Pick of the Day 6/17:  Brooke Annibale at the Parlor Room
Jun15

Pick of the Day 6/17: Brooke Annibale at the Parlor Room

It makes my job easy when my picks make their own plugs! Singer songwriter Brooke Annibale posted this on Twitter Friday afternoon: “Playin in Northampton, MA this Sunday night@ParlorRoomMusic with Ben Jaffe! Everybody bring your dads cause it’s Father’s Day and they love you.” What she said! Check her out tonight at The Parlor Room, 32 Masonic St.,...

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Pick of the Day 6/16: Kevin Morby at Gateway City Arts
Jun15

Pick of the Day 6/16: Kevin Morby at Gateway City Arts

Kevin Morby rose to fame as bassist in the folk rock band Woods and as the co-founder of The Babies. It’s the one year anniversary of his fourth studio album City Music; it was released on June 16, 2017. He describes the album as a “listless wanderlust” and an ode to the vibrant rush of city living. Go help him celebrate City Music‘s birthday. Gateway City Arts, 92 Race St.,...

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Stagestruck: Barrington’s world premiere musical — not ready for prime time
Jun15

Stagestruck: Barrington’s world premiere musical — not ready for prime time

The “royal family” of Broadway in the early 20th century was the Barrymores – Ethel, “first lady of the American theater,” John the swashbuckling Shakespearean, and Lionel, best remembered now as mean old Mr. Potter in It’s a Wonderful Life. The hit Broadway comedy of 1927 was The Royal Family, an affectionate sendup of the Barrymores and the showbiz aristocracy they embodied. Now it’s a musical, The Royal Family of Broadway, which...

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Lisa Marie Ellingsen on the Valley Advocate Sessions Stage
Jun15

Lisa Marie Ellingsen on the Valley Advocate Sessions Stage

Lisa Marie Ellingsen is a Northampton-based Americana singer-songwriter who’s a little bit folk, blues, rock, and country. Her full Advocate Sessions performance is now available to watch in the video below. Interview with Lisa Marie...

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VIDEO: Lisa Marie Ellingsen on Advocate Sessions Friday
Jun14

VIDEO: Lisa Marie Ellingsen on Advocate Sessions Friday

Check out a short teaser video of local Americana singer-songwriter Lisa Marie Ellingsen. Her full performance will be available...

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Pick of the Day 6/15: Hot Club of Cowtown at the Iron Horse
Jun14

Pick of the Day 6/15: Hot Club of Cowtown at the Iron Horse

The Hot Club of Cowtown is at the Iron Horse, swinging and twanging and doing their thing tonight.  They’re celebrating their 20th anniversary by releasing their first-ever CD format of their very first recording, Western Clambake. Western Clambake has only been available on cassette tape.  You may now party like it’s not 1999. You’re welcome.  Here’s what folks in the know say about Hot Club of Cowtown:  Their...

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Pick of the Day 6/14: Albert Lee at the Iron Horse
Jun14

Pick of the Day 6/14: Albert Lee at the Iron Horse

English guitarist Albert Lee is at the Iron Horse tonight. Lee is known for his fingerstyle and hybrid picking technique. A Grammy winner, Eric Clapton says Lee is “the ultimate virtuoso. His skill is extraordinary, his ear is extraordinary and he’s gifted on just about every level.” That’s pretty high praise from Slowhand, himself. The Iron Horse, 20 Center St.,...

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Local Calendar: Thursday 6/14- Sunday 6/17
Jun14

Local Calendar: Thursday 6/14- Sunday 6/17

THURSDAY 6/14 MUSIC Albert Lee: 7 p.m. Iron Horse Music Hall, 20 Center St., Northampton. Drop-in Traditional Music Sessions: 6:30 p.m. – 8:30 p.m. $5 at the door. Friendly traditional music sessions. Moderate swingy pace. Adults and teens of all skill levels welcome – and not just fiddles. Northampton Senior Center, 67 Conz St., Northampton. fiddlewesternmass@gmail.com. Greenfield Coop Concerts: 6 p.m. – 8 p.m. Free....

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Stagestruck: What’s on stage this summer — Berkshire edition
Jun13

Stagestruck: What’s on stage this summer — Berkshire edition

Time was, summer theater was pretty predictable. Two comedies, a drama and a whodunit was the standard lineup when I was in summer stock way back in the day. Even the major venues — of which the Williamstown and Berkshire Theater Festivals were the grande dames — attracted audiences with familiar work and famous names. Those days are gone, summer theater having become just as varied and adventurous as any cold-weather stage. While...

