News of the Weird: Sipping Cappuccino With Rats
Jun19

News of the Weird: Sipping Cappuccino With Rats

Already, trendy restaurants have offered customers dining experiences amidst roaming cats (and in one bold experiment, owls), but the art house San Francisco Dungeon has planned a two-day (July 1 and 8) experimental “Rat Cafe” for those who feel their coffee or tea is better sipped while rats (from the local rat rescue) scurry about the room. Pastries are included for the $49.99 price, but the rats will be removed before the food...

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Free Will Astrology: Gemini: Take Advice From Virginia Woolf
Jun19

Free Will Astrology: Gemini: Take Advice From Virginia Woolf

ARIES (March 21-April 19): There are places in the oceans where the sea floor cracks open and spreads apart from volcanic activity. This allows geothermally heated water to vent out from deep inside the earth. Scientists explored such a place in the otherwise frigid waters around Antarctica. They were elated to find a “riot of life” living there, including previously unknown species of crabs, starfish, sea anemones, and barnacles....

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11 South Gallery: Featuring the pottery of Pamela Pieropan Adorno and Jeanne Souillard, paintings by David Sund and Lisa Henry. Through June. Free. 11 South St., Bernardston. (413) 648-5484, 11southgallery@gmail.com, 11southgallery.com. Anchor House of Artists: Peter Mishkin — A New Type of Color. Peter Mishkin produces consistently attractive abstract oil paintings and polychromed sculpture that have their own secret language. Free....

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Seth Newton on The Valley Advocate Sessions Stage
Jun16

Seth Newton on The Valley Advocate Sessions Stage

Check out local singer/songwriter and powerhouse alternative rock vocalist Seth Newton perform for the Valley Advocate Sessions recorded on May 30 at the Valley Advocate Offices.BONUS: Interview with Seth Newton 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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Rock, Paper, Scissors, NO Dynamite: Turners Falls to Unveil New Public Art
Jun12

Rock, Paper, Scissors, NO Dynamite: Turners Falls to Unveil New Public Art

The Art of Rock, Paper, ScissorsTake part in celebrating the newest sculpture in downtown Turners Falls — Rock, Paper, Scissors, a new work by artist Tim de Christopher. Christopher’s work was selected last spring as an addition to Avenue A from 30 proposals submitted to the Town of Montague and Turners Falls RiverCulture. The sculpture (above is a photo of the model Christopher made for his proposal) will make the new pedestrian...

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Staff Picks: A Movie About Obituary Writers Is Actually Awesome
Jun12

Staff Picks: A Movie About Obituary Writers Is Actually Awesome

Led Zeppelin Acoustic Tribute • Saturday The Acoustic Led Zeppelin Tribute Orchestra Project (TALZTOP, of course) will be performing the songs of Led Zeppelin without the use of electricity. The show will feature Houses of the Holy and the band’s strangely titled fourth album. Tickets are $10 in advance and $15 at the door of The Gathering. 700 Southbridge St., Worcester. 8 p.m. — Dave Eisenstadter Amherst Cinema • Thursday A...

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News Of The Weird: Creepy House For Sale
Jun12

News Of The Weird: Creepy House For Sale

Brantford, Ontario, real estate agent Kyle Jansink, speaking for unidentified sellers, said he accepted the challenge of selling a meticulously maintained home “as is” — still packed with the sellers’ clown-related items (dolls, miniatures, porcelain statues, paintings).  The New Power NapIf high-schoolers seem stressed by active lifestyles and competitive pressures, and consequently fail to sleep the recommended nine to 10 hours...

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Back Talk: Death by Hoes and the Curious Case of the Disappearing Signs
Jun12

Back Talk: Death by Hoes and the Curious Case of the Disappearing Signs

Disappearing Signs in Easthampton Say a LotIn times like these it is more important than ever to focus attention on fair and equal access to freedom of expression.For the past two weeks, I have been witness to what seems to be the twice illicit removal of a Black Lives Matter sign from the shoulder of Route 141 in a residential district near the base of Mt. Tom. It was about two weeks ago I first noticed the sign placed in the ground...

