Ritmo Gitano on the Valley Advocate Sessions Stage
Nov17

Ritmo Gitano on the Valley Advocate Sessions Stage

Ritmo Gitano is a local duo that plays traditional gitano and Romani music on fiddle (Zoe Darrow) and classical guitar (Tony Silva). Check out the group’s complete Valley Advocate Sessions performance in video below. Interview with Ritmo...

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Stagestruck: Not Your Bobble-head Einstein
Nov14

Stagestruck: Not Your Bobble-head Einstein

Though it harks back more than 100 years, Jack Fry’s Einstein! shuns the usual retrospective approach to solo shows portraying celebrities. This one is both timeless and time-stamped. The title character appears to us “from the beyond,” complaining about the popular caricature he’s become after death, presenting as evidence his wild-haired likeness on a t-shirt and a bobble-head. But he also situates us in his Berlin study in August...

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STAFF PICKS: Jazz, Folk, Funk, and Tattoos for a Cause
Nov13

STAFF PICKS: Jazz, Folk, Funk, and Tattoos for a Cause

Home Brewed Jazz // SATURDAY Hadley singer-songwriter Jacki Odess-Gillett already has a jazz album under her belt. In 2015, she recorded 10 original jazz tunes with local jazz masters, including Charles Neville, Miro Sprague, Dave Wertman (now deceased), and Billy Arnold. Now she’s recording her second with the same crew, and Dave Picci on bass. To celebrate the project, they are putting on a concert at Hawks and Reed at 2 p.m....

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Bizarro Briefs: It’s Good to Laugh Again
Nov13

Bizarro Briefs: It’s Good to Laugh Again

The woman arrested for laughing at the hilarious statement that Jeff Sessions has a “clear and well-documented” record of “treating all Americans equally under the law” at Sessions confirmation hearing (Sessions in fact was rejected as a federal judge in the 1980s over concerns about his past comments on race) is now free to laugh again. The charges against activist Desiree Fairooz, who was attending the hearing as a member of women’s...

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Klar’s ‘Paradise’ is Poetic and Fiery
Nov13

Klar’s ‘Paradise’ is Poetic and Fiery

Northampton-based singer-songwriter Jake Klar has undergone a metamorphosis from an acoustic driven folk artist to an alternative rock-poet who fuses psychedelic instrumentation with his knack for lyrical storytelling on his newest record, Until the Wild Fire Become Paradise, released on Oct. 20. Klar’s newest album sounds like all the best parts of The Basement Tapes era Bob Dylan, shoegaze rock a la Mazzy Star, and the alt-country...

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The V-Spot: I’m So Excited and…
Nov13

The V-Spot: I’m So Excited and…

Hey Yana, I just read a list of codependent behaviors on the internet and realized a ton of them describe the ways I have navigated/still navigate my relationships. Particularly: getting upset/stressed about other people’s problems and trauma, abandoning my needs to cater to others, and getting strong dips in my self-worth/self-confidence when the people in my life aren’t totally happy/excited about me. I realize these...

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Immigrant Father takes Sanctuary in Amherst Church
Nov13

Immigrant Father takes Sanctuary in Amherst Church

When her four children go to sleep at night, Dora Gonzalez says her youngest, 8-year-old Lucy, often wakes up around 1 a.m. and says, “I miss my dad.” Her oldest son is graduating high school this spring, and Gonzalez worries his father, Lucio Perez, won’t be able to watch him receive his diploma. “It’s not easy being away from family,” she said in a recent interview. “More for the kids, because they need him. They need his help and...

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Free Will Astrology: Don’t Lose Your Lotto Ticket, Sagittarius

ARIES (March 21-April 19): “Many people go fishing all their lives without knowing that it is not fish they are after,” observed Henry David Thoreau. The spirit of Thoreau’s observation is true about every one of us to some extent. From time to time, we all try to satisfy our desires in the wrong location, with the wrong tools, and with the wrong people. But I’m happy to announce that his epigram is less true for you now than it has...

