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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Stagestruck: Fowl Play(s)
Jun20

Stagestruck: Fowl Play(s)

“Birds of a feather flock together,” as the saying goes, but that’s no excuse for these two avian-themed plays to be running at the same time in this area. They are entirely different species.The Birds, at Barrington Stage Company, is a claustrophobic thriller, while Stupid Fucking Bird, opening on Thursday at Silverthorne Theater Company, is a cheeky updating of Chekhov’s The Seagull. When asked what Stupid Fucking Bird is...

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How To Cut Unemployment — No, Really
Jun19

How To Cut Unemployment — No, Really

Whether you’re a 20-something fresh out of college looking for work or near retirement age and can’t find a job at your skill level, the trials and tribulations of unemployment are very real. It’s an issue that most people face in their adult lives and an age old problem without an easy solutions.Finding a job can be especially challenging if you have a criminal record. In the city of Holyoke, a local advocacy group, Neighbor to...

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Review: ‘Mikhail and Margarita’
Jun19

Review: ‘Mikhail and Margarita’

Though he is commonly considered one of the greatest writers of the 20th century, due to Soviet censorship, Mikhail Bulgakov never saw his most famous work published in his lifetime.Now, more than 40 years after its publication, and 70 years after Bulgakov’s death, Julie Lekstrom Himes, a Massachusetts fiction writer, is bringing Bulgakov into the 21st century.Bulgakov, (1891-1928), lived in Russia during the height of Joseph Stalin’s...

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Missed Connections: Loving You Leering At Me
Jun19

Missed Connections: Loving You Leering At Me

Compiled by Kristin PalpiniThe 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. You look over the fence — m4w (Springfield)I don’t mind really. Caught you a few times. It’s okay. I kind of like...

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Stream Queen: The ‘F’ Word
Jun19

Stream Queen: The ‘F’ Word

Feminism is a word that has puzzled/infuriated/strengthened so many people in this country. Debates over the goals of feminism rage on, while popular media outlets inject the word into their headlines for maximum clicks. Are selfies feminist? Is makeup feminist? Am I anti-feminist for making fun of Ann Coulter’s reanimated corpse?In my opinion, “feminist” is no longer a particularly useful adjective, unless it precedes words like...

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Basemental: The Leafies are a Guerilla Band
Jun19

Basemental: The Leafies are a Guerilla Band

Some might describe The Leafies You Gave Me as a “band,” but that would be an understatement. At least in the musical sense.Yes, they are musicians. And yes, they make music. But they are a band more like New Oxford American Dictionary’s second definition of the word band: “a group of people who have a common interest or purpose.” It cites the example of a “guerilla band,” which does seem fitting for this 10-piece avant garde...

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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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Cinemadope: Musical Evolution
Jun19

Cinemadope: Musical Evolution

There have been many eulogies given over the years for the American Movie Musical. And while the popularity of the form is certainly not what it was during its heyday — superhero movies, with their own kinds of acrobatics and wish-fulfillment scenarios, seem to have grabbed today’s everyday American — it has never gone away, either.What, then, changed? The subjects, certainly, grew heavier over the years: the mistaken identity romps...

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Should I Date Someone I’m Not Attracted To?
Jun19

Should I Date Someone I’m Not Attracted To?

I met a girl on a dating app. It was sort of an accidental swipe, but we started chatting and met up. She was really cool to hang out with, but physically, I didn’t find her very attractive. We kept talking and started spending time together.Now it has been a couple of months, and I’m having some reservations. Even though we really enjoy spending time together, I’m just not attracted to her physically, and it is...

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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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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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Django This Weekend: You’ve Never Heard an Accordion Rock Like This (w/vid)
Jun12

Django This Weekend: You’ve Never Heard an Accordion Rock Like This (w/vid)

Hot Gypsy JazzNorthampton’s annual Django in June is a week-long bonanza of Gypsy jazz workshops, concerts, and jamming with artists from across the globe. The event celebrates the musical stylings of Django Reinhardt. The music has been described as hot jazz or Gypsy swing, either way the sound is jolly, accessible, and unique. There’s a camp for “djam” musicians that runs throughout the celebration, but for the rest of us, there’s...