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Free Will Astrology: Phone Reminders Will Help Taurus Actualize
Jun12

Free Will Astrology: Phone Reminders Will Help Taurus Actualize

ARIES (March 21-April 19): You have to admit that salt looks like sugar and sugar resembles salt. This isn’t usually a major problem, though. Mistakenly sprinkling sugar on your food when you thought you were adding salt won’t hurt you, nor will putting salt in your coffee when you assumed you were using sugar. But errors like these are inconvenient, and they can wreck a meal. You may want to apply this lesson as a metaphor in the...

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Spirit Ghost on The Valley Advocate Sessions Stage
Jun09

Spirit Ghost on The Valley Advocate Sessions Stage

Check out Amherst-based indie/garage/ surf rock band Spirit Ghost’s Advocate Sessions performance recorded on May 23 in The Advocate Offices. BONUS: Interview with Spirit GhostLike 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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Why The Hell Aren’t There More Feminist Movies? An Advocate Chat
Jun08

Why The Hell Aren’t There More Feminist Movies? 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): To set the mood on this feminist convo, a story from our buds at The Onion, which apparently has been making me laugh for the past two years. dave.eisen (Managing Editor Dave Eisenstadter): Nice, I love how this is set in Portland,...

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Valley Advocate Sessions TEASE: Spirit Ghost
Jun07

Valley Advocate Sessions TEASE: Spirit Ghost

Spirit Ghost, an Amherst-based indie garage rock band with a splash of surf, came into the Valley Advocate Offices to record for Valley Advocate Sessions on May 23. The band’s full performance and interview will be available on Valley Advocate’s website and the Valley Advocate Sessions page on Friday. Until then, here’s a teaser to satiate your ghostly hunger. Can’t wait for Spirit Ghost’s full...

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News Of The Weird: Worshiping Hadley Grass
Jun05

News Of The Weird: Worshiping Hadley Grass

Reverence for the lineage of asparagus continues in epic yearly Anglican church festivities in Worcester, England, where in April celebrants obtained a special blessing for the vegetable by local priests as a costumed asparagus pranced through the street praising the stalks as representing “the generosity of God.” Critics (including clergy from other parishes) likened the parades to a Monty Python sketch, and “an infantile pantomime,”...

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Free Will Astrology: More Bohr Than Einstein, Capricorn
Jun05

Free Will Astrology: More Bohr Than Einstein, Capricorn

ARIES (March 21-April 19): If you chose me as your relationship guide, I’d counsel you and your closest ally to be generous with each other; to look for the best in each other and praise each other’s beauty and strength. If you asked me to help foster your collaborative zeal, I’d encourage you to build a shrine in honor of your bond — an altar that would invoke the blessings of deities, nature spirits, and the ancestors. If you hired...

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Back Talk: Reader comments on marijuana, climate change, and addiction
Jun05

Back Talk: Reader comments on marijuana, climate change, and addiction

Sticky Green ThumbsA few responses to the May 25-31, 2017 O, Cannabis column: “Growing Your Own Weed In Massachusetts: A How-To Guide”Editor’s Note: Marty Klein was quoted in the article for his growing expertise.A slight clarification re: number of plants allowed. There is no limit on the number of plants a MA medical marijuana card holder can grow. They are limited, however, on the total weight of cured buds in their possession at...

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Peter Blanchette on The Valley Advocate Sessions Stage
Jun02

Peter Blanchette on The Valley Advocate Sessions Stage

Check out 11-string arch-guitarist virtuoso Peter Blanchette and violinist Kenny Butler perform 1500s French Renaissance folk music, and other classical gems. Also visit our Sessions page, with an interview with the artist an all of our other Sessions...

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What Is A Hidden Gem, And Where Are They In The Valley? An Advocate Chat
May31

What Is A Hidden Gem, And Where Are They In The Valley? 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): This week we are talking about hidden gems. At the end of June, we’ll be putting together a list of them from six communities in Hampden County (a bit like Arts Editor Hunter Styles did for Franklin County last year, only bigger!). But...

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Staff Picks: Gloom, Death, And Heavy Metal At Stoned To Death II
May30

Staff Picks: Gloom, Death, And Heavy Metal At Stoned To Death II

Karaoke • TuesdaySinging karaoke with DJ Greg Reil sounds like a good way to belt out whatever is in my soul. I don’t take requests. Karaoke with Reil goes down on Tuesday nights, free, at the Platform Sports Grill and Bar, 125A Pleasant St., Northampton. — Dave Eisenstadter Lisa Marie Ellingsen   • Friday Local singer-songwriter Lisa Marie Ellingsen will release her new album, NoLa to NoHo, on June 2 at the Parlor Room in...

