Your Guide to Local Farmers Markets
Jul24

Your Guide to Local Farmers Markets

MONDAYSPALMER — Three Rivers, Hryniewicz Park, 1-5 p.m. Through OctoberSPRINGFIELD — Church in the Acres, 1383 Wilbraham Road, 2-6 p.m. Through first week of OctoberTUESDAYSGREENFIELD — Between Green Fields Market and King’s Gym, Sears Avenue, 1:30-6:30 p.m. Through OctoberNORTHAMPTON — Behind Thornes Marketplace, 1:30-6:30 p.m. Through the first week of NovemberSPRINGFIELD — Forest Park, 302 Sumner Ave., 12:30-6 p.m. Through...

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Between the Lines: What’s Another $1,000 on Top of Tuition?
Jul24

Between the Lines: What’s Another $1,000 on Top of Tuition?

The cost of a University of Massachusetts Amherst education has increased on average by more than $1,000 each year for the past three years.This, in a world where most working people can expect a 2 -percent cost-of-living raise — if that. In the summer of 2015, the increase brought the cost of UMass Amherst up above $25,000 for the first time — from $24,215 the previous academic year. With the past week’s 3-percent increase, the cost...

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O Cannabis: Getting Into The Weeds Of Massachusetts’ Pot Bill
Jul21

O Cannabis: Getting Into The Weeds Of Massachusetts’ Pot Bill

We’re no Nevada, but last week Massachusetts took two rippin’ steps toward weed legalization and protection in the state. First the Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court ruled that a business cannot fire an employee for being a medical marijuana patient — a decision that is causing headaches in HR offices around the state who claim it will be difficult to maintain drug-free workplaces. Then the Legislature passed a compromise bill on...

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Feel Good Drift Acoustic Duo on The Valley Advocate Sessions Stage
Jul21

Feel Good Drift Acoustic Duo on The Valley Advocate Sessions Stage

Alex Rohan & Joe Staf are half of Springfield-based acoustic jam rock band, Feel Good Drift. The duo performed for Valley Advocate Sessions LIVE on the front lawn of the Daily Hampshire Gazette on June 29.Like what you’re listening to? Check out the Valley Advocate Sessions page for bands and artists, including The Mary Jane Jones, Sodada, Seth Newton, and...

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Pioneer Valley Roller Derby Open To More Than Just Fierce Females
Jul20

Pioneer Valley Roller Derby Open To More Than Just Fierce Females

In its heyday in the 1970s and ‘80s, roller derby was known for fierce females, fishnets, spiked hair and names like “Iron Maven.” After a lull in the ‘90s, roller derby was resurrected in the early 2000s as an all-female, athletic sport. But in the Pioneer Valley, which was at the forefront of the roller derby revival, the sport has evolved from, as Pioneer Valley Roller Derby (PVRD) Team Captain Teresa Huang described it, a...

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Bizarro Briefs: Robocop Becomes Self Terminator
Jul20

Bizarro Briefs: Robocop Becomes Self Terminator

A Suicidal Robot Our D.C. office building got a security robot. It drowned itself.We were promised flying cars, instead we got suicidal robots. pic.twitter.com/rGLTAWZMjn— Bilal Farooqui (@bilalfarooqui) July 17, 2017The Knightscope security robot, an R2D2-shaped rolling bot, can turn, beep, and whistle while on patrol. It can also self-destruct, as one proved while working outside the Georgetown Waterfront in Washington, D.C. It...

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Sticks & Stones Won’t Break Your Bones at Hope and Feathers, Amherst
Jul03

Sticks & Stones Won’t Break Your Bones at Hope and Feathers, Amherst

Sticks and Stones II, the new exhibit at Hope & Feathers Framing and Gallery, is a contemplation of the very small and natural. The four artists contributing to this show meditated on things like pebbles, pieces of cloth, terra cotta, and textiles. The end result is a celebration of the little ones we take for granted.Look for terra cotta pieces by Mary Carroll, textile constructions by Sharon McCartney, mixed media/ assemblages by...

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Near-Centenarian Frances Crowe Says Pipeline Threatens Life On Earth
Jul03

Near-Centenarian Frances Crowe Says Pipeline Threatens Life On Earth

Ninety-eight-year-old peace activist Frances Crowe of Northampton is thinking about the future. That’s why she was arrested last month along with seven other people protesting Tennessee Gas Pipeline’s $93 million 13-mile tri-state Connecticut Expansion Project in Sandisfield’s Otis State Forest on June 24. The group, including Crowe, is set to appear in Southern Berkshire District Court for civil violations of trespassing on July 18....

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Go See: Ghosts of Industry by Catherine Gibbs
Jun26

Go See: Ghosts of Industry by Catherine Gibbs

Familiar Forgotten PlacesCatherine Gibbs picked a ubiquitous, but faded piece of local history for her exhibit at the Elusie Gallery in Easthampton: Mill buildings and train yards. Though not as much is manufactured here anymore, not that long ago people in places like Easthampton, Northampton, Holyoke, and Chicopee would tell time by the manufacturer whistles signaling breaks and shift switches. And the trains that would haul away...

