This Weekend in Greenfield: Blues, Brews, and BBQ
Oct03

This Weekend in Greenfield: Blues, Brews, and BBQ

Here’s the Beef It’s hard to believe that Greenfield’s Riverside Blues, Brews, and BBQ Festival is already in its sixth season. We’ve barely finished the heaping pile of brisket on our plate from last year. But it shouldn’t be too hard for us to get back into the swing of things. The Franklin County Rotary Club, Lefty’s Brewing Company, and the Greenfield Recreation Department are doing everything they can to appeal to the...

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Nightcrawler: The Big E … DM
Sep26

Nightcrawler: The Big E … DM

Any calendar will tell you Sept. 22, is the official date of the fall equinox — which is fine, for those astronomically-correct types. But this year, I prefer to think of the solstice as happening on Oct. 2 when the Big E in West Springfield hosts an EDM concert they’re calling the Electric Equinox. “There is a growing EDM [electronic dance music] following in this area and for the past few years, we have been working towards building...

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Astrology: Love warriors and love worriers
Sep26

Astrology: Love warriors and love worriers

ARIES (March 21-April 19): What’s the difference between a love warrior and a love worrier? Love warriors work diligently to keep enhancing their empathy, compassion, and emotional intelligence. Love worriers fret so much about not getting the love they want that they neglect to develop their intimacy skills. Love warriors are always vigilant for how their own ignorance may be sabotaging togetherness, while love worriers dwell...

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Fractured Together: The Art of Lyle Kleinhans
Sep26

Fractured Together: The Art of Lyle Kleinhans

Lyle Kleinhans focuses his work on abstract representations of people that highlight the conflicts, questions, and confidences behind their exteriors. Jagged and strict lines are offset by wildly brooding color that sucks the viewer in and haunts them long after. Kleinhan’s work is being exhibited along with that of Carlos Alvarez by Westfield State University as part of the exhibit, Hispanic/LatinX Heritage. (LatinX is the...

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I Love a Parade: UMass Homecoming
Sep26

I Love a Parade: UMass Homecoming

This weekend UMass is celebrating Homecoming with a bunch of events: our top pick is the Homecoming Parade leading up to the clash between UMass and Tulane at McGuirk Stadium in Amherst Saturday at 3:30 p.m. The parade starts at 10:30 p.m. and will feature performances by the award-winning Minuteman Marching Band and floats and displays created by students. The parade starts at McGuirk and winds through downtown ending at Haigis Mall...

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Local Book Reviews: The Wobblies in Their Heyday and Finding Wonders: Three Girls Who Changed Science
Sep26

Local Book Reviews: The Wobblies in Their Heyday and Finding Wonders: Three Girls Who Changed Science

The Wobblies in Their Heyday: The Rise and Destruction of the Indistrial Workers of the World During the WWI Era, by Eric Thomas Chester Levellers Press, levellerspress.com In the early 20th century, when unions in the United States were fighting pitched battles with factory owners and industrial barons for better pay and working conditions, perhaps no labor organization had greater clout and visibility during WWI than the Industrial...

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Cocktail of the Month Club: Cranberry Cinnamon Whiskey Sour at Osteria Vespa, Amherst
Sep19

Cocktail of the Month Club: Cranberry Cinnamon Whiskey Sour at Osteria Vespa, Amherst

September marks the end of the summer and evenings are starting to bring with them a subtle autumn chill. Chase it away with this month’s cocktail, a cranberry-cinnamon whiskey sour that’s sure to warm you up, brought to you by Josh Draghe, head bartender at Osteria Vespa in Amherst. — Peter Vancini, pvancini@valleyadvocate.com Cranberry-Cinnamon Whiskey Sour Courtesy of Josh Draghe, Head Bartender at Osteria Vespa. 1.5 ounces...

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Basemental: Our Club Runneth Over
Sep19

Basemental: Our Club Runneth Over

This Friday night, Sept. 23, there are at least six shows I want to attend. It wouldn’t be surprising if some touring band squeezes in a last-minute basement show. There are other bars and venues, too — Ben Folds is playing the Calvin, for one — and maybe a festival nearby. Although I’m plugged into different scenes, it can be hard to keep track of them all. September 23 is a good reminder of all that is happening in Western Mass...

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Learning Falconry with Chris Davis
Sep13

Learning Falconry with Chris Davis

Call of the wild At the edge of a shady green grove in Hadley, light streams through the forest canopy in thin shafts. It speckles the grassy floor below, where three large birds of prey sit awkwardly, tethered with thin leather straps to their short wooden perches. They look out of place on the ground, sitting idly like chickens at the edge of an open field, cocking their heads this way and that, preening occasionally. Soon though,...

