Go See: Exhibits at Local Museums and Galleries
Aug28

Go See: Exhibits at Local Museums and Galleries

Amherst Town Hall: Echoes of the Past — Photographs of Abandoned Places explores the beauty of decay and what’s been left behind. Through Sept. 4. Free. Amherst Town Hall, 4 Boltwood Ave., Amherst. (413) 222-4924. echoesofthepast2014@gmail.com. A.P.E. Gallery: The Neural Architecture Sees Itself in Patterns. Paintings by John Aiken. • Incision Objects/ Sound Installation by Jake Meginsky: Sound installation, sinewaves,...

Read More
On  Repeat: DJs, Karaoke, and Open Mics, R-SU
Aug28

On Repeat: DJs, Karaoke, and Open Mics, R-SU

THURSDAY 8/31 Buccaneer Lounge: DJ. 86 Maple St., Agawam. Christy’s Lounge: DJ. 278 Main St., Indian Orchard. Doc’s Place: Karaoke. 1264 Granby Road, Chicopee. Froggy’s Saloon: DJ karaoke. 846 Airport Industrial Park, Westfield. Hawks and Reed Performing Arts Center: Open mic. 289 Main St., Greenfield. Hot Shot Billiards: DJ. 1440 North Main St., Palmer. Hu Ke Lau: Karaoke. 705 Memorial Dr., Chicopee. J.J.’s Tavern: Karaoke. 99 Main...

Read More
The Futuristic Art of Christina Gusek
Aug21

The Futuristic Art of Christina Gusek

2050 and Beyond Christina Gusek is a futurist. She looks to what will be instead of what is. Her exhibit at Holyoke Hummus Company, Year 2050 and Beyond, is a vividly terrifying vision of people distorted with machines on a psychedelic event horizon. This exploration of people and our relationships with the increasingly advanced machines we rely on, is full of beauty and wit. The artwork is fluid and hypnotic. Gusek’s humor and smart...

Read More
Chicopee Downtown GetDown All Weekend
Aug21

Chicopee Downtown GetDown All Weekend

Chicopee’s Downtown GetDown The Downtown GetDown is funneling people in this weekend to check out all the cool stuff going on in The Pee. This year’s GetDown will feature a Bike Rodeo, an event usually for kids under age 13 that teaches them good ridership skills and provides a sweet cycling course on which to practice. Musical acts will include 2 Free Spirits, Lenny Gomulka and the Chicago Push, Sky Highway, Trailer Trash,...

Read More
Cinemadope: Human Smuggling Just to Get By
Aug21

Cinemadope: Human Smuggling Just to Get By

Shelburne Falls Pothole Pictures continues its summer movie series with something frosty: a screening of Frozen River. This 2008 film, written and directed by Courtney Hunt, was the hit of the festival circuit when it debuted, winning the Grand Jury Prize at Sundance and nabbing a “Top Ten Films” spot from the American Film Institute — not too shabby for a first outing. And while Hunt’s story and direction are top notch, it is star...

Read More
The Button Lady: Wearing Dissent on Your Sleeve
Aug21

The Button Lady: Wearing Dissent on Your Sleeve

Print artist Leni Fried is standing over a silk-screen printer flipping through a stack of stencils of peace signs and words such as “nasty,” “peace,” and “freedom,” but she’s looking for the stencil she uses most often these days: “RESIST.” Fried, a printmaker and co-founder of the Adams-based BagShare Project to reduce plastic shopping bag waste, has been putting the word on anything she can lately. It appears on T-shirts (including...

Read More
Valley Roller Derby Superbowl SMACK  DOWN Saturday
Aug21

Valley Roller Derby Superbowl SMACK DOWN Saturday

Don’t Disappoint Halle PAIN Yo; To the Derby We Must Go On Saturday what may be the most anticipated rematch of the roller derby season is going down in Wilbraham when the Western Mass Furies go head-to-head against the Hartford Wailers. Hailed as the “Superbowl” of roller derby, digital smack talk has been laid down: “How are you feeling?” asks Western Mass Roller Derby of the Hartford club. “Because we are ready to fight, skate,...

Read More
149th Cummington Festival TODAY through Sunday
Aug21

149th Cummington Festival TODAY through Sunday

A Fair-ly Long Run Celebrating its 149th year, the 2017 annual Cummington Fair will feature music, movement, agriculture, and competitions. Spanning four days, each date has a theme: Thursday is truck night, Friday is children’s night/cruise night, Saturday is agriculture day/demo night, and Sunday is old fashion fair day. Entertainers will include Kenya Acrobats, 4×4 truck pull, Moonshine Holler, Vic and Sticks Family Singers,...

Read More
What To See at Local Museums and Galleries: Aug. 24-30, 2017
Aug21

What To See at Local Museums and Galleries: Aug. 24-30, 2017

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....

Read More
Gotta Get ‘Back To The Future’
Aug21

Gotta Get ‘Back To The Future’

Northampton Community TV’s Crowdsourced Cinema project has spawned shot-for-shot remakes of Indiana Jones: Raiders of the Lost Ark and The Princess Bride. But this year’s title — the time travel epic Back to the Future (aka my favorite movie OF ALL TIME) — meant the Advocate wasn’t sitting this one out. The way the project works is people volunteer to shoot a scene, then NCTV cuts the movie into 30-second to three-minute chunks and...