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Cinemadope: Bold Ballet on Screen

As the days grow shorter here in the Valley, we begin to hear whispers of that famous annual December celebration. Children look forward to it for months, and adults go shopping early to make sure they get everything they need before the best stock is sold. I’m talking, of course, about The Nutcracker. First performed in 19th Century Russia, the fan-favorite ballet has been a staple of the holiday season in the Valley for years, and...

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Hannah Rose on the Valley Advocate Sessions Stage
Nov10

Hannah Rose on the Valley Advocate Sessions Stage

Hannah Rose is an electric rock singer-songwriter with plenty of soul. She plays with her band Sodada, but also performs solo material that’s geared towards indie rock. Interview with Hannah...

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VIDEO: Hannah Rose on Valley Advocate Sessions Friday
Nov09

VIDEO: Hannah Rose on Valley Advocate Sessions Friday

Hannah Rose is an electric rock singer-songwriter with plenty of soul. Her band Sodada previously performed on Valley Advocate Sessions. Check out a preview of some of her soon to be released Sessions performance featuring her original solo...

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Stagestruck: The Fruits of Poetry
Nov08

Stagestruck: The Fruits of Poetry

Note: An earlier version of this article contained several errors. They have now been corrected. In 1999, Time magazine named its pick for “the song of the century.” That song was “Strange Fruit,” perhaps an odd choice from the songbook of the era that gave birth to blues, jazz, musical comedy and rock’n’roll. Written in the late 1930s by a schoolteacher named Abel Meeropol, it’s a mournful tune set to a bitter lyric about an...

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Westfield Welcomes Tin Bridge Brewing Company
Nov08

Westfield Welcomes Tin Bridge Brewing Company

Family-run business is the city’s first visitable craft brewery As the Valley’s local craft beer bubble continues to grow, Westfield looks primed for business. Downtown on Elm Street, Skyline Trading Company — a craft beer bar and homebrew shop — has proven a welcome recent addition to Westfield’s nightlife. And residents here often hop in the car (or on a bike) to visit the large barn that houses Westfield River Brewing Company in...

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STAFF PICKS: A Week’s Worth of Films, Blues, and the New England Neck Wrecker
Nov06

STAFF PICKS: A Week’s Worth of Films, Blues, and the New England Neck Wrecker

Brattleboro Film Fest // THROUGH SUNDAY I haven’t been to a film festival in awhile, but it only took one look at the lineup for this week’s sixth annual Brattleboro Film Festival to seal the deal. The festival takes place at the historic Latchis Theatre in downtown Brattleboro and runs through Sunday, Nov. 12. What really excites me about the films featured this year is their diversity. There are films and filmmakers from places...

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Opening the Book of the Earth
Nov06

Opening the Book of the Earth

What do a public library and the great outdoors have in common? Because I write about nature and the environment, I’ve always made use of library books on nature. But it took me a long time to fully realize how closely and intimately libraries and the environment are linked, and to begin to notice and imagine ways they could be still more closely connected. For one thing, libraries “are the number one reuse machine,” says Forbes...

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Back Talk: A. Dolfhit Ler Weighs In
Nov06

Back Talk: A. Dolfhit Ler Weighs In

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 editor@valleyadvocate.com and put “BackTalk” or “letter to the editor” in the subject. A Few (Satirical) Words from A. Dolfhit Ler The alt-right gets a bad rap from the...

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Inside Art IV Review
Nov06

Inside Art IV Review

Many say that art is therapeutic; that it helps the artist reflect on their thoughts, actions and the world in which they live. But how does art impact someone who is incarcerated? “Inside Art IV,” now on display at Art Space in Greenfield displays photography and poetry by people incarcerated at the Franklin County Jail. This is the fourth year that Joan O’Beirne, a professor of photography at Greenfield Community College, has taught...

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Basemental: Landowner’s Edgy Riff on the ‘American Dream’
Nov06

Basemental: Landowner’s Edgy Riff on the ‘American Dream’

When I heard there was a local band called Landowner, I thought: “Surely, they’re joking. This is satirical, right?” But punk is weird these days — everyone is on Facebook hoping companies will sponsor them — so I wasn’t completely sure. I started asking friends, “They’re not for real, right?” And no one knew. But what stunned me is that some not only took the name at face value, but thought it had merit, especially those who aspired...

