21-April 19): “I need more smart allies, compassionate supporters, ethical role models, and loyal friends, and I need them right now!” writes Joanna K., an Aries reader from Albuquerque, New Mexico. On the other hand, there’s Jacques T., an Aries reader from Montreal. “To my amazement, I actually have much of the support and assistance I need,” he declares. “What I seem to need more of are constructive critics,...

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Nate Martel on the Valley Advocate Sessions Stage
Dec22

Nate Martel on the Valley Advocate Sessions Stage

Singer-songwriter Nate Martel plays acoustic roots rock music that doesn’t skimp on soul. Martel is also a member of local psychedelic rock group, Outer Stylie, which previously performed on Valley Advocate Sessions. He recently released his first solo album, “Short Stay.” Interview with Nate...

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VIDEO: Nate Martel on Sessions Friday
Dec20

VIDEO: Nate Martel on Sessions Friday

Singer-songwriter Nate Martel plays acoustic roots rock music that doesn’t skimp on soul. Martel is also a member of local psychedelic rock group, Outer Stylie, which previously performed on Valley Advocate Sessions. He recently released his first solo album, “Short Stay.” Martel’s complete Sessions performance will be released this Friday, until then here’s a teaser of Martel playing alongside cellist...

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The Valley Advocate’s Apocalypse Survival Guide
Dec18

The Valley Advocate’s Apocalypse Survival Guide

Let’s face it: We live in uncertain times. Seas are rising. The climate is changing. Nuclear-armed countries are escalating their rhetoric, with our own president making threats of nuclear strikes. Increased dependence on automation is making us ever more vulnerable to a robot uprising. Scientists tinkering with “superbugs” and years of antibacterial soap use could lead to a disease outbreak. And on top of all that is the ever-present...

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Holiday Staff Picks: A Solstice Celebration, Creepy Christmas, Ugly Sweaters, and Holiday Benefit
Dec18

Holiday Staff Picks: A Solstice Celebration, Creepy Christmas, Ugly Sweaters, and Holiday Benefit

Songs of Joy and Peace — Holiday Benefit Show // THURSDAY  It’s a night of music at the Sierra Grille featuring a plethora of local bands playing holiday music to benefit the Food Bank of Western Massachusetts and Me Too. Bring $3 for donations of three items for the Food Bank. All the cash donations will go to Me Too, which has been helping survivors of sexual violence since 2016. There’s a lot of great local groups on...

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Bizarro Briefs: The Itsy, Bitsy Spider Went Up the President’s Back
Dec18

Bizarro Briefs: The Itsy, Bitsy Spider Went Up the President’s Back

Mark Burns is a South Carolina pastor who is such a big Trump fan that he would risk his life to save the president from sure peril. Sort of. Burns was standing behind Trump in the Oval Office on Monday for an award presentation when he saw a white spider the size of a half-dollar crawling up the president’s back. Before the spider bit the president, Burns slapped the spider, and Trump, with his bare hand. Burns went on to reassure...

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Free Will Astrology: Your Mission for 2018
Dec18

Free Will Astrology: Your Mission for 2018

ARIES (March 21-April 19): Your life in the first half of 2018 will be like a psychological boot camp that’s designed to beef up your emotional intelligence. Here’s another way to visualize your oncoming adventures: They will constitute a friendly nudge from the cosmos, pushing you to be energetic and ingenious in creating the kind of partnerships you want for the rest of your long life. As you go through your interesting tests and...

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Ursula Elmes on the Valley Advocate Sessions Stage
Dec15

Ursula Elmes on the Valley Advocate Sessions Stage

Ursula Elmes is a local singer-songwriter and member of progressive folk group, Mad Habits, who has powerhouse soul vocals with a dash of honky-tonk twang. Elmes performed her solo material on Valley Advocate Sessions on Nov. 28. Interview with Ursula...

