Valley Show Girl: Millpond.live Hosts Music Under the Stars
Sep18

Valley Show Girl: Millpond.live Hosts Music Under the Stars

For the last six weekends of summer, Millpond.Live puts on a free grassroots festival at Millside Park in Easthampton for all ages to enjoy. Produced by Laudable Productions, a creative agency in Easthampton that has a plethora of services including community engagement to concert production. The concert is powered by volunteers in the community and sponsored and supported by local businesses, including us at the Valley Advocate....

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Free Will Astrology: Emily Dickinson Knows The Size of Aquarius Brains
Sep18

Free Will Astrology: Emily Dickinson Knows The Size of Aquarius Brains

ARIES (March 21-April 19): Psychologists say most people need a scapegoat — a personification of wickedness and ignorance onto which they can project the unacknowledged darkness in their own hearts. That’s the bad news. Here’s the good news: The coming weeks will be an excellent time for you to neutralize that reflex and at least partially divest yourself of the need for scapegoats. How? The first thing to do is identify your own...

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Back Talk: Little Ol’ Easthampton’s Punk Rockers
Sep18

Back Talk: Little Ol’ Easthampton’s Punk Rockers

Editor’s Note: Welcome to our letters to the editor page. Here you’ll find comments from readers on Advocate articles and other news. We collect readers’ opinions from emails, letters, Facebook comments, and comments to valleyadvocate.com. Want to get in on this? Email editor@valleyadvocate.com and put “BackTalk” or “letter to the editor” in the subject. What About Radical Christian Terrorism? Donald Trump likes to spout off about...

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Stagestruck: Summer Theater Wrap Party, in Living Color
Sep18

Stagestruck: Summer Theater Wrap Party, in Living Color

The area’s summer theaters have folded their metaphorical tents for the year, though three of the Berkshire companies are also mounting fall shows. For this critic, it was a Sergio Leone season: good, bad, and occasionally ugly. (An example of the extremes — Silverthorne Theater Company’s Chekhov mashup Stupid Fucking Bird, which played metatheatrically with The Seagull, and Williamstown Theatre Festival’s Moscow Moscow Moscow Moscow...

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Cinemadope: Missing the Warm and Fuzzies?
Sep18

Cinemadope: Missing the Warm and Fuzzies?

At the Headfort School in Kells, Ireland, two of the school’s most popular teachers are getting ready to retire. The husband and wife team have been educating and inspiring children for almost half a century, and their example — and what the possibility of their retirement might mean for the country’s only primary-age boarding school — is at the heart of Neasa Ni Chianain and David Rane’s documentary School Life. It screens this...

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Monte Belmonte Wines: Don’t Blame the Cat
Sep18

Monte Belmonte Wines: Don’t Blame the Cat

Bordeaux: It’s the wine capital of the world. Even Thomas Jefferson, while keeping busy hypocritically impeding people’s lives and liberties, pursued wine happiness there. When most people think of Bordeaux, they think, “Dude, how the hell am I supposed to pronounce THAT wicked weird word?” But if you have heard of Bordeaux, you probably think red wines — the best France, and maybe the world, has to offer. What people often overlook...

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Interview: Peter Wolf of J. Geils Band On Music, Art School, And Playing Western Mass
Sep13

Interview: Peter Wolf of J. Geils Band On Music, Art School, And Playing Western Mass

Peter Wolf, the dynamic rock and blue-eyed soul frontman singer for the J. Geils Band, who co-wrote some of the band’s most popular songs such as “Love Stinks,” and “Must Of Got Lost,” is gearing up to play the Academy of Music in Northampton on Oct. 13. Valley Advocate Staff Writer Chris Goudreau interviewed Wolf about his upcoming performance in Northampton, his early days as an art student in Boston, past performances in Western...

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Yea-Hoo and Rockabilly, too: Flathead Rodeo Friday in Easthampton
Sep11

Yea-Hoo and Rockabilly, too: Flathead Rodeo Friday in Easthampton

Songs From the Rodeo Flathead Rodeo is Northampton-based roots rockabilly band recently won Mark Sherry’s Valley Musical Showcase in July, a regular, judged competition at New City Brewery in Easthampton. So, now they have the honor of opening and closing this week’s Showcase. Go see ‘em: They’re rocking, fun, and funny. Mistress Miriam (who got her name from Iggy Pop) has a long history of singing and performing improv — a...