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What Was That All About? Weird Weed Maneuvers in the State House
Jun15

What Was That All About? Weird Weed Maneuvers in the State House

By Kristin PalpiniThe late-Wednesday delay of the House vote on recreational marijuana legislation signals politicians are taking weed — and the up-coming weed tax — seriously. The House bill would have levied up to a 28 percent tax rate on recreational sales, though opponents of the bill said language politicians have since called a “drafting error,” would allow for up to a 55 percent tax rate. The...

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Go: Revelations on Picasso’s Passion at The Clark
Jun12

Go: Revelations on Picasso’s Passion at The Clark

Pablo Picasso often painted himself as a bull.A fan of attending bullfights in his native Spain, the Cubist master saw himself as the hulking beast with big muscles, wild eyes, and swinging genitalia.In a piece now on view at The Clark in Williamstown, Large Bullfight With Female Bullfighter — a work largely interpreted to feature the artist, his wife, and his lover — the face of the bull is wild with smoothed-back curling hair. His...

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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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Stagestruck: Mayflies and “Mill Girls”
Jun12

Stagestruck: Mayflies and “Mill Girls”

It has been described as “theatrical mayhem” and “controlled madness,” “extreme theater” and “a mayfly” — the latter because it’s here and gone in a day.The popular annual event is simultaneously thrilling and terrifying for the dozens of theater folk who take part in it, and pretty much the same for the audiences who flock to it.It’s the 24-Hour Theater Project, a no-net high-wire act in which six plays are written, rehearsed and...

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Easthampton Couple Builds Garden — And Relationship — Based On What They Can Find
Jun09

Easthampton Couple Builds Garden — And Relationship — Based On What They Can Find

The way Faith Manning Enuol tells it, she went to work one afternoon, and when she returned, the garden she was building with her husband Rich Enuol tripled in size.In actuality, Rich spent the day foraging for materials, finding everything they needed — including the nails — in the woods behind their Easthampton home.Newly married, Faith, 27, comes from Connecticut, while Rich, 31, is a political refugee from south of Vietnam. Their...

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Rally for ‘God-Given Right’ to Guns Planned for Belchertown
Jun13

Rally for ‘God-Given Right’ to Guns Planned for Belchertown

By Chris Goudreau“America’s Toughest Sheriff” Joe Arpaio — the controversial right wing former sheriff of Maricopa County, Arizona, who is known for placing prisoners in tents under temperatures in excess of 100 degrees, forcing inmates to wear pink underwear, and has been criticized for human rights violations in his tenure, will be the headline speaker at a conservative rally in Belchertown on Saturday.The “4th Annual Flag Day...

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Franklin County Pride is On; Holyoke Has Month of LGBTQIA Events
Jun12

Franklin County Pride is On; Holyoke Has Month of LGBTQIA Events

Across the country celebrations are taking place for national Pride month, and the Pioneer Valley is no exception. Franklin County and the city of Holyoke are hosting events to bring together the LGBTQIA community.This year marks the return of Franklin Country Pride, which will take place in Greenfield on June 24th, after taking a year or two off. Organized and lead by a team of volunteers, the celebration will occur in two parts.The...

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Bloom! at Gallery A3 in Amherst
Jun12

Bloom! at Gallery A3 in Amherst

Current BloomersBloom is a loaded word. Stuffed with all the meaning we attach to it — hope for new beginnings, youth, mortality, inspiration — ‘bloom’ says more than its five letters. Gallery A3 is exploring this concept in their June exhibit: Bloom! Featuring two artists — painter Tom Morton and painter/mosaicmaker Nancy Meagher — Bloom! focuses on interpretations of landscapes. Meagher’s contribution includes paintings of local...

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Cinemadope: Pedaling Up a Mountain While Playing the Keyboard
Jun12

Cinemadope: Pedaling Up a Mountain While Playing the Keyboard

This week, bicyclists (okay, you power walkers can come, too) get a film festival devoted to that sense of freedom when the Ciclismo Classico Bike Travel Film Festival comes to the Academy of Music in Northampton for a Thursday evening screening.Now in its eighth year, the Ciclismo is the only festival in the U.S. that trains its lens specifically on bike travel, but the stories it highlights are not just for bikers — they are for...

