Out of the spotlight: Sexual assault lurks in the Pioneer Valley local music scene
Jul17

Out of the spotlight: Sexual assault lurks in the Pioneer Valley local music scene

Author’s note: This article discusses sexual assault and trauma and includes personal stories from victims of sexual harassment, assault, and rape. The Pioneer Valley is unique for its thriving and diverse music scene with dozens of venues and hundreds of local musicians. Groups like the Pixies, Dinosaur Jr., and Staind all got their start in the area in the 1980s and 1990s. In 2015 online music magazine Pitchfork declared that...

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Massachusetts high court provides cover for those who want to stop you from voting
Jul17

Massachusetts high court provides cover for those who want to stop you from voting

Sometimes living in deep blue Massachusetts can feel comforting when observing the daily horror show that now passes for our federal government. A case in point: as the U.S. Senate edges toward nominating President Donald Trump’s second arch-conservative Supreme Court pick, who could seriously endanger the 1973 Roe v. Wade decision legalizing abortion, the Massachusetts House is working to pass a bill to protect abortion rights in...

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Valley Show Girl: Family Fun Day at Green River Festival
Jul17

Valley Show Girl: Family Fun Day at Green River Festival

For the past 32 years, the Green River Festival has taken over a weekend in July, spreading out over the fields at Greenfield Community College — three days filled to the brim with music, food, drinks, art, crafts, vendors, hot air balloons, and community. This year, I brought my 7-year-old son on Saturday for his first festival. In the six hours that we were there, it was a nonstop colorful ride. We parked down the street and were...

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Evolution of a Star: Dwight Pogue’s retrospective at Smith College Museum of Art
Jul17

Evolution of a Star: Dwight Pogue’s retrospective at Smith College Museum of Art

Printmaker and Smith College art professor Dwight Pogue is retiring and he’s having quite a send off. His opus, if you will, is called Flowering Stars and is on view at The Smith College Museum of Art. Pogue’s collection is a retrospective of his lithographs and screenprints over almost 40 years at Smith College, and it’s something to behold. ; and his changing styles are evident from the samples taken from his portfolio between the...

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Pick of the Day 7/17: Through the Looking Glass…and What Alice Found There at The Majestic
Jul17

Pick of the Day 7/17: Through the Looking Glass…and What Alice Found There at The Majestic

Probably the best thing about summer is there are no school buses to ruin my commute to work. With that said, that means all the little minions are pulling at somebody’s pants legs lamenting the lack of activity on a steamy July day.  I’m here to solve that problem: Majestic Theater in West Springfield has a children’s theater program. Yep, and today Through the Looking Glass…and what Alice Found There is on...

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Podcast: Ashfield Resident Tom Leue Invents Heating System that Runs on Vegetable Oil
Jul16

Podcast: Ashfield Resident Tom Leue Invents Heating System that Runs on Vegetable Oil

It wasn’t always smooth sailing for Ashfield inventor Tom Leue. When making his own brand of biodiesel, an alternative fuel made from plant matter, he accidentally set fire to his workshop and burned it to the ground (hear about the fireball that ensued at minute 15). Still, his commitment to selling biodiesel (made by other people) has lasted 19 years. Now Leue has come up with an invention that will allow users to heat their...

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Cinemadope: The Theme Song’s the Thing in Mission: Impossible
Jul16

Cinemadope: The Theme Song’s the Thing in Mission: Impossible

Film and television may be the land of the moving image, but it has sure given us a lot of great music over the years. Audrey Hepburn as Holly Golightly, quietly breathing out Moon River. Shirley Bassey’s brassy, wagging Goldfinger. The many themes and soundtracks that have become cultural touchstones: The Pink Panther. Jaws. Psycho. But while some of those melodies dig deep into our psyches — the ominous see-saw of the Jaws riff kept...

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Pick of the Day 7/16: Leaning Into the Wind: Andy Goldsworthy
Jul16

Pick of the Day 7/16: Leaning Into the Wind: Andy Goldsworthy

Just in case you missed the memo: It’s going to be hot and humid. Surprise.  The best way to beat the heat (besides a water park) is the movies.  So let’s go indoors for our pick and immerse ourselves in some culture. Andy Goldsworthy is a British sculptor who creates transient, ephemeral site-specific works that have earned him accolades and honors including the O.B.E. (the Most Excellent Order of the British Empire). ...

