UMass Student Exhibit Elevates Street Art Friday
May08

UMass Student Exhibit Elevates Street Art Friday

Occupy.A joint art show by Eric Mandeville and McKenzie Stuetzel makes a powerful statement, but only for a short time — so be sure to see it. By utilizing imagery from street art in contrasting colors, their show explores the idea of living in society, but outside of its boundaries. Mandeville will use a projection of a time-lapse video of the creation of his mural, Occupy Your Street, in the hope of changing the thinking of street...

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Join the Herd: Donna the Buffalo Stampedes Into Town (w/vid)
May08

Join the Herd: Donna the Buffalo Stampedes Into Town (w/vid)

Join the HerdQuintessential ’90s folk rock band Donna the Buffalo is coming to Holyoke as part of the group’s politically-active Stampede Tour. In addition to providing groove-heavy dance-able tunes, Donna the Buffalo seeks to bring attention to the inappropriate use of money to influence politics. DtB’s music is a mix of electric Americana, Cajun/Zydeco, rock, folk, reggae, and country that produces a high-energy sound. Call out your...

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What Will the Hatchery Do Next? Inventive Dance Performance This Weekend
May08

What Will the Hatchery Do Next? Inventive Dance Performance This Weekend

So, You Know They Can DanceAn homage to Wes Anderson’s highly stylized films and a self-reflective, choreographed spoken-word piece called “Perception” were among the performances featured in Hatchery’s debut show this winter. The pre-professional dance troupe’s second show is coming up this weekend, and it’s exciting to think about what this 10-person group of 13- to 19-year-olds have created. Part of the School for Contemporary...

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Blaise’s Bad Movie Guide: ‘Bad Channels’ Tune Into 666 … if you dare (w/vid)
May08

Blaise’s Bad Movie Guide: ‘Bad Channels’ Tune Into 666 … if you dare (w/vid)

I was saddened when I heard the news that Paul O’Neil, the founder of the Trans-Siberian Orchestra, had died. It seems my favorite bands have either passed away (the Ramones, the Cramps), or are eligible for AARP but continue to stumble on. In addition to Sparks and Alice Cooper, the Blue Oyster Cult is a prime example of the latter. Looking to expand their fan base in 1992, BOC produced the soundtrack for a movie called Bad Channels....

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Radical Moms: Using The Power of Motherhood To Make Political Change
May08

Radical Moms: Using The Power of Motherhood To Make Political Change

One of the proudest moments that Madeleine Charney has shared with her son, Eli, is when she got to hold up the front page of the newspaper on Nov. 7, 2015, and show him that construction of the Keystone XL pipeline had been struck down by President Obama.Charney, 51, of Amherst, is a member of the Pioneer Valley chapter of Mothers Out Front, a Boston-based climate activist group. She had protested regularly against the construction...

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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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Northampton Activists Stage ‘Emergency’ Rally For Investigation of Trump
May10

Northampton Activists Stage ‘Emergency’ Rally For Investigation of Trump

Local activist groups are staging an emergency rally calling for an independent investigation and for a special prosecutor to be appointed to investigate the Trump campaign’s potential collusion with Russia. The planned peaceful demonstration will take place May 10 from 5 to 6 p.m. on the steps of Northampton City Hall.The rally arrives on the heels of Trump’s decision to fire FBI Director James Comey, who was investigating the...

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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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With Obamacare Under Fire, Massachusetts Must Lead on Health Care — Again
May08

With Obamacare Under Fire, Massachusetts Must Lead on Health Care — Again

The Republicans did it. They cobbled together an Obamacare replacement bill so bad that they got the most conservative members of the House to vote for it — people like Alabama Congressman Mo Brooks, who implied the majority of people with pre-existing conditions have them because they don’t “lead good lives,” and like Raul Labrador of Idaho, who recently said that “no one dies because they don’t have health care.”Now we in...