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Springfield Puerto Rican Parade SUNDAY
Sep11

Springfield Puerto Rican Parade SUNDAY

The annual Puerto Rican Parade kicks off Sunday in Springfield. The parade, which featured more than 100 marching contingents and floats last year, will start at 11 a.m. and go down Main Street, from Wason Avenue to Boland Way. Expect to get your dance on and enjoy some killer empanadas. There will be a main stage and celebration outside at 1500 Main St. Puerto Rican Parade: 11 a.m. Main Street, Springfield, from Wason Avenue to...

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Basemental: The Ups and Downs of Touring
Sep11

Basemental: The Ups and Downs of Touring

I used to think touring was excessive, stupid, and generally felt existentially conflicted about it. Why should I leave the house and use fossil fuels to do anything that’s trivial? Why should we impose our music on these seemingly nice people when there’s so much better music out there to listen to? Why should we take up space — any space — when there’s more people far more deserving? Should we be investing in our community instead?...

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Selfie Indulgent? UMass show explores the self portrait
Sep11

Selfie Indulgent? UMass show explores the self portrait

No one gives Picasso shit for all the self portraits he’s painted. And I’m yet to hear someone call Frida Kahlo’s self portraits “navel gazing.” But right now, the self portrait is under fire. People like to heap a lot of scorn on selfie-takers, folks who have read up on how to pose for the best pic and keep their smartphone cameras set to “Beauty” mode. The selfie is often derided as being selfish and trite, but people’s desire to be...

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Amherst Emily Dickinson FEST!!!! Now Through the Weekend
Sep11

Amherst Emily Dickinson FEST!!!! Now Through the Weekend

Kindly Stopping for Emily Dickinson Amherst’s annual celebration of one of its most famed artists begins Thursday, Sept. 14, and carries on through the weekend with the Amherst Poetry Festival and Emily Dickinson Poetry Marathon. The fest, held at various locations, features a day-long marathon of reading Dickinson’s 1,789 poems aloud (starts at 6 a.m. Saturday at the Emily Dickinson Museum); Poetry in the Planetarium with Dara Wier...

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The Beerhunter: The Imperial Strikes Back
Sep11

The Beerhunter: The Imperial Strikes Back

Earlier this year, I reached into a friend’s beer fridge to grab something light and refreshing before heading outdoors for a hike (as far as I understand the rules, writing this column gives me free access to everyone’s beer). That afternoon’s chatter distracted me, however, because I made it two or three swings into my bottle before I felt what was hitting me. I glanced down to find I was sampling a beer called Olde School by...

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Cinemadope: Musical Bandits Plan Their Escape Tour
Sep11

Cinemadope: Musical Bandits Plan Their Escape Tour

When September hits, the kids head back to school — and for film fans, that can be a great thing. One of the many film events that are hosted on area campuses is The German Film Series, presented by the Amherst College department of German on irregular Thursdays in the school’s Stirn Auditorium. The series, which brings in a half dozen or so subtitled films each spring and fall season, is starting up again this week, and will screen...

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Down to Earth: The Science Is Clear on Climate Change
Sep11

Down to Earth: The Science Is Clear on Climate Change

During the summer 12 years ago, I interned at Science News, a national magazine that reports on science for the public. As a young and inexperienced writer, part of my reporting included visiting the offices of my more experienced colleagues to ask them what good ideas I might fruitfully pursue. “Write about hurricanes and climate change,” said Janet Raloff, a writer I deeply admire to this day who’s now a Science News editor. “I...

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Between The Lines: Massachusetts Reps Should Get With Arnold to Terminate Gerrymandering
Sep11

Between The Lines: Massachusetts Reps Should Get With Arnold to Terminate Gerrymandering

Not in a million years would I have predicted the Governator would be the one to kickstart a campaign to stop the legal election-rigging scheme used to weaken the voting power of one political power over another, aka gerrymandering, but here we are. I am less surprised that Massachusetts has yet to get on board with tearing down this cynical barrier to democracy. After all, the Bay State gave birth to gerrymandering. I’ll try to...