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Pick of the Day 6/13: of Montreal at Gateway City Arts
Jun13

Pick of the Day 6/13: of Montreal at Gateway City Arts

Throw caution to the wind and check out of Montreal at Gateway City Arts tonight. They’re music is an irrepressible synthesis of dance and modern psychedelia.  They’ve been around since the ’90s and released their 15th album in January. It’s called White is Relic, and founder and lead singer Kevin Barnes says, “musically, I was very inspired by the extended dance mixes that people used to make for pop...

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Gov. Baker announces expanded Western Mass north-south rail service, money for east-west rail study
Jun12

Gov. Baker announces expanded Western Mass north-south rail service, money for east-west rail study

Tuesday afternoon at Union Station in Springfield, Gov. Charlie Baker announced a pilot program beginning in 2019 for north to south passenger rail service that would run twice a day from Greenfield and make stops in Northampton, Holyoke, and Springfield and connecting with Connecticut rail services to go to New York City in a single day. “We’ve reached a deal with Connecticut to expand the passenger rail service on a...

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Stagestruck: The Scotsman and “The Curious Incident”
Jun12

Stagestruck: The Scotsman and “The Curious Incident”

If you’re a regular at the NT Live series of high-def broadcasts from the London stage, you’d be forgiven for thinking Rory Kinnear is under exclusive contract to the National Theatre. (He’s not, as you’ll know if you’re also a fan of the recent James Bond films, in which he played Bill Tanner.) Kinnear has starred in National Theatre productions on an almost yearly basis since the late aughts, his staccato speech and London vowels...

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O Cannabis: Support grows for bipartisan weed legislation leaving federal law up to states
Jun12

O Cannabis: Support grows for bipartisan weed legislation leaving federal law up to states

Local marijuana businesses — and federal legislators — are supporting bipartisan legislation that would leave marijuana regulation up to the states, a change from the blanket federal prohibition now in place. That’s a positive sign for Easthampton resident Karima Rizk, whose dream of opening a local cannabis cafe has been stifled both by state and federal laws. “I think it’s great news and it’s showing there is an increasing level of...

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Monte Belmonte Wines: Is the wine world ready for wine in a can?
Jun12

Monte Belmonte Wines: Is the wine world ready for wine in a can?

I am a proponent of Massachusetts becoming an open carry state. Not with guns. But with alcoholic beverages. Unless you happen to find yourself on the Buckland side of Shelburne Falls, where you are permitted to carry an open container of alcohol on the street, you might find yourself in trouble if you decide to imbibe outside — say, at one of our fine Massachusetts beaches. You could choose to obey posted laws about where alcohol is...

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Cinemadope: A filmmaker becomes part of an immigrant’s harrowing journey
Jun12

Cinemadope: A filmmaker becomes part of an immigrant’s harrowing journey

Open a newspaper, turn on your television, scroll through your Facebook feed: it won’t be long before you’re face to face with the ongoing discussion of the state of immigration in America. To be sure, the current resident of the White House — whose policies have broadened the debate into a referendum on more basic human rights — has made it an issue that can’t be ignored. But for all the heat generated by the ongoing arguments, it’s...

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Pick of the Day 6/12: David Keenan at the Iron Horse
Jun12

Pick of the Day 6/12: David Keenan at the Iron Horse

David Keenan is a 23-year-old Irish folk songwriter with poetic lyrics who has been described as “not just another lad with an acoustic guitar; the sound of Tim Buckley and Brendan Behan arguing over a few jars, while Kavanagh deals Dylan a suspicious hand of cards, and Anthony Cronin and Jack Kerouac furiously try to scribble it all down.” If you like your folk music symbolically imbued with spiritualism with a dash of poetic...

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Confronting Childhood Abuse as an Adult Writer
Jun11

Confronting Childhood Abuse as an Adult Writer

When Lisa Zarcone was 11 or 12 years old, she came home to find her home a hot 90 degrees and her mother smoking on the sofa. She turned down the thermostat and her mother attacked her with a meat tenderizer, violently hitting her more than 20 times. She had bruises on her back that lasted for more than a month. Now, Zarcone, a 52-year-old Springfield resident, is the Massachusetts national ambassador for the National Association of...

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Podcast: Jennifer Levesque on music in the Valley and 10 years of Advocate cover designs
Jun11

Podcast: Jennifer Levesque on music in the Valley and 10 years of Advocate cover designs

Jennifer Levesque brings the Valley’s music shows to life as the Advocate’s Valley Show Girl columnist. She’s also been designing the Advocate’s covers for more than 10 years. She tells us about her favorite Advocate issues and what’s going on in the Valley’s music scene, especially with new Valley Show Girl concerts starting this...

