VIDEO Tease: Old Flame on Valley Advocate Sessions Friday
Aug16

VIDEO Tease: Old Flame on Valley Advocate Sessions Friday

Old Flame is rollicking bluesy garage rock mixed with folk protest music. The local band performed on the Valley Advocate Sessions stage on July 18. Here’s a teaser of Old Flame’s performance, which will be available in its entirety this Friday. Can’t wait for Friday to see more Sessions? Check out some local bands...

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Springfield City Council Candidate Ernesto Cruz Facing Strangulation Charge Following Arrest
Aug15

Springfield City Council Candidate Ernesto Cruz Facing Strangulation Charge Following Arrest

Ernesto Cruz, one of 14 candidates for at-large seats on the Springfield City Council, is facing assault charges. The charges allegedly stem from an argument in which police say Cruz pushed his girlfriend up against a wall and grabbed her by the neck. Cruz was arrested on June 8, around 11:15 p.m. at his residence in the Six Corners Neighborhood and charged with assault and battery on a family/household member and a...

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Stagestruck: Two Women − Intimate dramas explore shifting connections
Aug14

Stagestruck: Two Women − Intimate dramas explore shifting connections

A pair of two-handers, playing through this month and just next weekend respectively, examine intimate, intricate relationships between women. Harbor Stage Company, one of the region’s most reliably stimulating summer theaters, premieres its adaption of a cinema classic (see below) and the Valley’s adventurous Clementine Theater Collective celebrates its second season with a “sharp, moving almost-love story.”   The Clementine...

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Stagestruck: Ending on a Laugh
Aug14

Stagestruck: Ending on a Laugh

New Century Theatre is closing its summer season as it began — with “a full-out comedy,” as director Sam Rush puts it. This one is The 39 Steps, a jokey reconstruction of Alfred Hitchcock’s epic 1935 thriller. Or perhaps I should say deconstruction, since it’s performed by just four actors and played strictly for laughs. The now-classic scenario in which an innocent bystander is caught up in a mysterious and increasingly perilous...

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Building 6: Major expansion and a new building at MASS MoCA
Aug14

Building 6: Major expansion and a new building at MASS MoCA

If a white cube is your comfort zone for viewing contemporary art, then the recent expansion of the Massachusetts Museum of Contemporary Art (MASS MoCA) pushes well outside the box. “Building 6” is the modest name of an ambitious project that adds 130,000 square feet to nearly double the museum’s gallery space and augments other institutional amenities such as new art fabrication workshops and support facilities for performing artists...

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Back Talk: Mercs, Bicycles, and Farm Fresh Humor
Aug14

Back Talk: Mercs, Bicycles, and Farm Fresh Humor

Editor’s Note: Welcome to our letters to the editor page. Here you’ll find comments from readers on Advocate articles and other news. We collect readers’ opinions from emails, letters, Facebook comments, and comments to valleyadvoate.com. Want to get in on this? Email editor@valleyadvocate.com and put “BackTalk” or “letter to the editor” in the subject. A Prince Among Mercenaries (via email) I was so excited to hear that Donald Trump...

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Free Will Astrology: Lay Off Metaphorical Bombing Campaigns, Scorpio
Aug14

Free Will Astrology: Lay Off Metaphorical Bombing Campaigns, Scorpio

ARIES (March 21-April 19): “To disobey in order to take action is the byword of all creative spirits,” said philosopher Gaston Bachelard. This mischievous advice is perfect for your use right now, Aries. I believe you’ll thrive through the practice of ingenious rebellion — never in service to your pride, but always to feed your soul’s lust for deeper, wilder life. Here’s more from Bachelard: “Autonomy comes through many small...

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Basemental: Nanny’s “Nowhere” Is Vulnerable Grunge Rock Not To Be Missed
Aug11

Basemental: Nanny’s “Nowhere” Is Vulnerable Grunge Rock Not To Be Missed

I first caught Nanny at the 13th Floor in Northampton this past March; one of my bands was sharing a bill with them. Earlier this summer, I saw them again and had that feeling I was starting to grasp the songs. It wasn’t long before I learned a debut EP was right around the bend, too. This weekend it will be released at a show to celebrate the accomplishment. Nowhere by Nanny This new EP, named for closing track six, Nowhere, recalls...