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The Top 5 Reasons To Hate The Mass Pike All-Electronic Tolls
Sep07

The Top 5 Reasons To Hate The Mass Pike All-Electronic Tolls

The Massachusetts Department of Transportation on Thursday announced that the creepy Mass Pike All Electronic Tolling project — those 16 camera-laden gantries above the highway — is a finalist in a national transportation competition. The statement they sent out asks people to go online and vote for the Massachusetts project so the state will receive $10,000 toward a transportation charity of their choosing and a nice slap on the...

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Northampton’s ‘Beefcake’ Scandal
Sep11

Northampton’s ‘Beefcake’ Scandal

Fifty-seven years ago this month, agents of the Anti-Smut Unit of the Massachusetts State Police raided the Northampton apartment of Smith College literature professor Newton Arvin and discovered copies of “beefcake” magazines he had collected and shared with friends. He was arrested, not for homosexual activity — which was still largely outlawed in the Eisenhower-era U.S. — but for possessing “obscene materials” received through the...

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The V-Spot: IPAs Run My Sex Life
Sep11

The V-Spot: IPAs Run My Sex Life

Editor’s Note: This column refers to sexual trauma responses. Hi Yana, My girlfriend and I have been together for four months, but lately I’ve been noticing we’ve only been having sex when we’re drinking. Nothing to put consent into question for either of us, of course, just a couple beers. I asked her about it over dinner, and she said, “It’s nothing you’re doing wrong, I’ve just hated myself lately.” I know she struggles with...

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Missed Connections: Hot Dog! We Have a Wiener!
Sep05

Missed Connections: Hot Dog! We Have a Wiener!

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. Hot Dogs — m4m (Lenoxdale)  We had hotdogs at the same time today (Saturday). I’ve seen you around town. You’re very handsome. Long-shot I...

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Tundrastomper’s Psychedelic, Math Rocking ‘O’ Reviewed
Sep05

Tundrastomper’s Psychedelic, Math Rocking ‘O’ Reviewed

Easthampton-based basement rock band Tundrastomper is an experimental psychedelia mutant grown from a vat of math rock that explodes into a storm with manic ferocity. There’s more than a glob of progressive rock stylings thrown into the mixer with the band’s new album, “O,” released on July 7. Tundrastomper is a four piece group comprised of Sam Brivic on guitar, Max Goldstein on drums, Andrew Jones on bass, and Skyler Lloyd on guitar...

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Back Talk: Wypipo Smoking Weed in the Streets and a New Name for Amherst
Sep05

Back Talk: Wypipo Smoking Weed in the Streets and a New Name for Amherst

Editor’s Note: Welcome to our letters to the editor page. Here you’ll find comments from readers on Advocate articles and other news. We collect readers’ opinions from emails, letters, Facebook comments, and comments to valleyadvocate.com. Want to get in on this? Email  editor@valleyadvocate.com and put “BackTalk” or “letter to the editor” in the subject. Weed in the Streets (via Facebook) Some reactions to “Smoking Weed in Public:...

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Staff PICKS! Lady Snowblood in Amherst, Freak Folkers, Orchard Ballet, and Yucks
Sep05

Staff PICKS! Lady Snowblood in Amherst, Freak Folkers, Orchard Ballet, and Yucks

Lady Snowblood at Amherst Cinema // FRIDAY Ah, the classic story of bloody and brutal revenge. There’s nothing quite like it. Although many think Quentin Tarantino’s Kill Bill films are the peak of stylized action in the sub-genre, there is another film ready to climb a metaphorical mountain of gore. That film is Lady Snowblood (1973) by Toshiya Fujita, which raises gory revenge to a level of visual poetry. Lady Snowblood...