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Local Calendar: Monday 6/11 – Thursday 6/14
Jun11

Local Calendar: Monday 6/11 – Thursday 6/14

MONDAY 6/11 MUSIC Music Mondays Cafe ~ An Evening with Peter Eldridge: 7 p.m. – 8 p.m. $15 adults / $10 students cash at the door. .June Music Mondays Cafe features Peter Eldridge and an evening of piano and vocal pop, jazz, standards and original works. Doors at 6:30 ~ Music at 7. Gaylord Memorial Library, 47 College St., South Hadley. 413-250-3540. anzfam4@gmail.com. Open-Mic Night: 8 p.m. – 11 p.m. Free. The Rendezvous,...

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Pick of the Day 6/11: First Reformed
Jun11

Pick of the Day 6/11: First Reformed

Ethan Hawke plays Reverend Ernst Toller a middle-aged parish pastor at a small Dutch Reform church in New York. It has a illustrious past, once a stop on the Underground Railroad. Now the congregation is shrinking and the new church, Abundant Life, is bright and shiny and boasts 5,000 congregants. When a pregnant parishioner asks Reverend Toller to counsel her radical environmentalist husband, Toller is hurled into a crisis,...

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Folk and blues legend Chris Smither on songwriting, Chuck Berry, and living in the Pioneer Valley
Jun11

Folk and blues legend Chris Smither on songwriting, Chuck Berry, and living in the Pioneer Valley

Over the course of his more than 40 year career folk and blues guitarist and singer-songwriter Chris Smither has released dozens of albums and hundreds of songs.  He was a part of the Cambridge folk music scene in the 1960s where he first got his start and is also a local celebrity now residing in Amherst. Smither will return to the 2018 Green River Festival in Greenfield this summer on Sunday, July 15 and also recently released his...

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V-Spot: My BF’s Been Sexting Other Women
Jun11

V-Spot: My BF’s Been Sexting Other Women

Hi Yana, I was recently informed by someone that my boyfriend has been sexually texting another girl for several months, as well as had an active profile on dating site Plenty of Fish. When confronted, it took a few days but he did admit the truth to me. I am devastated and hurt; we have a very loving relationship and have built a very wonderful life together. When he was explaining everything to me, he broke down and told me how he...

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Free Will Astrology: Time to visit The Land of Sweet Nonsense, Pisces
Jun11

Free Will Astrology: Time to visit The Land of Sweet Nonsense, Pisces

ARIES (March 21-April 19): My Aries acquaintance Tatiana decided to eliminate sugar from her diet. She drew up a plan to avoid it completely for 30 days, hoping to permanently break its hold over her. I was surprised to learn that she began the project by making a Dessert Altar in her bedroom, where she placed a chocolate cake and five kinds of candy. She testified that it compelled her willpower to work even harder and become even...

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Police: JFK gun incident suspect claims he was picking up a friend for target practice
Jun08

Police: JFK gun incident suspect claims he was picking up a friend for target practice

In a statement released on Facebook on Friday morning, Northampton Police Chief Jody Kasper wrote that the suspect arrested at John F. Kennedy Middle School in Northampton after allegedly bringing two pellet guns onto the campus said he was there to pick up a friend and go target shooting. The man , Matthew Borsuk, 27, of Florence, was seen removing a long-barreled rifle from the trunk of his car, and police were called at 2:10 p.m....

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Tundrastomper on the Valley Advocate Sessions Stage
Jun08

Tundrastomper on the Valley Advocate Sessions Stage

Tundrastomper is a DIY basement/ math rock band that excels at angular distorted experimental rock. Check out the band’s full Advocate Sessions performance in the video below. Interview with...

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Pick of the Day 6/10: Melissa Etheridge
Jun08

Pick of the Day 6/10: Melissa Etheridge

This is an easy one. Melissa Etheridge, the legend, is at Mahaiwe Performing Arts Center tonight in Great Barrington. It’s worth the ride; Etheridge’s catalog of heartland rock and roll spans thirty years. Mahaiwe Performing Arts Center, 14 Castle Street — Great Barrington. But if you want to be in the Valley tonight, check out singer and poet Mary Lambert at the Parlor Room in Northampton.  She’s one of those...

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Pick of the Day 6/9: Christine Ohlman & Rebel Montez
Jun08

Pick of the Day 6/9: Christine Ohlman & Rebel Montez

New Salem, yes, New Salem. It’s the town that borders Shutesbury, Wendell, Belchertown, Athol, Orange, Pelham, Ware — oh and Petersham.  Christine Ohlman & Rebel Montez: are out at the Meetinghouse tonight in New Salem to kick off the 2018 season!  Christine Ohlman is the lead singer in the Saturday Night Live Band and the Beehive Queen is bringing Rebel Montez to shake ol’ New Salem down to its foundations. Show...

