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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The V-Spot: Exploring kink after trauma
Jul06

The V-Spot: Exploring kink after trauma

Writer’s note: this column discusses sexual assault and trauma. Hey Yana! I’ve been seeing/having sex with this guy for a little while now. I really (really really) like him and feel super comfortable with him and we’ve had super good conversations about boundaries and consent. I tend to dissociate a bit when I start having sex with a new person, and I’ve been really open about that with him and about past trauma. (I was physically...

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Pick of the Day 7/8: Asleep at the Wheel
Jul06

Pick of the Day 7/8: Asleep at the Wheel

Western swing band Asleep at the Wheel is swinging through Northampton tonight! The Iron Horse is playing host to the Austin based band that’s been in existence in some form or another since 1970.  In that time, they’ve won 9 Grammys.  Check them out and close out your weekend with a bang.  Iron Horse Music Hall, 20 Center St.,...

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Pick of the Day 7/7: Valley Show Girl
Jul06

Pick of the Day 7/7: Valley Show Girl

You know her, you love her, and you want to support her!  Jen Levesque, aka the Valley Show Girl aka the Valley Advocate graphics guru, hosts The Valley Show Girl premiere tonight at 13th Floor Music Lounge.   Everybody who’s anybody will be there; she’s lined up a slate of bands sure to please!  Check out From The Woods, Arc City Angels, Flathead Rodeo, and Hannah Rose tonight in Florence!  13th Floor Music Lounge at 9...

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Independent Streak: Against the odds, small book stores are on the rise
Jul05

Independent Streak: Against the odds, small book stores are on the rise

Raven Books in Northampton is the quintessential New England used bookstore. Winding stacks of books create a delightful maze that loops in and out of corners. There doesn’t seem to be a square inch of wall that remains unoccupied, and tables of books, live plants, and suspended artifacts makes for a satisfying and unique browsing experience. Raven’s owner Betsy Frederick publishes a simple trifold brochure called Bookstores of the...

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Wellness: Harnessing the Power of Communication
Jul05

Wellness: Harnessing the Power of Communication

The goal of speech-language pathology is to give patients back the power of communication, which can be empowering not only for adults, but for children as well. “They’re incredibly empowered,” said Rick Carpenter, a Northampton-based speech-language pathologist who has been treating children ages 2 to 10 years old for the past 26 years. “Contrary to that, when you don’t have that ability it creates anxiety and ultimately a feeling of...

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Pick of the Day 7/5: It’s the first night of Shakespeare’s Twelfth Night
Jul05

Pick of the Day 7/5: It’s the first night of Shakespeare’s Twelfth Night

Our fearless leader Dave Eisenstadter went all high brow on his Staff Picks this week and I’m going to defer to him for today’s Pick of the Day. Shakespeare, the bard, is being celebrated in Amherst tonight until Sunday.  Here’s what Dave had to say: “Disguises, intrigue, cross-dressing, and cross-gartered stockings are all elements of this Shakespeare comedy that is actually funny. This week, Hampshire...

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Local Calendar: Thursday 7/5- Sunday 7/8
Jul05

Local Calendar: Thursday 7/5- Sunday 7/8

THURSDAY 7/5 MUSIC Drop-in Traditional Music Sessions: 6:30 p.m. – 8:30 p.m. $5. Friendly traditional music sessions. Moderate swingy pace. Adults and teens of all skill levels welcome – and not just fiddles. Northampton Senior Center, 67 Conz St., Northampton. fiddlewesternmass@gmail.com. Greenfield Coop Concerts: 6 p.m. – 8 p.m. Featuring Sheryl Stanton, Jim Eagan, Charlie Conant. Energy Park, 50 Miles St., Greenfield....

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Pick of the Day 7/6:
Jul05

Pick of the Day 7/6:

Hopefully the heat won’t keep you from enjoying some of the cool things happening this weekend.  The Berkshire Arts Festival begins today and goes until Sunday.  The festival brings together 175 jury selected artists from across the country and you’re invited.  Ski Butternut in Great Barrington.  380 State Rd., Great...

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Letters to the editor: What ever happened to ‘Give us your tired, your poor’…
Jul04

Letters to the editor: What ever happened to ‘Give us your tired, your poor’…

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. What ever happened to ‘Give us your tired, your poor’… In response to “Separation...

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Beerhunter: A Bright New Berkshires
Jul04

Beerhunter: A Bright New Berkshires

Putting shake-ups behind them, two brewers plan for the future Massachusetts has more than 120 visitable breweries, 19 of which are in the Valley. That’s a lot of taprooms to keep a Beerhunter busy around Franklin, Hampshire, and Hampden counties. Still, you can’t cover beer news in Western Mass without fully appreciating what “west” means. Berkshire County boasts five breweries. The oldest is Barrington Brewery in Great Barrington,...

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Pick of the Day 7/4: D’uh
Jul04

Pick of the Day 7/4: D’uh

Happy Independence Day! My pick of the day? Yep, FIREWORKS!!!! Springfield – Star Spangled Springfield at Blunt Park: 6 – 10 PM Agawam – Six Flags:  9:30-10pm PM Amherst –  McGuirk Stadium at UMASS Amherst: 9:30 PM North Adams –  Joe Wolfe Field (Rain Date 7/5/2018):  9:30PM Pittsfield – Pittsfield Cemetery Property – Wahconah Street (Rain Date 7/14/2018): Between 8:45-10:00 PM...