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Valley Show Girl: Stoned to Death II
Jun12

Valley Show Girl: Stoned to Death II

I walked into the entrance of The Arts Block Ballroom on Main Street in Greenfield to soundchecking and friendly, familiar faces. With a couple of hellos’ and hugs, I paid the $20 for the 2nd Annual Stoned To Death fest, put on by Promotorhead Entertainment, and melted into the crowd.Originally known as The Arts Block, the venue had changed its name this past May to The Arts Block Ballroom when the entire building became Hawks and...

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The Pour Man: One Wine To Lure Them All
Jun12

The Pour Man: One Wine To Lure Them All

The Original Dark Horse is a gateway wine, according to a recently published article in Forbes magazine.The brand is designed to gradually wean inexperienced millennials from beer, cider and stuff that comes in jugs and hook them into pricier wine offerings.Once they start drinking better wines at lower prices, marketers believe, millennials will move on to more expensive wines fancied by older generations whose ranks are...

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Worthy Beer Fest in Springfield Saturday
Jun12

Worthy Beer Fest in Springfield Saturday

Are You Worthy?Yes, yes you are — if you’re 21 or over. The Worthy is back, ya’ll, and sudsier than ever for this year’s outdoors craft beer showcase.The Springfield brewfest, in the city’s most entertaining neighborhood: Worthington Street, is going down Saturday and will feature more than 20 local brewers. Old favorites like Amherst Brewing, Stone Brewing, and Berkshire Brewing Company will be there as well as some newer names: Iron...

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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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The V-Spot: How To Be Curvy And Confident
Jun12

The V-Spot: How To Be Curvy And Confident

Hi Yana!I’m a chubby cis-woman in my late 20s. I lately worked through struggling with my body image and relationship to food while healing from years of disordered eating. I’ve been doing really well lately, but sadly one of the things that used to trigger my eating disorder was negative body talk from my family in regards to romantic relationships (i.e. you’ll always be alone because you’re fat).I’m still in therapy, but I was...

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Should You Give Money to Panhandlers?
Jun12

Should You Give Money to Panhandlers?

When a Holyoke City Councilor said, at a public meeting, “Don’t feed the animals,” in regard to homeless panhandlers, I figured I had a good idea for a fiery column defending people who beg for a living.It is vile to call any person an “animal” in a dehumanizing way — that’s not up for debate: everyone has worth. But did he have a point, underneath that craven misunderstanding of poverty, about not giving money to people with their...

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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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More Than Half of Springfield’s Unemployed Don’t Qualify for Casino Jobs
Jun12

More Than Half of Springfield’s Unemployed Don’t Qualify for Casino Jobs

Radames Lopez is a 24-year-old lifelong Holyoke resident with a six month old daughter. He’s unemployed and every day is a struggle to find work because of his felony criminal record.“They’re not going to call me back … I can’t even go into the Army even if I want to because I’ve got felonies,” Lopez said following a Holyoke City Council meeting this month.Lopez spoke during the public comment portion of the Holyoke City Council’s...

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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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Stagestruck: “Million Dollar” Duo
Jun12

Stagestruck: “Million Dollar” Duo

As it happens, two different productions of the same show open on area stages on the same day this week. On Wednesday, Million Dollar Quartet premieres in the Berkshire Theatre Group’s Unicorn Theatre in Stockbridge, and the Majestic Theater in West Springield revives its sold-out hit from last fall.Here’s a revised version of my review of the Majestic’s original production: You could call Million Dollar Quartet...

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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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The Beerhunter: The Eight-Day Cheers, Western Mass Beer Week is Upon Us
Jun05

The Beerhunter: The Eight-Day Cheers, Western Mass Beer Week is Upon Us

Any out-of-towner who would guess Western Mass has a quiet craft beer scene is bound for a rude, brewed awakening. But even locals may be surprised at the scope of the second annual Western Mass Beer Week, which runs June 10-17. Last year’s series of events at breweries, bars and restaurants around the Valley attracted 35 businesses, which hosted (by my count) 52 events. This year, more than 50 businesses are participating in 70...

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