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Warren, Gardner introduce bipartisan bill to let states regulate marijuana for themselves
Jun07

Warren, Gardner introduce bipartisan bill to let states regulate marijuana for themselves

In a show of bipartisan support for clarity around marijuana laws, Democratic Sen. Elizabeth Warren of Massachusetts and Republican Sen. Cory Gardner of Colorado held a joint press conference about a bill they are sponsoring to allow states to make their own decisions regarding marijuana legislation. Massachusetts and Colorado are two of a growing number of states to have legalized recreational use of marijuana, and Warren said that...

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Activists protest ICE office in Springfield in response to 1,500 lost in ICE custody
Jun06

Activists protest ICE office in Springfield in response to 1,500 lost in ICE custody

A group of more than 30 activists affiliated with the Pioneer Valley Workers Center and Mass Jobs with Justice protested outside the U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) Office at 1550 Main St. in Springfield on June 6 in response to children being separated from their parents through deportation. The group marched seven times around the building, an action known as a Jericho Walk, which is inspired by the Biblical tradition...

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Pick of the Day 6/8: Northampton Arts Night Out
Jun06

Pick of the Day 6/8: Northampton Arts Night Out

How can two people be wrong? Both Dave Eisenstadter and Chris Goudreau chose Northampton Arts Night Out as their Staff Picks this week. Dave recommends CLICK Workspace which will host some ukulele bands that will perform in conjunction with two photography exhibits. CLICK Workspace, 9 1/2 Market St., Northampton. 6-8 p.m. Chris Goudreau says the Green River Festival at Arts Night Out is the way to go.  The Sea The Sea and Twisted Pine...

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Pick of the Day 6/7: Ciclismo Classico Bike Travel Film Festival
Jun06

Pick of the Day 6/7: Ciclismo Classico Bike Travel Film Festival

Cycling is a religion for a lot of folks I’ve known over the years. If it yours (and even if it’s not) check out the Ciclismo Classico Bike Travel Film Festival (See Jack Brown’s Cinemadope) tonight at the Academy of Music.  The first film is called Highest to Lowest, about five friends who attempt to cycle from Australia’s lowest point Kati Thanda-Lake Eyre to the summit of Mount Kociuszko, the...

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Local Calendar Thursday 6/7 – Sunday 6/11
Jun06

Local Calendar Thursday 6/7 – Sunday 6/11

THURSDAY 6/7 MUSIC Albert Castiglia: 7 p.m. Iron Horse Music Hall, 20 Center St., Northampton. Drop-in Traditional Music Sessions: 6:30 p.m. – 8:30 p.m. Friendly traditional music sessions. Moderate swingy pace. Adults and teens of all skill levels welcome – and not just fiddles. $5 at the door. Northampton Senior Center, 67 Conz St., Northampton. fiddlewesternmass@gmail.com. Falltown String Band: 8 p.m. – 10:30 p.m. roots...

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Review: Homesick for Daniel Chiaccio’s world
Jun06

Review: Homesick for Daniel Chiaccio’s world

“‘Hope’ is the thing with feathers that perches in the soul — and sings the tunes without the words — and never stops at all,” wrote Emily Dickinson, the grande dame of poetry. And down a bit from the hustle and bustle, Hope and Feathers Custom Framing and Art Gallery sits quietly in close proximity to Emily Dickinson’s stately homestead on Amherst’s Main Street. The glass frontage leaves little mystery as to what’s inside: A cozy...

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VIDEO: Tundrastomper on Valley Advocate Sessions Friday
Jun06

VIDEO: Tundrastomper on Valley Advocate Sessions Friday

This week’s Valley Advocate Sessions band is experimental math/basement rock group Tundrastomper. Check out a teaser video of the band’s upcoming Advocate Sessions video to be released this...

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Downsize Me: Tiny houses celebrated in Vermont while barriers remain in Massachusetts
Jun06

Downsize Me: Tiny houses celebrated in Vermont while barriers remain in Massachusetts

If you think that tiny house movement is just a passing fad for young people, think again. Lisa Kuneman, 53, of Brattleboro, said that tiny houses are definitely more than just a trend, and that many tiny house enthusiasts are retirement-aged. “Other options aren’t attainable or desirable. We want to maintain our chosen life right now. There are other options like retirement communities, but the entry point is $300,000,” Kuneman said....

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