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...

Read More
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...

Read More
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...

Read More
Together at Last: Rockwell and Warhol Side-by-Side Exhibit
Jun05

Together at Last: Rockwell and Warhol Side-by-Side Exhibit

An exhibit featuring Norman Rockwell and Andy Warhol might seem like polar opposite artists sharing a space, but that’s selling both of these geniuses short.Rockwell is best known for a “wholesome” style that doesn’t have a hint of subversion. But a closer look at Rockwell’s photographic, stylized portrayals of American life reveal something a little sickeningly sweet: those smiles, the gun in the cops holster, the dirty nails of the...

Read More
LISTEN UP: The Best Local 18-&-Under Bands to Play Green River Fest Revealed!
Jun05

LISTEN UP: The Best Local 18-&-Under Bands to Play Green River Fest Revealed!

In a new addition to the 30-plus -year-old Green River Fest, Signature Sounds has found the best local bands with musicians ages 18 and under to be featured performers Friday night on the Next Wave Stage.But wait there’s more! Friday night admission will be free to anyone under age 18.Sponsored by the Valley Advocate, the five winners of The Next Wave competition will each play a set July 14 on, where else, the longrunning...

Read More
Basemental: Dump Him’s New Record Is Really Freaking Good
Jun05

Basemental: Dump Him’s New Record Is Really Freaking Good

Editor’s note: Jaclyn Walsh uses they/them pronouns.Valley musician, student, and DIY booker Jaclyn Walsh wants you to dump your boyfriend so much that they named their band Dump Him.On the surface such a statement might charm the misandrists and queercore punks more than it appeals to standard bearing capitalist-hetero-patriarchs. But to only look so far would be to miss the point — or the attitude and ethic behind the band. Just...

Read More
Forgotten: Springfield’s Black History Is Nowhere In Sight
Jun05

Forgotten: Springfield’s Black History Is Nowhere In Sight

Springfield, Massachusetts, was a big abolitionist hub during the days of the Underground Railroad — not that many people know this.When talking about Massachusetts history, Western Mass isn’t well represented in historical texts — they’re more focused on Boston. And even less well represented is Pioneer Valley black history.Springfield, Massachusetts, was an early safe haven for refugees. In 1783, Massachusetts was one of the first...

Read More
Classic TEASE: Peter Blanchette on the Archguitar! Watch a tease, full video Friday
Jun01

Classic TEASE: Peter Blanchette on the Archguitar! Watch a tease, full video Friday

Can’t wait for Friday to see more Sessions? Check out some local bands now.

Read More
Get Out: Pioneer Valley Summer Arts & Culture Preview 2017
Jun01

Get Out: Pioneer Valley Summer Arts & Culture Preview 2017

The Valley is home to a wealth of arts and cultural events. So many, in fact, that the Advocate prints four seasonal arts preview editions every year — and really we could do one every month. This edition is all about what you can expect to see in the Valley, plus the Berkshires, this summer. We picked some of the biggest, best, and potentially overlooked events happening from now through September. We couldn’t list everything, so...

Read More
Stagestruck: Rosencrantz and Guildenstern Are Alive! and Playing in Amherst – Times Two
May30

Stagestruck: Rosencrantz and Guildenstern Are Alive! and Playing in Amherst – Times Two

“We do on stage the things that are supposed to happen off. Which is a kind of integrity, if you look on every exit being an entrance somewhere else.” That line, spoken by a traveling player in Rosencrantz and Guildenstern Are Dead, could well be the elevator pitch for Tom Stoppard’s audaciously meta-theatrical play. Because that’s what it is: a backstage tour of Hamlet conducted by the pair of pawns who are summoned by the king to...

Read More
Stagestruck: Radical Notions, ‘Kunstler’ and ‘Heartbreak House’
May28

Stagestruck: Radical Notions, ‘Kunstler’ and ‘Heartbreak House’

In my column in last week’s Advocate, a preview of the Valley’s summer-theater season, I reported that many of the area’s upcoming shows reflect, indirectly or explicitly, “the political landscape we are all traversing these days.” Sure enough, the first two summer shows out of the gate – not in the Valley but in Pittsfield and Hartford – do indeed invite, and in one case compel, reflections on our perilous present day through the...