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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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Total of 24 ‘Sugar Shack’ Protesters Arrested in One Week at Otis Park
May08

Total of 24 ‘Sugar Shack’ Protesters Arrested in One Week at Otis Park

LATEST UPDATE:Twenty-four protesters affiliated with The Sugar Shack Alliance, a Northeast coalition that aims to disrupt the fossil fuel industry, have been arrested thus far at Otis State Forest in Sandisfield. Charges stem from allegations that protesters blocked access roads and barred tree cutters entrance onto an easement in the park — the site where 3.8 miles of natural gas pipeline is slated for construction as part of the $93...

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Investigation: Yes, There Is Lead In Pioneer Valley Schools’ Drinking Water
May01

Investigation: Yes, There Is Lead In Pioneer Valley Schools’ Drinking Water

The very schools we depend on to educate our children could be making them less smart. Drinking water in schools across Massachusetts, including here in the Pioneer Valley, has been found to contain lead significantly exceeding safety standards.  Lead exposure, experts say, can cause lower IQ, increased attention deficit hyperactivity disorder, and other cognitive problems. Yet many parents don’t realize that a great part of the...

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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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The V-Spot: Am I Gay/Queer Because of Sexual Trauma?
May08

The V-Spot: Am I Gay/Queer Because of Sexual Trauma?

Editor’s Note: This column addresses rape, childhood sexual abuse, PTSD, and sexual orientation as a symptom of trauma.I’m in my late teens and have identified as gay/queer for the last few years. I have dated/hooked up with a few non-binary folks and trans guys, but they’ve all had vaginas.Recently I’ve been questioning my orientation. It’s more complicated than simply saying, “Oh hey, I like this (cis) guy, cool.” I was sexually...

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And To Think That I Saw It At Northampton Pride – Photos and 360 Video
May06

And To Think That I Saw It At Northampton Pride – Photos and 360 Video

The rain made way for the rainbows, as it always does.Not half-an-hour after the thousands of rainbow shirts, flags, balloons, and all manner of rainbow apparel hit the streets to begin the Northampton Pride Parade on Saturday, the morning’s rain was a memory and blue skies prevailed.The Advocate was there with a 360 camera borrowed from Northampton Community Television, and, of course, with my phone, too.Without further ado,...

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What Are Those Flowering Trees/Bushes I Drive By Every Day?
May05

What Are Those Flowering Trees/Bushes I Drive By Every Day?

The bloom is on the branch and spring has sprung. And even in my short commute to work, I pass about a dozen varieties of flowering trees and bushes. It occurred to me that I haven’t the slightest idea what most of them are called.So I took out my phone and took a few photos on my way to work and reached out to some tree aficionados and a local expert at UMass Extension to help me out. What trees do you see in the Pioneer...

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Your Guide to Northampton Pride 2017
May02

Your Guide to Northampton Pride 2017

In the last several years, Northampton Pride has been a blowout celebration of all people, places, and things LGBTQI, but this year the event is leaning more toward its political roots. They’re putting the march back into the parade, so to speak.Northampton Pride started in the early 1980s with the Lesbian and Gay Liberation March, said JM Sorrell, spokesperson for NoHoPride, the event’s organizer.“It was all political then. We had no...

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Valley Show Girl: Re-Animate the Baystate Concert Series in Northampton
May01

Valley Show Girl: Re-Animate the Baystate Concert Series in Northampton

The nostalgia of Pearl Street in Northampton always brings back so many MMM’s (magical music memories) from my past. The way the street light illuminates that bend in the road where the tour buses usually line up is always a happy trigger for me. We can hear the Badfish (Sublime tribute) show through the paint chipped windows of Pearl Street Nightclub as we walk by to enter Sierra Grille next door.The last time I was at Sierra Grille...

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The Thunder Down East Music Fest in Easthampton Saturday
May01

The Thunder Down East Music Fest in Easthampton Saturday

The Thunder Down EastIf you hear rumblings coming from Easthampton Saturday, come running — it’s the Thunder in the Valley Festival. This all-ages event will feature rock and roll, food trucks, craft beer, wrestling — with students from Kevin Landry’s Pro Wrestling Combine in Holyoke — Knockerball, and a “glorious” motorcycle ride over the Mount Tom reservation. Musicians slated to perform include LA Backstage Pass, Decades, B-Movie...

