“Water, water everywhere”: Mass. program helps towns prepare for climate change
Apr25

“Water, water everywhere”: Mass. program helps towns prepare for climate change

Over 20 municipal leaders from all over Western Mass attended an April 24 meeting with state environmental officials to discuss a state grant program that will help communities all over the Commonwealth to prepare for their unique climate change needs. Katie Theoharides, assistant secretary of climate change at the state’s Energy and Environmental Affairs department, opened the meeting in Greenfield with two powerful images. The...

Read More
May 1 will be final Valley Gives Day as organizers shift to year-round strategy
Apr25

May 1 will be final Valley Gives Day as organizers shift to year-round strategy

Valley Gives Day, the day in which Pioneer Valley residents are encouraged to support local nonprofit organizations, will likely be happening for the last time on Tuesday, May 1. Springfield-based nonprofit Community Foundation of Western Mass has run the event since 2012, and announced recently that after this year’s event, the focus would be on a year-round support model for local nonprofit organizations rather than a single...

Read More
Staff Picks: Donnie Darko, The Gaslight Tinkers, OroborO, John Trudeau, Rebel Base, and Joy on Fire
Apr25

Staff Picks: Donnie Darko, The Gaslight Tinkers, OroborO, John Trudeau, Rebel Base, and Joy on Fire

Far Out Film Discussion: Donnie Darko // MONDAY, April 30 Forbes Library in Northampton hosts the Far Out Film Discussion, which is basically a book club for weird cult classic and art house films. The next meeting the group will be discussing 2001’s cult classic, Donnie Darko, written and directed by Richard Kelly and starring a young Jake Gyllenhaal as the title character. The film is somewhat science fiction, but is dream-like and...

Read More
Pick of the Day 4/25: Faces Places/Visages Villages
Apr25

Pick of the Day 4/25: Faces Places/Visages Villages

It’s the closing night of the Multicultural Film Festival at UMass. Tonight’s film is a special treat. 89-year old French New Wave pioneer Agnès Varda and acclaimed 33-year-old French photographer JR co-direct Faces Places/Visages Villages. This documentary follows the pair as they travel through French villages meeting and talking to local folks in JR’s photo truck. Together they create giant-sized portraits of some...

Read More
VIDEO: Izzy Heltai on Valley Advocate Sessions Friday
Apr25

VIDEO: Izzy Heltai on Valley Advocate Sessions Friday

Check out a teaser for video for Izzy Heltai, a North Adams-based indie folk songwriter with a penchant for storytelling. A full performance will be released this Friday.

Read More
Valley made sex toys fill gaps in the market
Apr24

Valley made sex toys fill gaps in the market

Over the past 20 years, people have begun to care more and more about what goes into their bodies. Most think about this in terms of the food they eat, but for customers of Oh My Sensuality Shop in Northampton, the same can be said for sex toys. “Most companies have become more aware of what they’re selling,” said Beth Meyers, co-owner of Oh My. “I feel like the retailers really pushed this movement through.” With that in mind, it...

Read More
Editorial: Listening to people from ‘coal country’ our best chance to change minds
Apr24

Editorial: Listening to people from ‘coal country’ our best chance to change minds

Smith College hosted a fascinating speaker earlier this month who addressed a topic that’s been on my mind for several months leading up to the 2018 midterms: communicating and collaborating with people in what’s called “Trump country.” Without their help, we’re all likely destined for more divisiveness and hate-fueled policy from Washington. Hailing from Appalachia, Nick Mullins used to work for a coal mining company. Now he gives...

Read More
Letters to the editor: King Sarno overstepping his royal office
Apr24

Letters to the editor: King Sarno overstepping his royal office

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. King Sarno overstepping his royal office Jesus Christ!! Springfield has anointed a...

Read More
Pick of the Day 2/24: Call of the Forest at Amherst Cinema
Apr24

Pick of the Day 2/24: Call of the Forest at Amherst Cinema

For the love trees! Call of the Forest is a 2017 documentary that sounds the alarm bells about deforestation around the globe. The brilliant scientist Diana Beresford-Kroeger explores how our health and the health of the Earth depends on the state of our forests.  She travels across the globe to explore the science and the challenges of restoring the eco-system.  The movie’s site describes Beresford-Kroeger’s mission:...

Read More
Stagestruck: Post-Apocalyptic Foolery
Apr23

Stagestruck: Post-Apocalyptic Foolery

The scene: desolation. The time: the aftermath of a cataclysm that has destroyed civilization and left only industrial scaffolding and piles of junk. Piles that include, let’s see, a bucketful of juggling clubs, a couple of unicycles, a teeter board and, oh yes, a drum kit. In the whimsical imagination of Machine de Cirque, this wasteland provides the raw material for rebuilding the world. It may have ended with a whimper but it’s...