Read More
Cinemadope: Mad Max ‘Black & Chrome’ Escapes Hollywood’s Color Crutch
May30

Cinemadope: Mad Max ‘Black & Chrome’ Escapes Hollywood’s Color Crutch

There has been a trend in Hollywood filmmaking that, for the last decade or so, has steadily changed the look of our blockbusters. It’s a pervasive change, but one that has happened gradually enough that many people aren’t even aware that it has been happening, quite literally in front of their eyes. So then, a warning: If you haven’t noticed, and don’t want the way you look at movies to be changed forever, skip the next paragraph.The...

Read More
Staff Picks: Gloom, Death, And Heavy Metal At Stoned To Death II
May30

Staff Picks: Gloom, Death, And Heavy Metal At Stoned To Death II

Karaoke • TuesdaySinging karaoke with DJ Greg Reil sounds like a good way to belt out whatever is in my soul. I don’t take requests. Karaoke with Reil goes down on Tuesday nights, free, at the Platform Sports Grill and Bar, 125A Pleasant St., Northampton. — Dave Eisenstadter Lisa Marie Ellingsen   • Friday Local singer-songwriter Lisa Marie Ellingsen will release her new album, NoLa to NoHo, on June 2 at the Parlor Room in...

Read More
Valley Show Girl: Queer Punk Rocks at Flywheel in Easthampton
May30

Valley Show Girl: Queer Punk Rocks at Flywheel in Easthampton

One of my all-time favorite venues to see local bands will always be Flywheel’s first location. The alternative performing arts space first opened in 1999 on Holyoke Street in downtown Easthampton. During the early 2000’s, it was my sanctuary. I met so many people in those years attending these DIY-styled shows. It’s one of the places that made me fall in love with live music and performance art.Since the 15-plus years since I first...

Read More
A Love Letter to Radio: Johnny Memphis Band’s ‘Rarities’
May30

A Love Letter to Radio: Johnny Memphis Band’s ‘Rarities’

Polka, doo-wop, jazz swing, and country western music — you wouldn’t think one band would cover these eclectic genres across six songs, but The Johnny Memphis Band, based out of Florence, does just that and more on its new record, Rarities.The sole songwriter for the band is Johnny Memphis, aka John Reily, a former WRSI disc jockey who adopted his stage name when he got his start on the airwaves in 1986. The band’s new album is a love...

Read More
VIDEO TEASE Shokazoba With the Afro-Beat Sessions
May25

VIDEO TEASE Shokazoba With the Afro-Beat Sessions

We took this one on the road to the Log Cabin in Holyoke. For the full set come back Friday! We’re posting it around noon.

Read More
Cuba in Transition: Memory and Reality Converge in Guglielmo’s Detailed Collages
May22

Cuba in Transition: Memory and Reality Converge in Guglielmo’s Detailed Collages

Mark Guglielmo’s collages are the physical manifestation of memory.The murals seem fluid; Guglielmo play with size and scale to emphasize pieces of a scene over others. He adds details from nearby times and places into the work, much in the same way people blend details when recalling travel.On June 1, the A.P.E. Gallery on Main Street in Northampton will debut Guglielmo’s latest work Cuba in Transition, a series of photo collages...

Read More
‘Ask a Punk’ Documentary on Western Mass DIY gives glimpse into growing music scene (w/vid)
May22

‘Ask a Punk’ Documentary on Western Mass DIY gives glimpse into growing music scene (w/vid)

Amherst College junior Brian Zayatz’s new documentary, Ask a Punk, opens on a dark basement. You can’t see much other than some hazy Christmas lights in the frame. Some very involved yet calming music — tritones soaked in reverb — plays in the background.This basement in Hadley, along with others throughout the Valley and beyond, could have been finished and furnished with a crisp flat screen, but instead its brick walls are being...

Read More
Stream Queen: Move over, ‘The Breakfast Club’ Titles for all of life’s graduations (w/vid)
May22

Stream Queen: Move over, ‘The Breakfast Club’ Titles for all of life’s graduations (w/vid)

Graduation season is upon us, as high schoolers gear up for the next vein of adulthood and university students steel themselves for the real world, whatever that is. Fresh from a weekend of back-to-back college graduations myself, I can’t help but contemplate the great universal human experience that is the major life transition. We all know what it’s like to start a new chapter, whatever that may entail, and just how...

Read More
Summer Stage Preview, Part II: Theaters on the Move
May22

Summer Stage Preview, Part II: Theaters on the Move

Editor’s Note: Here’s the Summer Stage Preview Part I, about the Berkshires.These days, Sam Rush often finds himself using the punning phrase “Home is where the art is.” That’s because his company, New Century Theatre, having lost its longtime home at Smith College in Northampton, is mounting a reduced summer season on two Valley stages while searching for a permanent abode. For now, though, he’s determined to feel “at...