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Local Calendar: Monday 7/16 – Wednesday 7/18
Jul16

Local Calendar: Monday 7/16 – Wednesday 7/18

MONDAY 7/16 MUSIC AMHERST JAZZ ORCHESTRA: July 16, 7:30 p.m. – 10 p.m. With vocalist Ethel Lee. Great food. Union Station Grand Ballroom, 125A Pleasant St., Northampton. 413-253- 1607. info@amherstjazzorchestra.com. Bang on a Can Summer Festival 2018: July 16, MASS MoCa, 1040 MASS MoCA Way, North Adams. STAGE/FILM/DANCE Artney Jackson: July 16, Williamstown Theatre Festival, Williamstown. TUESDAY 7/17 MUSIC Bang on a Can Summer...

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Free Will Astrology: Advice from Kafka, Kahlo, and bodybuilder Kai Greene
Jul16

Free Will Astrology: Advice from Kafka, Kahlo, and bodybuilder Kai Greene

ARIES (March 21-April 19): “Take a lover who looks at you like maybe you are magic.” Whenever that quote appears on the Internet, it’s falsely attributed to painter Frida Kahlo. In fact, it was originally composed by poet Marty McConnell. In any case, I’ll recommend that you heed it in the coming weeks. You really do need to focus on associating with allies who see the mysterious and lyrical best in you. I will also suggest that you...

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Bizarro briefs: A waking nightmare
Jul13

Bizarro briefs: A waking nightmare

A waking nightmare Don’t you hate it when you wake up to find a six-foot-long snake has fallen from the ceiling into your bed? An Albany-area man certainly did. He called the police in a panicked state after finding himself next to a red-tailed boa constrictor. The boa, it turned out, was the pet of the tenant above him and had escaped from its enclosure. It then fell through the floor and into the man’s bed. After the ordeal, the...

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Pick of the Day 7/15: Three Identical Strangers at Amherst Cinema
Jul13

Pick of the Day 7/15: Three Identical Strangers at Amherst Cinema

Oh boy, I’ve been waiting for this one! This doc is so scathing and mind boggling, you’ll be thinking about it for some time.  And Tim Wardle’s documentary Three Identical Strangers  is described “as the most amazing, incredible, remarkable true story ever told.” Here goes: Identical triplets are separated at birth and adopted by three different families. Somehow two of them find each other on a college campus....

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Pick of the Day 7/14: Bang on a Can Summer Music Festival
Jul13

Pick of the Day 7/14: Bang on a Can Summer Music Festival

The Bang on a Can Summer Music Festival at MASS MoCA is a week of innovative music making dedicated entirely to “adventurous” contemporary music. For three weeks composers will have their new works performed, and musicians will perform in ensembles sitting alongside their teachers. The Festival includes daily performances in the museum galleries (free with museum admission) and culminates in a six-hour Marathon Concert...

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O Cannabis: The craftsmanship of hand trimming
Jul12

O Cannabis: The craftsmanship of hand trimming

Most people, even non-cannabis smokers, could pretty easily recognize two parts of the cannabis plant: the flower, or bud, that is dried and sold for consumption, and the fan shaped leaves that are often used in advertisements. An important aspect of turning the flower of the cannabis plant into the dried bud that most people are familiar with is trimming. In order to get the bud to look how the consumer expects, cannabis growers need...

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Letters to the Editor: Why is Massachusetts putting up obstacles to solar?
Jul12

Letters to the Editor: Why is Massachusetts putting up obstacles to solar?

Editor’s Note: Welcome to our letters to the editor page. Here you’ll find reader comments 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 deisen@valleyadvocate.com and put “BackTalk” or “letter to the editor” in the subject. Why is Massachusetts putting up obstacles to solar? I began working as a rooftop solar...

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Pick of the Day 7/13: Next Wave Stage at Green River Fest
Jul12

Pick of the Day 7/13: Next Wave Stage at Green River Fest

My buddy Chris Goudreau made this his Staff Pick, so take heed: “Signature Sounds Recordings will continue its Next Wave Stage this year at the 2018 Green River Festival, highlighting up and coming teenage bands across the Pioneer Valley and northern Vermont. The lineup this year includes Amherst-based classic rock influenced band Glass House, indie pop/rock outfit Moxie from Brattleboro, VT, indie rock band Raspberry Jam from...

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Pick of the Day 7/12: Artney Jackson at Williamstown Theater Festival
Jul12

Pick of the Day 7/12: Artney Jackson at Williamstown Theater Festival

Obie Award winning actor Ray Anthony Thomas brings life to the world premiere of Artney Jackson at the Williamstown Theater Festival through July 22. Artney Jackson is about an African American man who is a respected employee at the local cable company. After 25 years, he has a chance to be manager, but his world is turned upside down when events at home and at the job threaten to derail his ambitions. Will Artney succeed? You’ll have...