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News Of The Weird: The Economics Of Asteroid Mining
May30

News Of The Weird: The Economics Of Asteroid Mining

Goldman Sachs analyst Noah Poponak’s 98-page paper (leaked to Business Insider in April) touted the wealth obtainable by capturing the platinum reputed to be in asteroids. The costs to mine the stone (rockets, launch expenses, etc.) might have dropped recently to about $3 billion — a trifle next to the $50 billion worth of platinum Poponak said a single asteroid might contain. (On the other hand, experts point out, such abundance of...

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Belchertown Family Rallies To Help Opioid Addicted Son
May30

Belchertown Family Rallies To Help Opioid Addicted Son

Jill Panto knows Narcan. She’s been trained in how to administer it. She has organized Narcan trainings for her community in Belchertown. By now, she could probably teach people herself how to use the life-saving opiate overdose reversal drug, a key weapon in the fight against opioid deaths. But nothing prepared her for the night, two days before Christmas, when she had to use it to save her own son.Christopher Besancon, 27, was home...

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Back Talk: Life Is More Than ‘Get Them Fat Stacks’
May30

Back Talk: Life Is More Than ‘Get Them Fat Stacks’

I started talking with a customer the other day at work. He was looking for something in the store, not sure if we had it, he may have got something else. I was in the middle of something, not in the mood to make small talk. But we started to chat.We kind of butted heads at first, I had some other things to do, he had some real questions, and he may have been looking to talk a little as well. We’ve been understaffed lately, so it can...

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Free Will Astrology: Aquarius, Red Is Your Color
May30

Free Will Astrology: Aquarius, Red Is Your Color

ARIES (March 21-April 19): Life is in the mood to communicate with you rather lyrically. Here are just a few of the signs and portents you may encounter, along with theories about their meaning. If you overhear a lullaby, it’s time to seek the influence of a tender, nurturing source. If you see a type of fruit or flower you don’t recognize, it means you have a buried potential you don’t know much about, and you’re ready to explore it...

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Shokazoba on the Valley Advocate Sessions Stage
May26

Shokazoba on the Valley Advocate Sessions Stage

Check out ten-piece Afrobeat meets old school funk and jazz ensemble Shokazoba.Also visit our Sessions page, with an interview with the artist an all of our other Sessions...

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The Songs We Can’t Get Out Of Our Heads: An Advocate Chat
May24

The Songs We Can’t Get Out Of Our Heads: 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): OK, so today we are talking about songs that get stuck in our heads. We’re keeping it nice and breezy ahead of the long weekend. I think I have a song stuck in my head on most days. Usually the same song for multiple days.cgoudreau...

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The Dizzying And Oh-So-Satisfying Downfall of Trump: An Advocate Chat
May18

The Dizzying And Oh-So-Satisfying Downfall of Trump: An Advocate Chat

The Advocate Chat is a recurring series in which staff members tackle a topic in the news or otherwise of interest. The text below has been lightly edited.dave.eisen (Managing Editor Dave Eisenstadter): It’s the return of the AdvoChat!!!kristinpalpini (Editor-in-Chief Kristin Palpini): Welcome home!cgoudreau (Staff Writer Chris Goudreau): Huzzah!dave.eisen: We were originally going to talk about Trump and Comey. Then we were...

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Addiction Response Milestone: Spike In Local ODs Non-Fatal
May15

Addiction Response Milestone: Spike In Local ODs Non-Fatal

An unprecedented cluster of drug overdoses in Northampton late last month tested the city’s first responders. Their preparation — including training in the use of Narcan — helped prevent any fatalities.As the abuse of prescription and illegal opioids continues to plague the Valley, state and nation, the response has become more sophisticated and effective. That is largely due to emergency networks such as the one established in...