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Cinemadope: How Reagan Forever Changed The Presidency
Aug11

Cinemadope: How Reagan Forever Changed The Presidency

With the ongoing avalanche of reporting on Russia and that nation’s relationship with our current president, it feels almost quaint to look back on the days of the Reagan era. Certainly there was international intrigue then, but today, the jelly beans and faux folksiness of Ron and Nancy’s White House sometimes seem — at least to a writer who went from boyhood to teenager under Reagan — like childhood memories from overnights at a...

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LISTEN Jack Dwyers’ Sessions Set: Blues, folk, n’ jazz
Aug11

LISTEN Jack Dwyers’ Sessions Set: Blues, folk, n’ jazz

Click the image to hear Jack Dwyer’s style of jazz, folk, and blues in the spirit of Tin Pan...

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Stream Queen: Movies And Shows The Critics Got Wrong
Aug11

Stream Queen: Movies And Shows The Critics Got Wrong

Since its inception in the late 19th century, film has evolved from a seemingly trivial medium into one of the most wide-reaching and popular industries. Film criticism has grown right along with it, as academic and journalistic reviewers endlessly argue over film’s true purpose. Though film and TV criticism depends entirely on the biases and opinions of the critic herself, we all value critics’ opinions over our own. They know what...

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Western Mass Immigrant Rights Activists Burn Baker On ICE Bill
Aug10

Western Mass Immigrant Rights Activists Burn Baker On ICE Bill

Local immigrant rights groups aren’t happy with Gov. Charlie Baker and his proposed legislation that would mandate state and local law enforcement to comply with Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) detainer requests. A group of more than 50 people affiliated with Western Massachusetts immigrants rights groups  protested outside the state office in Springfield calling on Baker to withdraw his bill. Some of leading groups...

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Tease Video: Jack Dwyer on Sessions Friday
Aug10

Tease Video: Jack Dwyer on Sessions Friday

Jack Dwyer is a local singer-songwriter who plays a nylon-stringed guitar with a mix of jazz, folk, and blues in the spirit of Tin Pan Alley songs from the 1920s and 1930s. Dwyer performed on the Valley Advocate Sessions stage on July 18 and his full performance will be available this Friday. Can’t wait for Friday? Check out our Sessions page with past performances by local bands and solo artists such as Hammydown, Peter Blanchette,...

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Stagestruck: Old-Fashioned Fun
Aug10

Stagestruck: Old-Fashioned Fun

The Fitzpatrick Mainstage on the Berkshire Theatre Group’s Stockbridge campus is the site of what I’m told is the country’s oldest continuously operating summer theater. For 89 years the building, converted from a former casino in 1928 by Broadway star Eva Le Gallienne, has staged a wide-ranging repertoire and launched dozens of stage and screen stars. This season BTG, perhaps looking ahead to next year’s 90th anniversary, has...

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Stagestruck: ‘This’ Drama as Sitcom Is ‘Too Snappy, Too Loud’
Aug08

Stagestruck: ‘This’ Drama as Sitcom Is ‘Too Snappy, Too Loud’

This is the title of the play now running at Barrington Stage Company (through August 27). But it might be more accurately called This and That. Melissa James Gibson’s script is a grab-bag of seriocomic situations, satirical barbs and personal anguish that harks back to the ’80s TV series thirtysomething. Her characters, approaching middle age – i.e., their forties – are preoccupied with marital, parental, ethical, sexual and...

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Love, Hate, and Horniness With Sondheim’s ‘Company’!
Aug07

Love, Hate, and Horniness With Sondheim’s ‘Company’!

Company, one of Stephen Sondheim’s early musicals, is a funny, relatable, and insightful look at marriage, divorce, and single life. The story follows Bobby, a single man on his 35th birthday, who is celebrating with his married friends — who are all in various states of love, hate, and horniness. The audience is treated to a series of vignettes featuring Bobby during visits with one of the couples or alone with a girlfriend....

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V-Spot: My Doc Won’t Give Me A Vasectomy!
Aug09

V-Spot: My Doc Won’t Give Me A Vasectomy!

Hi Yana, What can we do to build our case to hesitant doctors to perform vasectomies on young people (between 18-25 years old)? What would you recommend to someone interested in this procedure? I have been trying to get my GP (general practitioner) on board since my early 20s and I know so many other young men aiming for the same procedure. When I ask for it, I’m chided for my decision, denied the procedure, or told to redirect my...