Read More
Review: A ‘Lil Alt-Country on Lisa Marie Ellingsen’s ‘NoLa to NoHo’ (w/audio)
May22

Review: A ‘Lil Alt-Country on Lisa Marie Ellingsen’s ‘NoLa to NoHo’ (w/audio)

Local singer-songwriter Lisa Marie Ellingsen smiles with an air of satisfaction. She’s wearing a leather jacket and flannel shirt, leaning against a rustic wooden backdrop on the front cover her new album, NoLa to NoHo. The photos were shot at the Florence Pie Bar, which is evident from a picture of a slice of apple pie and a piping hot cup of black coffee hidden behind the CD’s jewel case and, of course, the credits on the liner...

Read More
Born-Again Buildings: Turning Churches Into Places To Live
May22

Born-Again Buildings: Turning Churches Into Places To Live

Liza King, 66, and Rick Neumann, 71, of Brattleboro, are about to fulfill what has felt like their lifelong ambition. On June 1, after nearly 20 years, they will move into their church sanctuary.“Their” church, by the way, doesn’t mean the church to which they belong, but the church that belongs to them. Liza and Rick are among a small, intrepid bunch across the region who have purchased former churches to convert to spaces to...

Read More
Summer Stage Preview — Part I: The Berkshires
May15

Summer Stage Preview — Part I: The Berkshires

Most theaters in this region have only two seasons: summer and the rest of the year. None of the area’s professional companies are truly year-round. Some focus on intensive summer repertories of multiple shows with two- and three-week runs, while others produce only occasionally or mount fall-to-spring seasons with longer runs. “Intensive” and “multiple” are the key terms here. At least two-thirds of my annual theatergoing happens in...

Read More
TEASE (W/VID) FlavaEvolution’s Funky Jazzy Sessions Set … Full Set Coming Friday
May17

TEASE (W/VID) FlavaEvolution’s Funky Jazzy Sessions Set … Full Set Coming Friday

\/ \/ Scroll down for video. \/ \/ Recorded May 9, 2017, at the party for Best Of the Valley Readers’ Poll 2017 first place winners hosted by the Valley Advocate at the Log Cabin in Holyoke.Want more Sessions now? Go to sessions.valleyadvocate.com to hear intimate sets by Valley artists you may not know yet, but are worth discovering – and...

Read More
Cinemadope: It’s Going to Be a Damn Fine Reboot, and FREE Streaming Movies )w/vid)
May15

Cinemadope: It’s Going to Be a Damn Fine Reboot, and FREE Streaming Movies )w/vid)

Amherst Cinema is gearing up for the return of Special Agent Dale Cooper. Kyle MacLachlan returns to TV this week in his early role as Cooper, the FBI man who got tied up in the death of Laura Palmer and the mysteries of Twin Peaks when the show of the same name first aired in the early 1990s on ABC. I was in high school then, and watching the original was a life-changer: it was dark and weird and funny and sweet in a way nothing had...

Read More
Review: Historic Northampton’s ‘Laws Change. People Die. The Land Remains.’
May15

Review: Historic Northampton’s ‘Laws Change. People Die. The Land Remains.’

The first thing I notice walking into Historic Northampton’s gallery on Bridge Street (besides how interesting the 1800s home is) is that my interpretation of the show’s title is wrong.The exhibit, Laws Change. People Die. The Land Remains, is a collection of landscape art by five local artists and curated by Sally Curcio and Anne LaPrade Seuthe. The show name is taken from an Abraham Lincoln quote that is cherished by...

Read More
Poem: A Sunny Reunion in Look Park
May15

Poem: A Sunny Reunion in Look Park

The mesmerizing reversal of icy lunacyfrom sitting in the long-absent sunshineis exactly what his fetus signed up forand intuited long ago in the bogof his mother’s biospheric love. The scent of soil; the touch of heat;the spectacle of black birds mirroredin the glinting pond are all great and gentlecomforts to a boy who has seen sorrow up closeand swallowed his share of shared pain. Having fled the faded nest of domestic...

Read More
Valley Show Girl: Alt Jazz With The Greys at The Still in Agawam (w/vid)
May15

Valley Show Girl: Alt Jazz With The Greys at The Still in Agawam (w/vid)

A couple of weeks ago on The Still’s Instagram page they posted a beautiful picture of a mint julep. I’ve never had one, but always wanted to try the drink simply because that’s what they drank in The Great Gatsby. So, when I saw that The Greys were playing at The Still, I was like “Yes! I get to drink a mint julep while listening to jazz, so Daisy Buchanan of me.” And that I did. Although, I learned I don’t like mint juleps, but I do...