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Rabbit Season: ‘Donnie Darko,’ cult classic about a boy and an apocalyptic bunny, returns to the screen
May01

Rabbit Season: ‘Donnie Darko,’ cult classic about a boy and an apocalyptic bunny, returns to the screen

In the world of film, it is sometimes depressingly simple to point out why a given film is popular: perfectly groomed stars with gleaming teeth, things going boom, good over evil. I get it — we are, by and large, easy to please, and that’s okay. It’s just not that interesting.What is far more difficult to pin down, and so much more engaging to wonder about, are the unexpected hits and cult favorites. What these works do is strike some...

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Missed Connections: Nice Gnome, Baby
May01

Missed Connections: Nice Gnome, Baby

The 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.Walmart lawn and garden – w4m (Westfield)To the man in line behind me with the poop, dirt, and gnome. Very nice looking. Would like to chat.  April...

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The V-Spot: How Do I Introduce My Girlfriend To Polyamory?
May01

The V-Spot: How Do I Introduce My Girlfriend To Polyamory?

I recently began a polyamorous relationship with my girlfriend. We dated previously, but things didn’t work out due to extenuating circumstances, but we remained friends. We’ve recently gotten back together with a different foundation to the relationship. She had not previously had any interest in non-monogamy, but is now much more open to it. What advice can I pass on to her that may help her better establish her thoughts about...

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Art TRACK: Three Rivers fest Saturday
May01

Art TRACK: Three Rivers fest Saturday

Art TRACK More than 50 artists from around New England will participate in this year’s TRACK Artisan Fair in Three Rivers. The day will feature live music and food vendors. TRACK Artisan Fair: Saturday, May 6, 10 a.m. Free. Rain or shine. Palmer Historical & Cultural Center, 2072 Main St., Three Rivers. (413) 967-3001. threeriverstrack.org. — Kristin...

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Wit, the Smartest, Funniest Play About Dying of Cancer, Performed in Springfield
May01

Wit, the Smartest, Funniest Play About Dying of Cancer, Performed in Springfield

Get Wit ItWit may be the smartest, funniest one-act play about a woman dying of ovarian cancer. Focusing on the final hours of Dr. Vivian Bearing’s life, the English professor reflects on the similarities between how the doctors view her — as a piece of work to be studied — and how she has lived her academic life. The production, directed by theater professor Phil O’Donoghue, will feature 12 students from the STCC College Theater...

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Young@Heart Celebrates 35 Years Saturday
May01

Young@Heart Celebrates 35 Years Saturday

Forever Young@HeartYoung@Heart, a chorus of people age 70 and older who love singing contemporary tunes, is celebrating 35 years of belting out the hits with a show this Saturday at the Academy of Music Theatre in Northampton. Hear new arrangements of songs by Psychedelic Furs, Los Lobos, Radiohead, Tears for Fears, Emerson, Lake and Palmer, and more.Young@Heart Celebrates 35 Years: Saturday, 7:30 p.m. $20-$25. Academy of Music...

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River Roll and Stroll on on the Holyoke-South Hadley Bridge this Weekend
May01

River Roll and Stroll on on the Holyoke-South Hadley Bridge this Weekend

No Cars AllowedThe Vietnam Veterans Memorial Bridge that connects Holyoke and South Hadley will be closed Sunday afternoon for the River Roll and Stroll open street festival. From 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. the bridge will be open to pedestrians, bicyclists, dog-walkers, joggers, and roller skaters. There will be musical acts and street buskers, entertainers and arts activists, food trucks, and a parade honoring military veterans....