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Bizarro Briefs: Sunscreen Snow and Robot Horror Stories

The fear of robots and artificial intelligence taking away your job and your livelihood just got real, folks. A new AI bot created by Media Lab at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology writes it’s own horror stories. The bot, “Shelley’, named after Frankenstein author Mary Shelley, has been trained on more than 140,000 horror stories posted on Reddit. Every hour, the AI starts a new story on Twitter and others are encouraged...

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Valley V-Spot: My Partner is a Porn Addict, Now What?
Nov06

Valley V-Spot: My Partner is a Porn Addict, Now What?

Hi Yana, My partner has struggled with a pornography/masturbation addiction since he was a teen. I’m not against self pleasure. In fact, I believe it’s important and wonderful for everyone to experience, even when partnered. We’ve been together for 4 years, and our sex life is generally great. He was upfront with me about his issues with porn (his words) at an early point, but at the beginning he was contacting people outside of our...

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Beerhunter: Unique Sour Beer Pairings at The Foundry
Nov06

Beerhunter: Unique Sour Beer Pairings at The Foundry

If you weren’t expecting this craft beer column to start with a plate of silkworm larvae, believe me, I’m as surprised as you are. But there they were, next to my glass: half a dozen off-white baby bugs, each about an inch long and doused with a honey balsamic sauce. I had no idea how this snack would go down (answer: soft and crispy) or whether the larvae would pair well with my short pour of Madrugada Oscura, a Belgian-style sour...

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Cinemadope: A Fan Steps into the Spotlight in “Good Ol’ Freda”
Nov06

Cinemadope: A Fan Steps into the Spotlight in “Good Ol’ Freda”

It’s a fool’s game to think that the past can’t be topped, but let’s play it for a moment: can there ever be another phenomenon like the Beatles? Whether you count yourself a fan or not, the band — their impact was never only about their music — set off a sea change in popular music that is still making waves today. In a world where we now have nearly any recording literally at our fingertips, it’s difficult to imagine any one band...

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Free Will Astrology: Pimples Are Your Friends, Taurus
Nov06

Free Will Astrology: Pimples Are Your Friends, Taurus

ARIES (March 21-April 19): Adriana Martinez and Octavio Guillen got engaged to be married when they were both 15 years old. But they kept delaying a more complete unification for 67 years. At last, when they were 82, they celebrated their wedding and pledged their vows to each other. Are there comparable situations in your life, Aries? The coming months will be a favorable time to make deeper commitments. At least some of your reasons...

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Stagestruck: House of Terrors
Nov05

Stagestruck: House of Terrors

The current world-premiere production at Hartford Stage (through Nov. 12) is “based on a true story,” according to the publicity, which is otherwise unforthcoming about its real-life inspiration. No matter. The premise for Sarah Gancher’s Seder is dramatic enough to pass for fiction, but has an unmistakable ring of authenticity. Fact or fantasy, it’s one of the smartest, most engaging and provocative new plays I’ve seen. It’s 2002,...

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Lisa Martin on the Valley Advocate Sessions Stage
Nov03

Lisa Martin on the Valley Advocate Sessions Stage

Lisa Martin writes original songs ranging from country to folk roots music, but with a dash of bluesy rock. Check out Lisa Martin’s complete Valley Advocate Sessions performance below. Interview with Lisa...

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VIDEO: Lisa Martin on Valley Advocate Sessions Friday
Nov01

VIDEO: Lisa Martin on Valley Advocate Sessions Friday

Check out a video teaser for Lisa Martin trio’s upcoming Valley Advocate Sessions performance, which will be released this Friday. Martin plays country, folk roots with a dash of bluesy rock.  ...

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Stagestruck: Babylon in Vermont
Nov01

Stagestruck: Babylon in Vermont

As artists, how can one watch the millions of refugees fleeing Syria, Iraq, Afghanistan, not to mention countries in Africa and Asia, and not want to address this issue?  That question provoked the latest handmade production from Sandglass Theater, the world-class puppetry troupe headquartered in Putney, Vermont. The floods of refugees flowing from the Near East into an often hostile Europe, coupled with the travel bans on people...