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VIDEO: Ursula Elmes on Sessions Friday
Dec13

VIDEO: Ursula Elmes on Sessions Friday

Ursula Elmes is a local singer-songwriter and member of progressive folk group, Mad Habits, who has powerhouse soul vocals with a dash of honky-tonk twang. Check out a trailer for her full Valley Advocate Sessions performance online this...

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Column: Eversource Screws Mass Consumers
Dec11

Column: Eversource Screws Mass Consumers

With a little help from its friends, the “regulators” at the Department of Public Utilities It is perhaps understandable that one of the most important Massachusetts news stories of the year was buried in the avalanche of reports coming out of Washington last week. But Eversource Energy, a large investor-owned utility serving much of Connecticut, New Hampshire, and Massachusetts, just got a big rate hike approved by the Commonwealth’s...

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STAFF PICKS: Snow White, Christmas Metal, Eavesdrop, and Art After Depression Treatment
Dec11

STAFF PICKS: Snow White, Christmas Metal, Eavesdrop, and Art After Depression Treatment

  Overcoming Depression // SATURDAY Chris Goudreau wrote a great piece on transcranial magnetic stimulation (in a crude sense getting zapped by a magnet) as a way to treat depression. The treatment has been shown to be effective enough that the FDA approved its use in 2008. But the FDA never said one of the side effects might be a rekindled interest in the arts. That was a discovery Atkinson Family Practice patient Catherine...

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The Royal Frog Ballet: A Gathering of Grace
Dec11

The Royal Frog Ballet: A Gathering of Grace

Celebrating 10 years of performance theater, The Royal Frog Ballet trades the wild outdoors for the pristine white walls of A.P.E. Gallery in downtown Northampton this month. Their retrospective, HINDSIGHT/FORESIGHT, is a thoughtful and vivid collection of paintings, costumes, masks, and three-dimensional effects that tell the story of an ambitious troupe dedicated to promoting “aliveness through creativity, community, and curiosity.”...

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Bizarro Briefs: Foxy Lady of Fortune
Dec11

Bizarro Briefs: Foxy Lady of Fortune

For more than 40 years, Mumtaz Begum has been reading the fortunes of visitors from within the cage of a Pakistani zoo. With a body of a fox and a head of a woman, Begum is one of the oddest attractions at the zoo. However, the fortune teller is actually played by performer Murad Ali, who inherited the role from his father. Every day, Ali cakes his face with a thick layer of makeup and bright red lipstick, and then crawls into a box...

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Free Will Astrology: Don’t Listen to Mozart, Scorpio
Dec11

Free Will Astrology: Don’t Listen to Mozart, Scorpio

ARIES (March 21-April 19): According to a Sufi aphorism, you can’t be sure that you are in possession of the righteous truth unless a thousand people have called you a heretic. If that’s accurate, you still have a ways to go before you can be certified. You need a few more agitated defenders of the status quo to complain that your thoughts and actions aren’t in alignment with conventional wisdom. Go round them up! Ironically, those...

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Esperanto on the Valley Advocate Sessions Stage
Dec08

Esperanto on the Valley Advocate Sessions Stage

Esperanto is a blues-driven alternative rock band from Westfield. Check out the band’s full Valley Advocate Sessions in the video below. Interview with...

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VIDEO: Esperanto on Advocate Sessions Friday
Dec06

VIDEO: Esperanto on Advocate Sessions Friday

Esperanto is a blues-driven alternative rock band from Westfield. Check out a teaser video for the band’s Valley Advocate Sessions performance, which will be online this Friday.

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The Advocate Guide to Winter in Western Mass
Dec04

The Advocate Guide to Winter in Western Mass

We know our winters in Western Massachusetts. As the last of the color fades from the leaves, the realization sets in that it’s going to be a while before the warm and colorful days of spring. But winter doesn’t have to be all about darkness and cold. Winter is a time of roaring fires and warm soups and teas. The colorful twinkle of holiday lights are already brightening the longer nights and the New Year offers a chance for a fresh...

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