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Facing the Wolf: Old Flame’s Wolf in the Heather EP Reviewed
May01

Facing the Wolf: Old Flame’s Wolf in the Heather EP Reviewed

The blues has always been about addressing heartbreak and strife going back to 1930s Depression-era America. Northampton-based indie garage rock blues duo Old Flame seem to share that sentiment for today’s world. The band’s debut seven-song EP, Wolf in the Heather, features songs of resistance to the Trump Administration with biting lyrics and a penchant for muddy blues riffs.“The storm is raging but I’m caught in this cage/ I ain’t...

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Vigilante ‘Apostrophizer’ Corrects Signs in Bristol, England
May01

Vigilante ‘Apostrophizer’ Corrects Signs in Bristol, England

Mother of InventionRobotic models of living organisms are useful to scientists, who can study the effects of stimuli without risk to actual people. Northwestern University researchers announced in March that its laboratory model of the “female reproductive system” has reached a milestone: its first menstrual period. The “ovary,” using mouse tissue, had produced hormones that stimulated the system (uterus, cervix, vagina, fallopian...

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Free Will Astrology: Spit it out, Cancer!
May01

Free Will Astrology: Spit it out, Cancer!

ARIES (March 21-April 19): Beware of feeling sorry for sharks that yell for help. Beware of trusting coyotes that act like sheep and sheep that act like coyotes. Beware of nibbling food from jars whose contents are different from what their labels suggest. But wait! “Beware” is not my only message for you. I have these additional announcements: Welcome interlopers if they’re humble and look you in the eyes. Learn all you can from...

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Fracked Gas Protesters Names Released
May01

Fracked Gas Protesters Names Released

Eighteen protesters were detained at Berkshire County Jail on May 2 after blocking access roads to the Tennessee Gas Pipeline Company’s easement where construction of a $93 million 3.8-mile Connecticut expansion gas pipeline project at Otis State Forest in Sandisfield is planned for construction.The Massachusetts State Police released the names of the 18 individuals arrested for blocking two access roads, stating in a press release...

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Back Talk: Naom Chomsky a Bummer But Speaks Truth
May01

Back Talk: Naom Chomsky a Bummer But Speaks Truth

Splitting Radiation HairsRadiation exposure at 10 mrem? 15? 25? Small fractions of what everyone gets from natural background? These being hypothetical exposures (outlined in “Nuclear Activists Raise Concern Over Vermont Yankee Quick Fix,” April 27-May 3, 2017) to the single, most exposed individual, calculated using ridiculously conservative hypothetical analyses — translation, nobody will actually get even a 10th...

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Stream Queen: LGBT Movies That Aren’t Super Depressing
May01

Stream Queen: LGBT Movies That Aren’t Super Depressing

It’s nearly time to kick off Pride season with Noho Pride (see the Advocate‘s Guide to Pride), where LGBT Valley citizens will be able to celebrate our identities and our history as we process down Main Street in a sea of rainbow. The parade, which will take place Saturday, May 6, starting at noon, assembles floats, marching bands, school GSAs, and joyous community members for a march to the Three County Fairgrounds. There,...

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5 Philippine Leaders Who Actually Deserve An Invitation To The White House
May01

5 Philippine Leaders Who Actually Deserve An Invitation To The White House

I can’t say I was surprised when I read over the weekend that President Donald Trump had invited Philippines President Rodrigo Duterte – who has advocated extrajudicial killings of drug users in his home country – to the White House.But I was deeply disturbed.Duterte has joked about rape and claimed that as president he would kill as many drug addicts as Hitler killed Jews. “Hitler massacred 3 million Jews. Now, there is 3...

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The Pour Man: Super Premium Wine With Highfalutin Flavor
Apr30

The Pour Man: Super Premium Wine With Highfalutin Flavor

Bread & Butter Chardonnay, 2015; Napa, California; $14.99Bread & Butter Chardonnay is among the top-selling super premium wines in the country — and there’s a good reason for that. It’s a dry, white wine that is flavorful, well-crafted and sells for a reasonable price.Although “super premium” sounds highfalutin, it’s just industry jargon for wines that sell in the $12 to $15 range and sometimes go on sale for less than $10. I have...

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