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Pour Man: Finally, A Sweet Wine That Delights
Sep12

Pour Man: Finally, A Sweet Wine That Delights

When someone suggested that I try MAN Family Wines’ Chenin Blanc, my first reaction was that I don’t like sweet wines. Although Chenin Blanc grapes are often used to make excellent sweet wines in France and elsewhere, I was assured I’d find this South African offering to be well-made, crisp, and refreshing — a dry white wine perfect for drinking in the warmer months. And I was told it’s a great buy. I respected the recommendation,...

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The Lush Garden: Cocktail Recipes
Aug29

The Lush Garden: Cocktail Recipes

A guide to summer cocktails from the garden It’s hard to imagine a better way to top off an afternoon in the garden than by settling into a lawn chair with a refreshing summer cocktail and admiring your work. Even better if you can actually harvest a few ingredients from that garden to add a satisfying twist to that beverage of choice. With that in mind, we asked a few area cocktail aficionados to suggest their favorite recipes. What...

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The V-Spot: My Sexual ‘A’ is Not a Scarlet Letter
Aug22

The V-Spot: My Sexual ‘A’ is Not a Scarlet Letter

Dear Yana, I was recently discussing your column with some new friends I met through Pioneer Valley Aces, a local group of individuals who identify as aromantic and/or asexual. I wasn’t the only one of us who appreciated your witty way of reassuring those who write in that their sexuality is OK. However, as a 39-year-old woman who has never had all that much interest in having romantic relationships or being sexually active, I...

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Valley Advocate Staff picks – Get out there!
Aug22

Valley Advocate Staff picks – Get out there!

CT HorrorFest • Saturday My favorite time of the year is around the corner, and all these marvelous Halloween events keep popping up. This Saturday, feast your eyes upon some of horror’s finest. Meet and greet with the “Godfather of the Dead” George A. Romero. The ladies of one of my all-time favorite films Evil Dead will be there, too. Go to http://www.cthorror.com for full details and guests. 11 a.m. to 8 p.m., Matrix Conference...

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Staff Picks: Get out there!
Aug18

Staff Picks: Get out there!

TITANIS Farewell Show in Florence – Friday Springfield’s ambient, heavy doomers TITANIS are bidding farewell? Insert sad face here. Make sure to check them out before you can’t. It’s worth it. Also that night, rockers A Moment To Riot, Nim and Esperanto will be on the bill. 9:00 p.m., 18, $7. 13th Floor Music Lounge, 99 Main St., (Above JJ’S Tavern), Florence. — Jennifer Levesque   Dr....

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Nightcrawler: Rock the Boot
Aug15

Nightcrawler: Rock the Boot

Rock and Roll Hall of Famer Thomas Delmer “Artimus” Pyle comes to the Valley this Saturday, Aug. 20. He’ll be performing with his Artimus Pyle Band and their “ultimate tribute to Ronnie Van Zandt’s Lynyrd Skynyrd” as part of the Rock The Boot Music Fest, held at the Ludlow Fish and Game Club. Trailer Trash, Lobsterz from Marz, and Livio Gravini and The Free Spirit Society will also lend their sonic skills to the annual...

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Show Us Your Tattoo: Josh Charland
Aug08

Show Us Your Tattoo: Josh Charland

About seven years ago, I was tattooed by Bravo at Vipers Nest II in West Springfield. The past 20 years, technology and computers have always been a passion of mine. I’m an IT [information technology] consultant and learned a tremendous amount of knowledge from Google throughout the years. I use Google every day to stay current with technology, virus/spyware removal methods, and also for troubleshooting. Years ago, there used to...

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4,500 Square Feet of Eden Blooms in Holyoke: A mega farm on a mini lot
Jul25

4,500 Square Feet of Eden Blooms in Holyoke: A mega farm on a mini lot

In the middle of an ordinary residential neighborhood in Holyoke lies a hidden Garden of Eden, where pollinating insects buzz from flower to flower and nearly everything is edible. Despite appearances, this place was no act of divine creation. The garden was born of the hard work and ingenuity of Eric Toensmeier and Jonathan Bates, two self-proclaimed plant geeks with a reverence for the complex web of systems that make up a...

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Free Will Astrology: White feathers and forbidden fruit, July 28- Aug. 3, 2016
Jul25

Free Will Astrology: White feathers and forbidden fruit, July 28- Aug. 3, 2016

ARIES (March 21-April 19): Free your body. Don’t ruminate and agonize about it. FREE YOUR BODY! Be brave and forceful. Do it simply and easily. Free your gorgeously imperfect, wildly intelligent body. Allow it to be itself in all of its glory. Tell it you’re ready to learn more of its secrets and adore its mysteries. Be in awe of its unfathomable power to endlessly carry out the millions of chemical reactions that keep you...