Read More
Podcast: Monte Belmonte plays wine therapist to Advocate staffers
Apr23

Podcast: Monte Belmonte plays wine therapist to Advocate staffers

WRSI Morning Host Monte Belmonte was recently voted this year’s best radio personality in the Advocate’s Best of the Valley Readers’ Poll, and is probably best known for walking dozens of miles to raise money for the Food Bank of Western Massachusetts in his annual Monte’s March. He’s also one heck of a wine columnist. Join Meg Bantle and Gina Beavers as they probe Monte’s wine knowledge and he...

Read More
Father of Parkland shooting victim recalls son through art in Springfield
Apr23

Father of Parkland shooting victim recalls son through art in Springfield

When the hammer first punched through the drywall people flinched. The crowd was silent as Manuel Oliver began to destroy parts of the art he had just created, mirroring the destruction of his son’s life in the Parkland, Florida, school shooting. Oliver, the father of shooting victim Joaquin “Guac” Oliver visited the South Congregational Church in Springfield Friday for the latest in a series called “Walls of Demand,” an art project...

Read More
The V-Spot: Help me flirt with an Aquarius!
Apr23

The V-Spot: Help me flirt with an Aquarius!

Hi Yana, Okay. I gotta know. How does one flirt with an Aquarius? There’s an Aquarius male that I like … and I’m a really bad flirter. I don’t do well with flirting because I’m trying to overcompensate with my intelligence to offset my sexy social media presence. Like, I tend to talk as intelligently as possible with dudes because I don’t want to be mistaken for naked on the internet = unintelligent. I don’t want to be mistaken...

Read More
Pick of the Day 4/23: Ana Popovic at the Iron Horse
Apr23

Pick of the Day 4/23: Ana Popovic at the Iron Horse

“Raw power,” “emotional complexity,” and “vibrant,” are words that have been used to describe Ana Popovic’s sound.  She’s a singer and guitar slinger and she’ll be at the Iron Horse tonight.  Big Blues Bender says, “Popovic is one of most exciting Blues performers you’ll witness with a universal expression of joyous abandon and ecstatic pleasure.” Well okay, then....

Read More
Calendar Monday 4/23- Thursday 4/26
Apr23

Calendar Monday 4/23- Thursday 4/26

MONDAY 4/23 MUSIC Ana Popovic at The Iron Horse Music Hall:  7 p.m. – 10 p.m.  Iron Horse Entertainment/IHEG, 20 Center St., Northampton. Music Mondays Cafe ~ Berkshire Hills Music Academy Troupe: 7 p.m. – 8 p.m. Music Mondays return to Gaylord Library April 23 and will showcase the Berkshire Hills Music Academy’s Troupe. Admission is $10 adults / $5 students. Gaylord Memorial Library, 47 College St., South...

Read More
Beyond 4/20: Criminal Justice Reform and Cannabis in Mass
Apr20

Beyond 4/20: Criminal Justice Reform and Cannabis in Mass

If any day could be called National Marijuana Day, it’s 4/20. Cannabis consumers are celebrating an exciting year for cannabis in Massachusetts with the first recreational marijuana licenses already approved, but many people, particularly in communities of color, are still dealing with the effects of prohibition. Andrew Stachiw is a worker owner at Toolbox for Education and Social Action; he’s worked with people at the Franklin County...

Read More
Pick of the Day 4/22: After the Gig Fest in Easthampton
Apr20

Pick of the Day 4/22: After the Gig Fest in Easthampton

Have you ever heard of “a weekend-long DIY/punk fest full of bands, workshops, and skill shares?”  Well you have now; After the Gig is at the Flywheel in Easthampton, and 100% of what you pay will be split between the Pioneer Valley Workers Center and Flywheel Arts Collective.  The weekend is described as one of creativity, activism, and radicalism. The goal is to bring these things “to life beyond just the shows we...

Read More
Pick of the Day 4/21: The Ballad of Philip Andre…
Apr20

Pick of the Day 4/21: The Ballad of Philip Andre…

If you’ve followed the long strange trip that is Mickey Rourke’s life, The Ballad of Philip Andre will ring a bell.  The Legible Bod(ies)’s The Ballad of Philip Andre, is loosely based on the life and career of Mickey Rourke. The troupe will explore the themes of violence, aging, and vulnerability as the company uses “a unique fusion of modern dance, boxing, film and spoken word.” The dance troupe has...