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Basemental: DIY All-Stars: Experimental Audio Damage & Research Control Groop
Aug28

Basemental: DIY All-Stars: Experimental Audio Damage & Research Control Groop

I kept hearing that Ian (Thee Arcadians) and Androo (ex-Spirit Ghost, Nancy Drool) would disappear into different basements and jam on one chord for hours at a time. The roommates tolerated it (within reason), the neighbors were never “chill” to begin with. But that did not deter them. They were riding a wave — or something like that. It wasn’t long before a rotating cast of DIY allstars — including, but likely not limited to, Nina...

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Cinemadope: Whose Streets? Life in Ferguson after fatal shooting of unarmed, black teen by white officer
Aug28

Cinemadope: Whose Streets? Life in Ferguson after fatal shooting of unarmed, black teen by white officer

One of the more disturbing things about cinema is the establishment of who is a hero and who is a villain. Most often this looks like a white man taking down a non-white man. The specifics may change with the era — from the villain being African-American to South American to Middle Eastern to Asian — but the underlying message does not. It’s vital, then, that we seek out work made by the people of color whose voices are so often...

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Craving Cool Independent Films/TV Online? Check Out Seed & Spark
Aug28

Craving Cool Independent Films/TV Online? Check Out Seed & Spark

In this ever-expanding world of streaming platforms, it can be difficult to look outside the Big Three: Netflix, Hulu, and Amazon Prime. Viewers mainly feel constrained to these options because of their connections with major networks, their buying power for big-name film distribution, and their own original productions. However, if you’ve ever tried to find a truly original, interesting independent film on one of these sites, you’ve...

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Blandford Fair: All’s Fair in Love and Corn Dogs
Aug28

Blandford Fair: All’s Fair in Love and Corn Dogs

What can you say about how much fun the Blandford Fair is that hasn’t been said 150 times before? The four-day agricultural fair has been going strong for a century and a half, tweaking the format a little every year to keep up with the times while staying firmly rooted in local heritage. This year’s highlights include: horse shows, an art show and sale, historical re-enactments, carnival rides and games, country-fried...

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Staff Picks: Three County Fair, Garlic Fest, mo’
Aug28

Staff Picks: Three County Fair, Garlic Fest, mo’

Crash, Mmm, Moo, Whee! Sounds Like a Fair to Me It’s a few days away, but I can already smell a unique blend of corn dogs, funnel cakes, old engines, smashed buses, and livestock that can only mean one thing: It’s fair time, baby! The Three County Fair is holding its 200th — 200th!! — agricultural fair this weekend at the Three County Fairgrounds in Northampton off Bridge Street. The fair will have all the wonderful things...

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O Cannabis! : Puff Or Pass? Best and Worst Rolling Papers for Your Weed
Aug28

O Cannabis! : Puff Or Pass? Best and Worst Rolling Papers for Your Weed

Rolling papers and Rodney Dangerfield have long had a lot in common: they didn’t get no respect. But as marijuana’s cultural cachet has risen, so too have the quality and variety of smoking equipment. The humble rolling paper has been elevated to prestige level with Shine, a 24-k gold leafed paper that sells for $12 per sheet and, from what I hear, provides a premium smoking experience as the gold flakes off with the burn. Overall,...

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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...

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Staff Picks: Old Crow Medicine Show, ET, Tomatoes, and Reggae
Aug21

Staff Picks: Old Crow Medicine Show, ET, Tomatoes, and Reggae

THURSDAY // Old Crow Medicine Show The originators of the open mic sing-a-long phenomenon “Wagon Wheel” are upbeat bluegrass band Old Crow Medicine Show. Although the band’s single is well known, there’s more to Old Crow Medicine Show than just this one tune. They made their start busking on the street corners of New York state and mix an old-time roots music sensibility with bluegrass and a punch of punk rock...

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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...

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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,...

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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...

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Tease VIDEO: Jeremy Turgeon Quintet on Sessions Friday
Aug23

Tease VIDEO: Jeremy Turgeon Quintet on Sessions Friday

The Jeremy Turgeon Quintet is a Springfield-based funky jazz band with an R&B and neo-soul groove that performed on Valley Advocate Sessions on August 8. The band’s full performance will be released on Friday. Until then, here’s a teaser of the band in action. Can’t wait for Friday to see more Sessions? Check out some local bands...

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