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The V-Spot: Husband Seeking Female-Friendly Sex-ed
Jul19

The V-Spot: Husband Seeking Female-Friendly Sex-ed

Hi Yana, My wife is interested in exploring her sexuality a little further — things she might be interested in trying, etc. — but is hoping to do so in a way that is female- and feminist-friendly. Do you have any suggestions for things she can do or read either individually or with me? — Helpful Husband Hello HH, My favorite kind of husband is the one willing to lend a helping hand to his partner’s continued sexual exploration —...

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Circus Smirkus Comes To Town!
Jul11

Circus Smirkus Comes To Town!

Circus with a Smile No elephants were harmed in the making of this motion-filled picture. The only ASPCA likely to take notice of the new high-flying act by Circus Smirkus is the American Society for the Perpetuation of Cool Acrobatics — a group we just made up, but which Smirkus has effectively pioneered since its origins in a Vermont barn in 1987. Founded by Rob Mermin — a veteran player throughout England, Sweden, Denmark, and...

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Could You Spot Someone Drowning? Spoiler: Probably not
Jul05

Could You Spot Someone Drowning? Spoiler: Probably not

For most people, the closest they get to drowning is watching someone on TV or in the movies going through the motions: screaming, flailing arms, and lots of splashing. So, when someone actually drowns, you’d think it would be easy to spot. But not always. In real life, drowning people rarely look like the water-drenched actors on screen. In fact, drowning people usually don’t make much of a commotion, according to the Red Cross,...

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Wellness: Hike Safe
Jul05

Wellness: Hike Safe

Wilderness survival films tend to focus on bears, wolves, sheer rock faces, and toppling (at least once per movie) into a cold, surging river. But most hiking safety tips — while often a matter of life and death — deal with more prosaic issues. The American Hiking Society asks that we keep a few main points in mind when we set out on foot to conquer some swath of the outdoors, no matter how small:   • Pack smart. Here are some things...

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Free the Beasts! Dragon Boat Race in Springfield
Jun20

Free the Beasts! Dragon Boat Race in Springfield

Dragons of myth come in all shapes and sizes, but human athletes have pared their real world replicas down to some clear-cut dimensions. A dragon boat is 40 feet by 4 feet, long and narrow and manned by 20 paddlers, sitting two by two. A drummer sits up front, keeping cadence and setting the pace. Standing at the back, a steersman controls the direction of the boat with a single, large oar. It’s a team effort, especially on race day....

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Blaise’s Bad Movie Guide: That time The Three Stooges went too far … nyuk, nyuk, nyuk
Jun20

Blaise’s Bad Movie Guide: That time The Three Stooges went too far … nyuk, nyuk, nyuk

That time The Three Stooges went too far … nyuk, nyuk, nyuk   As Kenny Rogers wisely sang, “You gotta know when to hold ’em, know when to fold ’em.” There have been many performers who have ignored this advice, plodding right along with their careers when they should have called it quits. Roger Moore as James Bond in A View to a Kill? Take away his Geritol and Bond is done. Sting and Bono? Their egos are more bloated than...

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The V-Spot: Jealous Over My Flirty Girlfriend
Jun20

The V-Spot: Jealous Over My Flirty Girlfriend

Dear Yana, My girlfriend and I have been polyamorous for three years. We have established boundaries and as far as poly relationships go, it’s been pretty smooth sailing. Usually I’m a very low-jealousy partner. But lately she’s been flirting with this one woman that I think she wants to date and it feels like all of my normal jealousy strategies have evaporated. I can’t stand how it makes me feel and lately we’ve been arguing a lot...

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Your guide to the 30th Green River Festival (July 8-10)
Jun09

Your guide to the 30th Green River Festival (July 8-10)

  THE LINEUP FRIDAY Peter Wolf NRBQ Dustbowl Revival Charles Neville Ola Fresca Mariachi Flor De Toloache Campos Xixa SATURDAY Dawes Shakey Graves Shovels & Rope The Suffers The Felice Brothers Sister Sparrow & The Dirty Birds And The Kids Dustbowl Revival The Soul Rebels Amy Helm & The Handsome Strangers Greyhounds Anthony D’Amato Leland Sundries Oh Pep! Mister G Peter Mulvey & The Crumbling Beauties Present Raindogs...