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Local Calendar: Thursday 7/12 – Sunday 7/15
Jul12

Local Calendar: Thursday 7/12 – Sunday 7/15

THURSDAY 7/12 MUSIC Bang on a Can Summer Music Festival 2018: MASS MoCa, 1040 MASS MoCA Way, North Adams. David Krakauer’s Acoustic Klezmer Quartet: 8 p.m. Yiddish Book Center Members: $45, General Admission: $50. Delight in a performance emphasizing the beauty of traditional klezmer dance tunes, ritual songs, and reflective melodies. Yiddish Book Center, 1021 West St., Amherst. 413-256-4900. programs@yiddishbookcenter.org. Greenfield...

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Down to Earth: The Ocean Alongside Us
Jul11

Down to Earth: The Ocean Alongside Us

It’s summer, and with these golden months for many of us come trips to the seaside. As much as I love the Pioneer Valley, one of my regrets in choosing this home is its landlocked geography.  Out here in Western Massachusetts, the ocean can feel almost infinitely far away. I miss the swash and leap of waves on white boulders.  Breathing in a humid hang of pollen, dust, and soot blown north from New York City, I long for the bracing...

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9/11 memorial made from Twin Towers I-beam to be unveiled in Springfield
Jul11

9/11 memorial made from Twin Towers I-beam to be unveiled in Springfield

A memorial to first responders who gave their lives saving others on Sept. 11, 2001, that includes a large section of steel salvaged from the World Trade Center in New York City will be a installed at the soon to be renovated Riverfront Park on West Columbus Avenue in Springfield by Sept. 11. A special preview of the monument was given to local elected officials, police and fire department heads, media, and others on July 10 at...

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Pick of the Day 7/11: The Closet at Williamstown Theater Festival
Jul11

Pick of the Day 7/11: The Closet at Williamstown Theater Festival

Matthew Broderick was, of course, Ferris Bueller, but he’s done a lot more than that.  He’s a Tony winner and he’s got nominations for Golden Globes and Emmys.  He has some cred.  So seeing him in The world premiere of The Closet is a HUGE treat!  Here’s the plays synopsis from the mouth of those who know best –WTF:  “Martin O’Reilly (Broderick) is stuck in Scranton in a dead-end job, his marriage...

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Staff Picks: Next Wave Stage, Artney Jackson, and violinist Kristin Lee
Jul11

Staff Picks: Next Wave Stage, Artney Jackson, and violinist Kristin Lee

Next Wave Stage at Green River Fest // FRIDAY, July 13 Signature Sounds Recordings will continue its Next Wave Stage this year at the 2018 Green River Festival, highlighting up and coming teenage bands across the Pioneer Valley and northern Vermont. The lineup this year includes Amherst-based classic rock influenced band Glass House, indie pop/rock outfit Moxie from Brattleboro, VT, indie rock band Raspberry Jam from Greenfield, and...

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VIDEO: House Sparrow on Valley Advocate Sessions Friday
Jul11

VIDEO: House Sparrow on Valley Advocate Sessions Friday

House Sparrow is an electronic indie pop duo with sleigh bells and synth. Check out a teaser of the group’s upcoming Advocate Sessions performance to be released on Friday.    

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The V-Spot: How Do I NOT Squirt, Though?
Jul10

The V-Spot: How Do I NOT Squirt, Though?

Hi Yana! I recently entered a new relationship and my new partner finally helped me cum for the very first time! Recently though we discovered that I sometimes squirt and now I’ve been absolutely terrified of cumming since I’m anxious about making a mess. My partner says he doesn’t mind, but I’m still so anxious! Any advice for relaxing so that I can re-enjoy finishing? Anxiously Orgasming   Dear Anxiously, Partnered in a new...

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A chat with medieval folk rocker Candice Night of Blackmore’s Night
Jul10

A chat with medieval folk rocker Candice Night of Blackmore’s Night

For more than two decades medieval folk rock duo Blackmore’s Night has been performing its unique blend of rock meets medieval folk on authentic period instruments. The band is led by husband and wife duo Ritchie Blackmore (formerly of Deep Purple and Rainbow), who plays guitar and an assortment of medieval stringed instruments and lead vocalist Candice Night, who also performs woodwind instruments. Ahead of the band’s upcoming...

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Stagestruck: Exciting new ideas from well-worn material
Jul10

Stagestruck: Exciting new ideas from well-worn material

A new thriller, a boundary-breaking dance form, a classic tragedy, and a dramatic sequel, all on area stages this month, illustrate the creative urge to mold existing materials into new forms. In the Valley, Silverthorne Theater Company presents White, Black and Blue, a new play by Steve Henderson and Will Chalmus. It’s a thriller with a sense of humor, a different kind of mistaken-identity adventure involving an unlikely trio. In the...