Read More
Valley Music Showcase in Easthampton, Friday (w/vid)
May15

Valley Music Showcase in Easthampton, Friday (w/vid)

Valley Music ShowcaseGenres clash in the most melodic way possible Friday night in Easthampton. The Valley Music Showcase at the New City Brewery is a “bi-monthly mini music fest” — or as I like to call it, the Bi-Mon Min-MuFest — and it pulls from all musical genres, according to organizers. The fest is judged and there are prizes for the winner. This show’s bands include a wealth of Valley Advocate Sessions alumni: Grayson Ty, The...

Read More
Theater: ‘Shipwrecked!’ You Had Me at Giant Killer Octopus
May15

Theater: ‘Shipwrecked!’ You Had Me at Giant Killer Octopus

You Had Me at Giant Killer OctopusRight now, in Trump’s post-truth America, is an excellent time to stage Shipwrecked! The Amazing Adventures of Louis de Rougemont (as told by himself). The play is based on the grandiose stories of a Victorian huckster who fills in the audience about his time as a castaway in the South Pacific, including anecdotes about a killer octopus, cannibals, and buried treasure. Written by Donald Margulies,...

Read More
Contemporary Stillness: Larry Preston’s Solo Exhibit Rethinks the Silent Ordinary (w/vid)
May15

Contemporary Stillness: Larry Preston’s Solo Exhibit Rethinks the Silent Ordinary (w/vid)

Be Still (Life), My HeartContemporary still life artist Larry Preston paints solely for himself and what he interprets as beautiful. Beauty is often lost in ordinary objects you see all the time. Preston’s art focuses on bringing out those details and you’ll surely view them from a different perspective. Preston’s recent oil paintings will be showcased through a solo exhibit at William Baczek Fine Arts. Larry Preston solo show:...

Read More
TEASE: Appalachian Still, Jamming Bluegrass on the Sessions Stage (w/vid)
May11

TEASE: Appalachian Still, Jamming Bluegrass on the Sessions Stage (w/vid)

Check out the full Appalachian Still Sessions concert Friday online at valleyadvocate.com. Can’t wait for Friday to hear more Sessions? Great! Head over to the archive and listen to sets by the likes of The Suitcase Junket, Ray Mason, Eavesdrop Trio, Hannah & Maggie, Eric Lee, the Merrill Shepard Show, Mammal Dap, Fancy Trash, And the Neighbors and...

Read More
Cinemadope: Would You Take a Bullet for Art? Documentary on full-throttle artist Chris Burden (w/vid)
May08

Cinemadope: Would You Take a Bullet for Art? Documentary on full-throttle artist Chris Burden (w/vid)

For such a rich subject, films about art and the people that make it all too often feel either forced and flat or ridiculously over the top. Better, usually, to take the documentary route, and let the art speak for itself.That’s the course taken by directors Timothy Marrinan and Richard Dewey, whose film Burden — screening this week at the Little Cinema in the Berkshire Museum — takes a good long look at the life and times of...

Read More
Kitchen Dwellers Bring ‘Galaxy Grass’ to Northampton (w/vid)
May08

Kitchen Dwellers Bring ‘Galaxy Grass’ to Northampton (w/vid)

Got that Galaxy GrassA Kitchen Dwellers show is a true Montana bluegrass experience … that’s been strapped to a rocket, shot into space, and looped around Saturn a few times. Dubbed “galaxy grass,” the band’s sound is high-energy and exploratory jamming with just a touch of funk. Each song has a story pushed by a chugging mandolin-fiddle section. Torrin Daniels’ vocals growl like a spirit stitched out of Appalachia and fast...

Read More
Basemental: You Know Amber Wolfe Now See Her Arresting Video for ‘No Thorn’
May08

Basemental: You Know Amber Wolfe Now See Her Arresting Video for ‘No Thorn’

You may know Amber Wolfe. She fronted the “speakeasy, post-apocalyptic band,” O You Villain, books shows at Amherst Coffee, and is a veteran of the Institute for Musical Arts, where she found “some of the foremothers of local music.”Despite strong roots here in the Valley, last year, Wolfe went home to the Washington, D.C., area to record her debut solo EP, I Left the City. What followed was a full circle collaborative return with...

Read More