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Bizarro Briefs: Bear Takes Joyride Into Mailbox
Aug09

Bizarro Briefs: Bear Takes Joyride Into Mailbox

Bear Takes Joyride Into Mailbox In Durango, Colorado, bears frequently break into cars looking for food. This week was the first that one resident can recall a bear actually taking the car for a short drive. After likely releasing a Subaru SUV’s parking brake in a driveway, a black bear rolled down the driveway and crashed the vehicle into a mailbox. The commotion woke the mailbox’s owners, who looked out the window to see the damage....

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Album Review: Pop and Punk Collide In The Prozacs’ Sci-Fi Influenced “Exist”
Aug04

Album Review: Pop and Punk Collide In The Prozacs’ Sci-Fi Influenced “Exist”

Back in January of this past year, the members of Westfield-based pop punkers, The Prozacs, parted ways. Formed in 2001 by Jay Gauvin (or better known as J Prozac), the band had seen many different line-ups of members throughout their time performing. Gauvin was going to end the band following this year’s breakup, but realized that it made no sense after all the hard work that had been put into making their latest album, Exist. “Also...

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Stagestruck: A List Of Things To Live For in ‘Every Brilliant Thing’
Aug07

Stagestruck: A List Of Things To Live For in ‘Every Brilliant Thing’

Everyone needs something to live for. Some of us have a harder time finding it than others. Much harder. So … if you’re a young child and your mom has just tried to kill herself, what can you do about it? Well, you could give her a list of everything that makes the world beautiful and life worth living: 1.) Ice cream. 2.) Water fights. 3.) Staying up past your bedtime and being allowed to watch TV. “All things that, at seven, I...

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Staff Picks: Smell You Later in Williamstown
Aug07

Staff Picks: Smell You Later in Williamstown

Smell You Later // Thursday  The Osmotheque in Versailles, France, brings visitors to the museum on a journey of smells, cataloging the historic smells of perfumes. It’s name comes from the Greek words meaning “smell storehouse.” Now Williams College is taking a stab at its own Osmotheque to transform works in Museum of Art’s collection into scents. Perfumers Christopher Draghi and Robert Dobay lead the tour, starting at 5 p.m....

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Beerhunter Roadtrip! The Hudson Valley
Aug04

Beerhunter Roadtrip! The Hudson Valley

The thing to remember about summer in the Valley — aside from which SPF to use and which local farm stands sell the best corn — is that it will be over before you know it. Sure, the swimming holes don’t really warm up until September, and the cows at Cook Farm gamely enable our ice cream habit into the chillier months. But that special windows-down, afternoon road trip is a fleeting thing. With that in mind, I’m putting the August...

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Hey Boss, Is Being a Woman Holding Me Back?
Aug07

Hey Boss, Is Being a Woman Holding Me Back?

I have a confession to make: I’ve always worried about being underpaid. This concern has been present whether working for a supportive company or fast food joints. Why? Because I’m a woman aware of the U.S. wage statistics that say there’s a good chance I am being paid less for my work than men in similar employment situations. On a national average, women earn 73 cents for every dollar a man earns, according to the Pew Research...

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Look Up: FREE Westfield International Air Show All Weekend
Aug07

Look Up: FREE Westfield International Air Show All Weekend

Blown Away Is it a bird? Is it a plane? Superman? Better. It’s LOTS of planes. This Saturday and Sunday Barnes-Airport, the home of the 104th Fighter Wing in Westfield, is hosting its insanely popular international air show. There will be live I-can’t-believe-they-just-did-that! performances by the U.S.A.F. Thunderbirds out of Las Vegas, the Acemaker T-33 (the U.S.A.’s first operational jet fighter), the Black Daggers U.S. Army...

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Ballerinas in the Wild this Saturday in Brattleboro
Aug07

Ballerinas in the Wild this Saturday in Brattleboro

Ballet and farming go together like fine art and craft beer — the combo isn’t typical, but it should be. On Saturday, Vermont’s Farm to Ballet troupe will perform at Retreat Farm in Brattleboro, an historic farm dating back to 1836 that has long shared a connection with the patients of Brattleboro Retreat. Each of the company’s seasonal performances take place at and tell the stories of various local farms. Instead on focusing on the...