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Southern Vermont Fatal House Fire Now Looks Like Double Homicide
Nov01

Southern Vermont Fatal House Fire Now Looks Like Double Homicide

Justin Orwat, 46 of Springfield, has been charged with aggravated murder and first degree arson as a result of a previously reported house fire on the morning of Oct. 27 in Townshend, Vermont. Orwat is currently being held at the Hampden County Jail in Ludlow for unrelated criminal charges. The Vermont State Police and the Windham County State Attorney’s Office obtained an arrest warrant for Orwat after the Office of the Chief...

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Get Writing! National Novel Writing Month Starts Soon
Oct30

Get Writing! National Novel Writing Month Starts Soon

Art flourishes in uncertain times. From the critical poetry of World War I and the post World War II Beat Generation to the innovative music of the Beatles and the Stones and beyond, during and after strife, creative types will make art. They rush to prove Jonathan Larson right when the “Rent” creator wrote “the opposite of war isn’t peace; it’s creation.” This November, about 120 Pioneer Valley creative types will join that rush,...

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Election Time! Yep, They Happen in Non-Presidential Years, Too
Oct30

Election Time! Yep, They Happen in Non-Presidential Years, Too

November has rolled around again, and no it’s not a presidential election year. But there are important elections both here and in other parts of the country this week you should be paying attention to. Since Donald Trump was elected president just about a year ago (ugh), he has tried to ban Muslims from coming into the country, fired his own FBI director because of a growing investigation into his campaign’s Russian connection,...

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Valley Show Girl: A Bloody Good Time
Oct30

Valley Show Girl: A Bloody Good Time

Later this month, Chicopee’s Maximum Capacity will close and open at some point in the future with new ownership. Will there still be shows? If so, will they include metal/rock shows? Only time will tell. But in the meantime, you still have a chance to get to “one last show.” Over the years of going to certain clubs/venues, you develop memories that either bring a smile to your face, or a head shake, like “wow, yeah, that totally...

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Bizarro Briefs: Bowling Ball Bear Tongue
Oct30

Bizarro Briefs: Bowling Ball Bear Tongue

You know how when you used to stick your tongue out, your grandma would say that it was going to get stuck that way? One asiatic black bear, which are more commonly called moon bears, in Myanmar found this out the hard way. The bear, named Nyan Htoo, had to have an emergency surgery to have his tongue removed earlier this month because it became so heavy that it had to be dragged along the ground. The tongue, weighing in at 6.5...

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Stagestruck: Runaways and Refugees
Oct30

Stagestruck: Runaways and Refugees

“Once upon a time / There was a boy or a girl / Who ran far away from home …” But this is no fairy tale. Runaways, which opens this week at UMass, is a grown-up musical about homeless children — kids who have fled from home and are living on the street. Created by Elizabeth Swados, it premiered in 1978 at the Public Theater, which had midwifed Hair a decade earlier, and soon moved to Broadway. It was based on Swados’...

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Loretta Ross and Sustainable Activism to be Highlighted at UMass Gathering
Oct30

Loretta Ross and Sustainable Activism to be Highlighted at UMass Gathering

Loretta Ross, an author, feminist, and expert on human rights and racism now teaching at Hampshire College, is clear on her views about President Donald Trump’s election: “The sky fell,” she said in a recent interview. But the point she really wants to drive home as keynote speaker of an upcoming social justice event at the University of Massachusetts Amherst is that Trump is an outcome — he’s not the cause. “America has a long and...

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Review: Terrible Yarn, but Moving Art, “The Scarf” Displays a Noble Struggle
Oct30

Review: Terrible Yarn, but Moving Art, “The Scarf” Displays a Noble Struggle

As I wait for Brattleboro artist Joan O’Beirne to arrive at her exhibit “The Scarf,” showing now through Feb. 11 at the Brattleboro Museum & Art Center, curator Mara Williams brings a museum guest into the showroom. She gestures to the (at least) 12-foot orange weave of cables winding its way down from an elevated chair to the floor on one side of the room. Williams explains, “she knitted it entirely out of extension cords.”...

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