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Free Will Astrology: Gemini – Pack Your Decrepit Emotional Baggage in Garbage Bags
May15

Free Will Astrology: Gemini – Pack Your Decrepit Emotional Baggage in Garbage Bags

ARIES (March 21-April 19): “A two-year-old kid is like using a blender, but you don’t have a top for it,” said comedian Jerry Seinfeld. Would you like to avoid a scenario like that, Aries? Would you prefer not to see what happens if your life has resemblances to turning on a topless blender that’s full of ingredients? Yes? Then please find the top and put it on! And if you can’t locate the proper top, use a dinner plate or newspaper...

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Back Talk: Hope for Better Health Care
May15

Back Talk: Hope for Better Health Care

Hope for Better Health CareThank you for your piece in the Advocate (“Between the Lines: With Obamacare Under Fire, Massachusetts Must Lead on Health Care — Again,” May 11-17, 2017). However, it seems from it that you may not be familiar with House Bill 2987 and Senate Bill 619, Mass-Care, or our WMass network of pro-single-payer advocates and groups.You may also be interested in the fact that single-payer is in the Massachusetts Dems...

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Appalachian Still On The Valley Advocate Sessions Stage
May12

Appalachian Still On The Valley Advocate Sessions Stage

Check out Appalachian Still:Also visit our Sessions page, with an interview with the artist and all of our other Sessions...

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Staff Picks: See The Greys in Agawam
May09

Staff Picks: See The Greys in Agawam

The Greys at The Still in Agawam • FridayThe Greys came in a couple months ago to perform a Sessions set with us and the duo had me in awe. The powerful, whispering voice of singer Cait Simpson folds perfectly inside the jazz-styled stand up bass plucking of Chris Merritt. They make their debut at The Still this Friday playing some originals along with “haunting renditions” of covers. 7 p.m., The Still, 858 Suffield St. — Jennifer...

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Enough With the Hearts: What Mom REALLY Wants on Mother’s Day
May08

Enough With the Hearts: What Mom REALLY Wants on Mother’s Day

Just a list of stuff any mother could love: An opportunity to finish a book … in less than six months. A box of tissues for those inevitable moments of disappointment in you (plus it’s allergy season). Michelle Obama merch (“When they go low, we go high” tote bag, anyone?) Silk pillow cases. (This is how she saves her hair from becoming a frizzy mess overnight.) A crystal wine glass. (Just one; it’s the queen’s glass.) Gift...

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Free Will Astrology: Leo – Dominate Your Emotions Like Oscar Wilde
May08

Free Will Astrology: Leo – Dominate Your Emotions Like Oscar Wilde

ARIES (March 21-April 19): The process by which Zoo Jeans are manufactured is unusual. First, workers wrap and secure sheets of denim around car tires or big rubber balls, and take their raw creations to the Kamine Zoo in Hitachi City, Japan. There the denim-swaddled objects are thrown into pits where tigers or lions live. As the beasts roughhouse with their toys, they rip holes in the cloth. Later, the material is retrieved and used...

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News of the Weird: A Russian Monument to Flossing
May08

News of the Weird: A Russian Monument to Flossing

Russian artist Mariana Shumkova is certainly doing her part for oral hygiene, publicly unveiling her St. Petersburg statuette of a frightening, malformed head displaying actual extracted human teeth, misaligned and populating holes in the face that represent the mouth and eyes. She told Pravda in April that “only [something with] a strong emotional impact” would make people think about tooth care. Entrepreneurial SpiritA San Francisco...

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Back Talk: Stop Sending Weapons to Syria for an Endless War
May08

Back Talk: Stop Sending Weapons to Syria for an Endless War

Stop Sending Weapons to SyriaAt a presentation given by the Northampton Committee to Stop Wars, I asked two Syrian speakers whether Syrians predominantly support President Assad or the rebels. They both said that the country is extremely divided and that their support goes back and forth depending on who most recently killed a family member. One said that he knew only two people left in Syria, his parents, and the rest were scattered...

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Third Eye Roaming: Goat Yoga in Easthampton
May01

Third Eye Roaming: Goat Yoga in Easthampton

EDITOR’S NOTE: This story originally listed writer Amanda Drane as the author of this story. It was written by Caitlin Ashworth. The Advocate regrets the error.Seven young goats wandered throughout the room, climbing on yoga students in child’s pose, sniffing feet and — at times — chewing hair.Audrey Blaisdell, co-owner of Valley Hot Yoga in Northampton, said she used many downward-facing positions designed to entice the goats...

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