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Monte Belmonte Wines: The brilliant 23 year old ordering bottles for ConVino
Jul10

Monte Belmonte Wines: The brilliant 23 year old ordering bottles for ConVino

“I hope you don’t take this the wrong way, but you remind me of Rachel Maddow.” That was my reaction after meeting Franchesca Thepenier, the 23 year old certified Sommelier and beverage director for ConVino Wine Bar in Northampton. I worked with Rachel for two years over a decade and a half ago, and it was clear then that Rachel’s brilliance was not going to be contained to our subterranean radio studio on Main Street in Northampton...

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Pick of the Day 7/10: Whisper and Shout at Amherst Cinema
Jul10

Pick of the Day 7/10: Whisper and Shout at Amherst Cinema

Okay, I know this the second movie in a row for picks, but this is special! Amherst Cinema is showing a free screening of Whisper and Shout, a 1988 documentary that explores the East German rock music scene in the late 1980s — on 35 mm! Well-established bands, like Silly, and underground punk rock bands, like Feeling B (some of whose members later joined Rammstein) are a part of this doc. Amherst Cinema’s site says, “it...

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Podcast: Beverly Ketch and Hannah Brookman talk about Greenfield art space Looky Here
Jul09

Podcast: Beverly Ketch and Hannah Brookman talk about Greenfield art space Looky Here

Recently opened nonprofit artist space Looky Here in Greenfield is a place for workshops, art making, thrift shopping, and most things you can (or can’t) think of. Leaders Beverly Ketch and Hannah Brookman talk about how they got started, what to expect, and their new children’s TV...

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Cinemadope: Mama Africa Miriam Makeba continues to inspire
Jul09

Cinemadope: Mama Africa Miriam Makeba continues to inspire

When the world lost Miriam Makeba in 2008, we lost a great musical and political voice. The first African musician to become a solid international star, her powerful singing crossed national divides without ever losing touch with her South African roots — no mean feat, as she was banished from the country early in life, after starring in the 1959 documentary Come Back Africa, which turned a bright light on the harsh reality of...

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Free Will Astrology: What’s the biggest lie in your life, Sagittarius?
Jul09

Free Will Astrology: What’s the biggest lie in your life, Sagittarius?

ARIES (March 21-April 19): Your key theme right now is growth. Let’s dig in and analyze its nuances. 1.) Not all growth is good for you. It may stretch you too far too fast — beyond your capacity to integrate and use it. 2.) Some growth that is good for you doesn’t feel good to you. It might force you to transcend comforts that are making you stagnant, and that can be painful. 3.) Some growth that’s good for you may...

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Pick of the Day 7/9: Mountain at Amherst Cinema
Jul09

Pick of the Day 7/9: Mountain at Amherst Cinema

If you love symphonic music and breathtaking visuals, you’ll love Mountain.  Director Jennifer Peedom has combined the two; from Tibet to Australia, Peedom provides an astonishing look at mountaineers, ice climbers, free soloists, heliskiers, snowboarders, wingsuiters and parachuting mountain bikers through the use of drones, Go-Pros, and helicopters. Willem Dafoe narrates samples from British mountaineer Robert Macfarlane’s...

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Local Calendar: Monday 7/9 – Thursday 7/12
Jul09

Local Calendar: Monday 7/9 – Thursday 7/12

MONDAY 7/9 MUSIC Monday Night Music – Robert Speth and Jay Letourneau: 7 p.m. – 7:45 p.m. Tilton Library, 75 N Main St., South Deerfield. STAGE/FILM/DANCE The Closet: Williamstown Theatre Festival, Williamstown. ’62 Center for Theatre and Dance.  1000 Main St., Williamstown. TUESDAY 7/10 MUSIC Northampton Jazz Workshop: 7:30 p.m. – 10:30 p.m. $5. NYC and Boston based guitarist Sheryl Bailey will be the guest soloist...

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Stagestruck: Compromises and Contradictions in Chester
Jul07

Stagestruck: Compromises and Contradictions in Chester

A poster hanging in the lobby at Chester Theater Company points out common roots and themes connecting Islam, Judaism and Christianity – for example, the Archangel Gabriel figures in all three religions’ core legends. It serves as prelude to the current production, which prowls around issues of faith and heritage in a fractious world. Director Kristen van Ginhoven and a superlative cast have created an arresting rendition of Ayad...

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Bizarro Briefs
Jul06

Bizarro Briefs

Lay your hands off my moon dust, NASA A woman from Tennessee is proactively suing NASA to keep what she says is a vial of moon dust that astronaut Neil Armstrong gave to her has a gift. Apparently, Armstrong was a family friend who gave her a piece of the moon when she was 10 years old along with an autographed note from the first person to walk on the moon. The woman’s attorney has authenticized Armstrong’s signature through...

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