Read More
Free Will Astrology: Put down your quills Aries!
Apr20

Free Will Astrology: Put down your quills Aries!

ARIES (March 21-April 19): Imagine you’re one of four porcupines caught in frigid weather. To keep warm, you all have the urge to huddle together and pool your body heat. But whenever you try to get close, you prick each other with your quills. The only solution to that problem is to move away from each other, even though it means you can’t quell your chill as well. This scenario was used by psychoanalyst Sigmund Freud as a parable...

Read More
Cinemadope: Into the Doc
Apr20

Cinemadope: Into the Doc

If you caught the 2016 screening of Khalik Allah’s Field Niggas at Amherst Cinema, you got an early look at the filmmaker’s meditative and searching vision. That film, an hour-long gaze at the faces and bodies of the men and women passing through an East Harlem intersection during the summer of 2014, captured both a spiritual beauty and a rough reality with a richness and clarity that made it something more than most documentaries....

Read More
Valley Advocate Readers’ Poll 2018 winners announced!
Apr19

Valley Advocate Readers’ Poll 2018 winners announced!

We are excited to announce the 2018 Valley Advocate Readers’ Poll winners! The categories and winners are available to view here. Thank you to all of our incredible local businesses, and of course to The Valley Advocate readers that vote! Congratulations!  ...

Read More
Puerto Rican families living in Western Mass could lose housing after April 20
Apr19

Puerto Rican families living in Western Mass could lose housing after April 20

For the past four and a half months, Rosa Ortiz has been living with her 14-year-old son at hotels in West Springfield after her home of Toa Alta, Puerto Rico, was devastated by Hurricane Maria nearly seven months ago. But now, their temporary housing is in jeopardy and they could end up homeless.   Ortiz and other families who relocated to the Pioneer Valley after the hurricane will likely lose housing when the Federal Emergency...

Read More
Pick of the Day 4/20: Dune at Amherst Cinema
Apr19

Pick of the Day 4/20: Dune at Amherst Cinema

Ok. My two very best friends tease me about my love of the sci-fi movie Dune. So it’s not an Oscar winner but it is all kinds of fun and engaging. I mean, a young Kyle McLaughlin is always a good start. Throw in Sting, some space palace intrigue, the SPICE melange, and sand worms big enough to ride, and you’ve got an epic adventure ready for cult status.  That all makes for a late night classic at Amherst Cinema. 28 Amity...

Read More
Bizarro Briefs: No Singing Zone Ahead
Apr19

Bizarro Briefs: No Singing Zone Ahead

Dutch residents formed a chorus of opposition to a newly installed “singing road” earlier this month, prompting the road to be shut down after only one day of use. Workers had installed strips that act like rumble strips on 490 feet of road near the village of Jelsum, but instead of the familiar rumbling sound, the strips used vibration to play a popular portion of the regional anthem “De Alde Friezen,” or “The Old Frisians.” But like...

Read More
Calendar: Thursday 4/19 – Sunday 4/22
Apr19

Calendar: Thursday 4/19 – Sunday 4/22

THURSDAY 4/19 MUSIC Bill Charlap Trio: 7 p.m. – 10 p.m. Iron Horse Music Hall, 20 Center St., Northampton. Dirk Quinn Band w/ The Franz Robert Quartet: 8 p.m. – 11 p.m. The Stone Church, 210 Main St., Brattleboro. Luke Baillargeon: 6 p.m. – 8 p.m. Free. Live Italian music with Luke Baillargeon in The Mick. The Mick, 3 Country Club Rd., Holyoke. 413-532-1800. info@logcabin-delaney.com. Open Mic Night at The Taproom...

Read More
Pick of the Day 4/19: Tart2f at Hawks and Reed
Apr18

Pick of the Day 4/19: Tart2f at Hawks and Reed

Silverthorne Theater Company’s  world-premiere production of TarT2f! An Irreverent Musical Comedy, by Jeff Olmsted is directed by the Advocate’s very own Stage Struck columnist,  Chris Rohmann. Tart2f is described as a “light-hearted lampoon of hypocrisy and gullibility,” adapted from Molière’s 1664 original Tartuffe.  It’s the first show of Silverthorne’s Fifth Anniversary season. Go check it out tonight...

Read More
The CDs You Gave Me: ‘Hush Money’ is pure catharsis
Apr18

The CDs You Gave Me: ‘Hush Money’ is pure catharsis

Last year, I reviewed psychedelic bluesy rock band, Old Flame, with their debut extended play (EP) “Wolf in the Heather.” Now, a year later the band has released a new six-song EP called “Hush Money” continuing to create political charged art rock that takes an every-man approach mixing politics with raw emotion.   Hush Money by Old Flame Hush Money kicks off with “Hollow,” a psych rock meditation with intricate guitar riffs that...