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Must Have More Chaos: Cultural Chaos in Easthampton
Jun06

Must Have More Chaos: Cultural Chaos in Easthampton

More Chaos, Please Flying trapeze artists, puppets, Hula hoop extraordinaires, buskers, artists, crafters, bands, authors, dancers, and performing artists are among the funky folk who will converge on Cottage Street in Easthampton this Saturday for Cultural Chaos. The festival, produced by Easthampton City Arts+, is designed to celebrate unique creation in all its many forms — hence the chaos. From noon to 7 p.m., Cottage Street in...

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‘How To Annoy Your Siblings’: See the Tiny Book Show
Jun06

‘How To Annoy Your Siblings’: See the Tiny Book Show

Like Real Books, But Cuter Shrink anything down small enough and, eventually, it will get ridiculously cute — including books. This week, The Tiny Book Show, a mobile museum of teeny-tiny books, will appear, for a short time, in Shelburne Falls and Greenfield. The hundreds of books in the library were created by artists and writers around the world, as well as children. The initial challenge, by organizers The Creativity Caravan, was...

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Oh, Honey: Can spoonfuls of the all-natural sweet stuff help ward off allergies?
May31

Oh, Honey: Can spoonfuls of the all-natural sweet stuff help ward off allergies?

Ah, spring: The time of year when nature wakes up from its deep winter slumber: birds are singing, flowers are blooming, and allergy sufferers are miserable. A runny nose, itchy eyes, and constant sneezing are facts of life for the nearly 8 percent of Americans that suffer from allergic rhinitis, commonly known as hay fever, according to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. More than a minor nuisance to some, seasonal...

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Club Life: Happy Brffday to the Queen of Crossplay; Lamb of God Tribute, more
May23

Club Life: Happy Brffday to the Queen of Crossplay; Lamb of God Tribute, more

Happy Brffday, Girl The self-anointed Queen of Crossplay (a blend of cross dressing and cosplay) Serenity Lockhart is having a birthday party Saturday night at Gateway City Arts in Holyoke and everyone is invited. Dress to impress Her Majesty and to coordinate with the theme: Nintendo’s fighting game Super Smash Bros. Doors open at 7 p.m. and the show starts at 8. Hosted by Lockhart and Tito Midnight, the evening will also include...

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Go: Paradise City Arts is Back – With 250 Artists!
May23

Go: Paradise City Arts is Back – With 250 Artists!

Springtime in Paradise   One of the biggest arts fairs in New England makes its annual spring stop in Northampton this week, with over 250 artists from every corner of the country showing work in ceramics, painting, decorative fiber, art glass, furniture, jewelry, metal, mixed media, photography, large-scale sculpture, wearable arts, and woodworking. Although internet shopping has taken a big bite out of the craft and art market over...

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CHART Who Charges the Highest Concert Ticket Fees in the Valley?
May24

CHART Who Charges the Highest Concert Ticket Fees in the Valley?

By Kristin Palpini After looking into what the Historic Preservation Fund fee charged for admission to Calvin Theater concerts is for, Advocate staff wanted to know how fees compare around the area. Below is a comparison of the fees charged for upcoming shows at area...

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O’Cannabis: Snacks ‘n’ Snags – Stoner eats; the march toward marijuana legalization hits a bump
May23

O’Cannabis: Snacks ‘n’ Snags – Stoner eats; the march toward marijuana legalization hits a bump

The hungry stoner is a crude cliche. Ravenous, bug-eyed, slovenly, and insatiable is how the type is usually portrayed in pop culture. The truly initiated, however, know that while weed can bring on a powerful case of the munchies, it’s nothing to go all reefer madness about. In fact, what brings on the need for nosh is a small tweaking of the senses. In 2014, a team of European scientists found that THC, the chemical in marijuana...

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Arts & Culture: Holyoke Rocks with Western Massive Fri. and Sat.
May11

Arts & Culture: Holyoke Rocks with Western Massive Fri. and Sat.

Holyoke Rocks   The enterprising staff at Gateway City Arts always seems to be revving its engines, pushing the canal-side arts center to host the most fun and interesting programming in a rapidly-evolving downtown Holyoke. This weekend, they’ve outdone themselves. Western Massive is a new two-day, all-ages music festival featuring more than 40 acts, plus local food and drinks at the in-house biergarten. Three rooms of music will...

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A Game Night to Get Excited About: Puzzled Escape Games in Easthampton
May11

A Game Night to Get Excited About: Puzzled Escape Games in Easthampton

The timer started when the door closed, and for a moment it was very confusing. Inside Puzzled Escape Games’ first escape room, the Advocate staff stood frozen like the Scooby-Doo gang before a haunted house — silent, wide-eyed, and a little hungry (it was dinner time). The large, dark green room with high ceilings had a wall-sized book shelf, desk, mirror, and painting, as well as a few end tables and chairs. Inside, somewhere, were...

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