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On View: Exhibits at the area’s museums and galleries
Aug07

On View: Exhibits at the area’s museums and galleries

Amherst Visitor’s Center: Pioneer Valley Perspectives II. Susan Dion will share art depicting local scenes in Western Mass. Portion of proceeds goes to Trustees of Reservations. Aug. 3-25. Free. 35 South Pleasant St., Amherst. sue1952us@yahoo.com. Anchor House of Artists: Kevin Bouricius — 50 Visions. Painter Bouricius (b. 1951) has developed his visionary oeuvre in relative obscurity since he began painting in 1968. Through Aug. 12....

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LISTEN UP: Krunkelstiltskin plays that heavy rock with humor for you (SESSIONS VIDEO)
Aug04
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Valley Show Girl: A Jam Session in the Forest With Staind Singer Aaron Lewis
Aug07

Valley Show Girl: A Jam Session in the Forest With Staind Singer Aaron Lewis

Staind. Remember them? I think at one point in our late-’90s lives we were all blasting “Tormented” or “Dysfunction” and relating to the ultra-sensitive alternative rock that was birthed right here in the Valley. Well, times have changed, and people change. Aaron Lewis, singer of the now-retired Staind has gone on to other things, including switching up musical genres to country. Lewis also puts on an amazing benefit concert once a...

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Discussing Far Out Films in the Forbes Library Basement
Aug07

Discussing Far Out Films in the Forbes Library Basement

I’ve always been interested in surrealism, but never quite enough to actually do any research into it beyond looking at some Salvador Dali paintings. But one reference to a surrealist work stuck with me. In the 2011 Woody Allen movie Midnight In Paris, the surrealist filmmaker Luis Bunuel makes an appearance and an allusion is made to one of his more famous films — the one in which a roomful of party guests are unable to leave after...

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Free Will Astrology: Believe In Woo-Woo, Juju, Mojo
Aug07

Free Will Astrology: Believe In Woo-Woo, Juju, Mojo

ARIES (March 21-April 19): I hope you’re making wise use of the surging fertility that has been coursing through you. Maybe you’ve been reinventing a long-term relationship that needed creative tinkering. Perhaps you have been hammering together an innovative business deal or generating new material for your artistic practice. It’s possible you have discovered how to express feelings and ideas that have been half-mute or inaccessible...

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One Good Tern Deserves Another; Saving The Birds One Nest At A Time
Aug07

One Good Tern Deserves Another; Saving The Birds One Nest At A Time

One favorable consequence of always carrying binoculars in plain view is that they help create an international citizenry of nature lovers. I’ve just returned from a trip to England visiting family. There, we camped in the chilly, Scotland-like region of northeast England called Northumberland – in Latin, the “North Shadows” – an island-pocked coastline of temperamental weather and steep cliffs wedged between rocky and sandy beaches....

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Is There Really A Western Mass Energy Crisis?
Aug07

Is There Really A Western Mass Energy Crisis?

Barry Roberts has heard Massachusetts is facing an energy crisis, but he doesn’t buy it. Roberts is a commercial landlord who owns several buildings in Amherst including the Amherst Cinema building and the block where Amherst Ice Cream is located, as well as properties in Hadley. He and some of his clients have had to cut back on business expansion due to the moratorium Berkshire Gas placed on new gas hookups in 2015, Roberts said....

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State Police Spending a Lot of Days at the Park …
Aug07

State Police Spending a Lot of Days at the Park …

The barricade is a small wooden cabin-like structure modeled off the one 1800s transcendentalist Henry David Thoreau built near Walden Pond. A life guard chair stands directly in front of a fence set up by Tennessee Gas where onlookers can view the 100-foot wide path of cleared forest, now mostly dirt. On a recent afternoon two private security personnel sat in an off road vehicle watching silently on the other side of the barricade...

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Back Talk: Kudos on Abortion Story, But …
Aug07

Back Talk: Kudos on Abortion Story, But …

Editors’ Note: Welcome to our letters to the editor page. Here you’ll find comments from readers 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, or visit us online. Keep up to date by signing up for our email newsletter at...

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Pour Man: This Fair Trade Wine Might Be The Cheapest Thing At Your Co-op
Aug09

Pour Man: This Fair Trade Wine Might Be The Cheapest Thing At Your Co-op

Riojana; Rosé, 2016; La Rioja, Argentina, $6.99 Not only is Riojana rosé a very good wine that sells for an incredibly low price, but it is also a wine that you can feel good about drinking. Riojana wines are produced by La Riojana, a certified Fairtrade cooperative of more than 500 families in the Rioja region of northwestern Argentina. All of the owners are equal partners, a group of small- and medium-scale farmers, who grow the...

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