Read More
VIDEO: Anders Warringer on Valley Advocate Sessions Friday
Apr18

VIDEO: Anders Warringer on Valley Advocate Sessions Friday

Anders Warringer performs eclectic acoustic originals with a side of absurdity. Check out a teaser for Anders’ upcoming Advocate Sessions video to be released this...

Read More
Stagestruck: In the Valley and New York, history becomes personal
Apr18

Stagestruck: In the Valley and New York, history becomes personal

The tattoo From the title, you might think The Tattooed Man Tells All is a memoir of life on the carnival circuit. It’s anything but. This man’s tat is a five-digit number that was etched into his forearm in the Auschwitz concentration camp. Peter Wortsman’s one-man play receives its U.S. premiere next month at Silverthorne Theater Company in Greenfield, directed by Ellen Kaplan and starring Keith Langsdale. Woven from interviews the...

Read More
Pick of the Day 4/18: Persona at Amherst Cinema
Apr18

Pick of the Day 4/18: Persona at Amherst Cinema

Check out Ingmar Bergman’s film Persona. Amherst Cinema has been celebrating the 100th anniversary of the Swedish master’s birth. Hooray! Persona is another trippy Bergmanian piece wrought with WTFs. Liv Ullmann plays Elisabet, an actress who, without reason, has gone mute. Bibi Andersson’s, character, Alma, is the exact opposite; a loquacious nurse hired to take care of Ullman at a remote cottage. That’s when the single white female...

Read More
V-Spot: Help Me Kick My Hitachi Addiction
Apr17

V-Spot: Help Me Kick My Hitachi Addiction

HELP YANA! I’m addicted to my Hitachi! I’ve had a primary partner for just under a year. The sex is awesome, intimate, and fun. However, very rarely can I have sex and get off without using toys, and I think it’s starting to frustrate them. I don’t have a lot of clitoral sensitivity as it is, so my Hitachi is always involved. I don’t want them to feel like they are taking a back seat to my toys, or for them to feel disconnected...

Read More
Staff Picks: What Cheer? Brigade, Holyoke Innovation Week, Poor People’s Campaign
Apr17

Staff Picks: What Cheer? Brigade, Holyoke Innovation Week, Poor People’s Campaign

What Cheer? Brigade and Landowner at Hawks & Reed // SATURDAY, APRIL 21 Odds are you haven’t seen a band like What Cheer? Brigade. The 20-piece brass band from Providence, Rhode Island, is basically a dance party version of a marching band and returns to Hawks & Reed Performing Arts Center in Greenfield on April 21. The bill also includes local act, Landowner, which plays minimalist punk and weak hardcore. Hawks & Reed...

Read More
Monte Belmonte Wines: Giving Pinot Grigio another shot
Apr17

Monte Belmonte Wines: Giving Pinot Grigio another shot

I hate to write about the most boring grape in the wine world, Pinot Grigio, two columns in a row. But I threw down the gauntlet in my last wine column and challenged someone to convince me that Pinot Grigio is not the most boring of all wine grapes. “Part of me contacting you wasn’t that I think Pinot Grigio is so amazing. It’s that a great wine is about the place and it’s about the people who make it.” Cristiano Gazzara from...

Read More
Pick of the Day 4/17: Hawktail at the Parlor Room
Apr17

Pick of the Day 4/17: Hawktail at the Parlor Room

Hawktail, an exciting acoustic group, describes themselves this way: “Haas Kowert Tice brought on mandolinist Dominick Leslie to form Hawktail. Music fans will recognize them from their various other outfits (Punch Brothers, David Rawlings, Crooked Still, A Prairie Home Companion) and enjoy this unique instrumental offering.”  They like to keep it simple. They new release, Unless, will hit the shelves on May 11....

Read More
Valley Advocate Podcast: Artist Barbara Hadden on women, men, lesbianism, and becoming an artist
Apr16

Valley Advocate Podcast: Artist Barbara Hadden on women, men, lesbianism, and becoming an artist

According to artist Barbara Hadden, you’re just as likely to see her painting a house as you are painting a portrait. Hadden’s approach to art is informed by her practical and thoughtful demeanor, as well as her experience in the outdoors. Discussing her final show at the Oxbow Gallery, Title Nine, Hadden talks about her thoughts on the male and female form, as well as an abandoned attempt to hike the Long Trail in...

Read More