Read More
Stagestruck: Angels & Obsessions at NT Live
Aug18

Stagestruck: Angels & Obsessions at NT Live

If there is a genuine epic in American drama −  its ideas as expansive as its scope −  it is surely Angels in America, Tony Kushner’s two-part, eight-hour “gay fantasia on national themes.” And if there is a consummate example of cross-disciplinary provenance on the English-speaking stage these days, it must be Obsession, the London production of a Dutch adaptation of an Italian movie version of an American novel. Both shows share...

Read More
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...

Read More
Basemental: Nanny’s ‘Nowhere’ Reviewed
Aug14

Basemental: Nanny’s ‘Nowhere’ Reviewed

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. This new EP, named for closing track six, Nowhere, recalls stripped down...

Read More
Staff Picks: Transperformance, Leafies, Surf Rock God Dick Dale+
Aug14

Staff Picks: Transperformance, Leafies, Surf Rock God Dick Dale+

Top events of the coming week chosen by Advocate Staff: TUESDAY // This Must Be Heaven On Tuesday at Look Park you may be able to catch a glimpse of Cher, Kurt Cobain, a Beatle, Sharon Jones, Chris Cornell, Johnny Cash, or Amy Winehouse as this year’s Transperformance is dedicated to rockers who climbed up that stairway to heaven. Transperformance is a long-running show in which local musicians choose an on-theme, popular band (this...

Read More
FRIDAY Classic Rap With Masta Ace
Aug14

FRIDAY Classic Rap With Masta Ace

Living hip-hop legend Masta Ace blends classic rap rhythms with modern beats and messages, and he’ll be performing in Greenfield this weekend. A major player on the underground hip-hop scene since the ‘90s. His most acclaimed release is Disposable Arts, a concept album about a kid at a satirical rap school, the School for the Disposable Arts. Since this time Ace has been touring on the East Coast and Europe, most recently he’s been...

Read More
SATURDAY: Boogaloo Bash is First in Free Concert Series Millpond.Live, Easthampton
Aug14

SATURDAY: Boogaloo Bash is First in Free Concert Series Millpond.Live, Easthampton

The Millpond.Live Concert series is getting started in a big, booty-shakin’, celebratin’ kind of way this year by featuring a boogaloo bash. What’s boogaloo? A blend of mambo, doo-wop, R&B, and funk that was hot in the 1960s, but for some unthinkable reason (this music is jam-groovin-get-out-your-seat-fantastic!) fell out of favor with pop culture. No matter, there are still plenty of people playing those funkin’ rhythms. Featured...

Read More
Lady and the Amp Rocks SATURDAY
Aug14

Lady and the Amp Rocks SATURDAY

By Kristin Palpini Lady and the Amp Rock n’ roll isn’t a given; it’s born, nurtured, and cultivated into existence. And one of the best incubators of rock in the Valley is the Institute for Musical Arts. Now in its 30th year, the Goshen program to support girls in music and music-related businesses is celebrating its anniversary with a day-long festival full of performances by current students, faculty, and alumnae. Check out And the...

Read More
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...

Read More
Out of this World Art in the Orchard Now Open in Easthampton
Aug14

Out of this World Art in the Orchard Now Open in Easthampton

By Kristin Palpini Outside Art Amid the apple trees at Park Hill Orchard one of the surprises you will see is a towering silver spear shooting into the sky. We don’t know what any of the other art installations will be, so expect lots more artful surprises at the farm. This year marks the fourth Art in the Orchards walking sculpture trail at Park Hill. The self-guided tour is about a half mile long and features all new works....

Read More
Cinemadope: Actor-in-Chief, Reagan forever changed the role of US President (Spoiler! Not for the Better)
Aug14

Cinemadope: Actor-in-Chief, Reagan forever changed the role of US President (Spoiler! Not for the Better)

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...

Read More
Exhibits: See What’s Up at Area Museums and Galleries
Aug14

Exhibits: See What’s Up at Area Museums and Galleries

Amherst Town Hall: Echoes of the Past — Photographs of Abandoned Places explores the beauty of decay and what’s been left behind. Through Sept. 4. Free. Amherst Town Hall, 4 Boltwood Ave., Amherst. (413) 222-4924. echoesofthepast2014@gmail.com. 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....

Read More
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...

Read More
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...

Read More
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...

Read More
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...

Read More
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...

Read More
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...

Read More
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....

Read More
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....

Read More
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...

Read More
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....

Read More
LISTEN UP: Krunkelstiltskin plays that heavy rock with humor for you (SESSIONS VIDEO)
Aug04
Read More
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...

Read More
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...

Read More
Stagestruck: Chekhov in Middle School – WTF…
Aug03

Stagestruck: Chekhov in Middle School – WTF…

What is it with all the Chekhov parodies? Just this summer Silverthorne Theater Company gave us Stupid Fucking Bird, Aaron Posner’s metatheatrical riff on The Seagull. There’s Vanya and Sonia and Masha and Spike, Christopher Durang’s Uncle Vanya mashup. And last year I directed Nagle Jackson’s The Quick-Change Room, about a Russian theater turning The Three Sisters into a musical comedy. Now comes Moscow, Moscow, Moscow, Moscow,...

Read More