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Berkshires Arts Festival This Weekend
Jun26

Berkshires Arts Festival This Weekend

Art in a (Butter)NutshellStrolling through booths of fine art with a glass of wine in your hand underneath a sunny sky in the Berkshires isn’t a bad way to spend an afternoon, or two. That’s what you’ll get at the 16th Berkshires Arts Festival at the Ski Butternut resort. This year’s event boasts 200 jury-selected artists and designers who will show and sell their jewelry, textiles, wood, furniture, ceramics, leather, glass,...

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Worthy Beer Fest in Springfield Saturday
Jun12

Worthy Beer Fest in Springfield Saturday

Are You Worthy?Yes, yes you are — if you’re 21 or over. The Worthy is back, ya’ll, and sudsier than ever for this year’s outdoors craft beer showcase.The Springfield brewfest, in the city’s most entertaining neighborhood: Worthington Street, is going down Saturday and will feature more than 20 local brewers. Old favorites like Amherst Brewing, Stone Brewing, and Berkshire Brewing Company will be there as well as some newer names: Iron...

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Spirit Ghost on The Valley Advocate Sessions Stage
Jun09

Spirit Ghost on The Valley Advocate Sessions Stage

Check out Amherst-based indie/garage/ surf rock band Spirit Ghost’s Advocate Sessions performance recorded on May 23 in The Advocate Offices. BONUS: Interview with Spirit GhostLike what you’re listening to? Check out the Valley Advocate Sessions page for bands and artists, including Shokazoba, Flava Evolution, Peter Blanchette, and...

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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...

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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...

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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...

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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...

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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...

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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...

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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...

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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...

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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...

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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...

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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,...

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Missed Connections: The Lunch Counter Where I Often Showed Up In Your Bed
May15

Missed Connections: The Lunch Counter Where I Often Showed Up In Your Bed

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.PS — Rabbit where are you? — w4m (Easthampton)We met on Pleasant St in the late 70’s or early 80’s. I last met you at my place in the late...

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Air Sexus Interruptus
May15

Air Sexus Interruptus

In a staggering blow to anyone looking for a weird experience on a Monday evening, tonight’s air sex tournament (think air guitar, but with sex) has been mysteriously cancelled.The event was going to take place at 7 p.m. at the Iron Horse, but a message on the Iron Horse Entertainment Group website says in red letters, “This event has been cancelled due to reasons beyond the control of mere mortals. Refunds can be obtained...

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Appalachian Still On The Valley Advocate Sessions Stage
May12

Appalachian Still On The Valley Advocate Sessions Stage

Check out Appalachian Still:Also visit our Sessions page, with an interview with the artist and all of our other Sessions...

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With Criminal Charges Dropped, Pipeline Protesters Vow to Fight On
May12

With Criminal Charges Dropped, Pipeline Protesters Vow to Fight On

Protesters looking to use climate change as a legal defense of their actions to try to stop a natural gas pipeline expansion project through Otis State Forest in Sandisfield won’t need to bother. Charges against them, which included trespassing and disorderly conduct, were downgraded from criminal to civil infractions this week. Now, members of the anti-pipeline Sugar Shack Alliance, which had planned to offer testimony establishing...

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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...

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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...

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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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David Crosby of Crosby, Stills & Nash Talks Songwriting, Politics, and Fame
May05

David Crosby of Crosby, Stills & Nash Talks Songwriting, Politics, and Fame

David Crosby — the founding member of legendary 1960s and 1970s rock groups such as the Byrds and Crosby, Stills, & Nash — is coming to Northampton’s Academy of Music Theatre on May 19 for a show with his electric backing band. The two-time Rock n’ Roll Hall of Famer singer-songwriter and guitarist is set to release his third album in two years, Sky Trails, sometime this year. The Valley Advocate interviewed Crosby on May 3 to talk...

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The Beerhunter: Stay Chilled, My Friends
May08

The Beerhunter: Stay Chilled, My Friends

In beer, as in life, context matters. If you crash a friend’s wedding in basketball shorts, you may be riding that easygoing reputation of yours a little too far. Conversely, if you’re mowing your lawn on a hot day, and you decide to dress up your lunch break by popping open a bottle of imperial stout, your chances of getting back off that cool, comfy couch drop to virtually nil.There’s a reason we eat, drink, and make merry by...

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Singer/songwriter, folk poet Eric Lee’s Sessions Set
May05
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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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Third Eye Roaming: Goat Yoga in Easthampton
May01

Third Eye Roaming: Goat Yoga in Easthampton

EDITOR’S NOTE: This story originally listed writer Amanda Drane as the author of this story. It was written by Caitlin Ashworth. The Advocate regrets the error.Seven young goats wandered throughout the room, climbing on yoga students in child’s pose, sniffing feet and — at times — chewing hair.Audrey Blaisdell, co-owner of Valley Hot Yoga in Northampton, said she used many downward-facing positions designed to entice the goats...

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