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The V-Spot: Exploring Kink After Trauma
Jul03

The V-Spot: Exploring Kink After Trauma

Writer’s note: this column discusses sexual assault and trauma. Hey Yana! I’ve been seeing/having sex with this guy for a little while now. I really (really really) like him and feel super comfortable with him and we’ve had super good conversations about boundaries and consent. I tend to dissociate a bit when I start having sex with a new person, and I’ve been really open about that with him and about past trauma. (I was physically...

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Pick of the Day 7/3: The Naked Man on the Sports Field
Jul03

Pick of the Day 7/3: The Naked Man on the Sports Field

Cool off with a little “Culture in the Cold War.” Amherst Cinema (yes, the movies are a great way to escape this hellish heat) is showing a FREE screening of The Naked Man on the Sports Field.  It’s too hot to get bogged down in words, so I’ll just share the plot as told by AC’s website: “Kemmel is almost 40. Although little throws the good-natured sculptor off, he is torn… between wanting to...

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Valley Advocate Staff Picks: Rocky Horror, Twelfth Night, and Ashfield Lake House Anniversary Party
Jul03

Valley Advocate Staff Picks: Rocky Horror, Twelfth Night, and Ashfield Lake House Anniversary Party

Rocky Horror Picture Show // SATURDAY, July 7 In 1975 something amazing happened: Rocky Horror Picture Show burst on the scene and life would never be the same again – especially for college kids who want to throw toast and toilet paper. On top it all, The Come Again Players present a shadow cast performance of the movie the first Saturday of every month! Audience participation makes this a spectacle not to be missed. South Hadley’s...

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Stagestruck: WTF is going on
Jul02

Stagestruck: WTF is going on

Two world premieres kick off the season at Williamstown Theatre Festival, one a raucous comedy, the other a brief, intimate tragedy. The Closet holds forth on WTF’s Main Stage through July 14th, while The Sound Inside plays through the 8th on the smaller Nikos Stage. Both feature bona fide stars in roles that fit them well. Adam Rapp’s The Sound Inside, unfolding over an intermissionless 90 minutes, is is a rather bleak...

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Valley Advocate Podcast: Artist Dara Herman Zierlein on cutting plastic out of her life
Jul02

Valley Advocate Podcast: Artist Dara Herman Zierlein on cutting plastic out of her life

Dara Herman Zierlein made a choice to have an affect on the planet by eliminating plastic from her life. Even despite that decision, she sometimes does use plastic. But she holds onto it rather than throwing it away or recycling. She says that only about 9 percent of plastic that is sent to be recycled actually gets recycled. Zierlein is also an artist and her art tackles environmental issues, which was recently on display at the...

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Local Calendar: Monday 7/2 – Thursday 7/5
Jul02

Local Calendar: Monday 7/2 – Thursday 7/5

MONDAY 7/2 STAGE/FILM/DANCE The Closet: Williamstown Theatre Festival, Williamstown. The Sound Inside: Williamstown Theatre Festival, Williamstown. TUESDAY 7/3 STAGE/FILM/DANCE The Closet: Williamstown Theatre Festival, Williamstown. Make It Funny Open Mic Comedy: 8 p.m. – 10 p.m. Make-It Springfield, 168 Worthington St., Springfield. The Sound Inside: Williamstown Theatre Festival, Williamstown. WEDNESDAY/ 7/4 MUSIC 49th Season...

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Pick of the Day 7/2: Hearts Beat Loud
Jul02

Pick of the Day 7/2: Hearts Beat Loud

Who doesn’t love Nick Offerman?  The perennial curmudgeon, however, turns nice guy in the new film Hearts Beat Loud.  Offerman plays Frank a single dad whose only child, a daughter named Sam (Kiersey Clemons), is going off to college.  As if that wasn’t difficult enough, he’s in the midst of redefining himself because he has to close his vintage shop.   The one thing he has left is he and Sam’s shared love of...

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Free Will Astrology: Listen to your hives, Aquarius
Jul02

Free Will Astrology: Listen to your hives, Aquarius

ARIES (March 21-April 19): Twentieth-century French novelist Marcel Proust described nineteenth-century novelist Gustave Flaubert as a trottoire roulant, or “rolling sidewalk”: plodding, toneless, droning. Meanwhile, critic Roger Shattuck compared Proust’s writing to an “electric generator” from which flows a “powerful current always ready to shock not only our morality but our very sense of humanity.” In the coming weeks, I encourage...

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Springfield celebration honors students who earned their high school equivalency
Jun29

Springfield celebration honors students who earned their high school equivalency

In the midst of the season of high school graduations, a group of dedicated students who had failed to get through high school the first time around earned recognition for passing their high school equivalency test, known as the HiSET, at the Springfield Technical Community College (STCC) Adult Learning Center. Among those present during the ceremony on Tuesday, June 26, was Morgan LaBelle, 26, of Feeding Hills in Agawam. She said she...

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Stagestruck: Hip-Hop Hybrid — Ephrat Asherie Dance at Jacob’s Pillow
Jun29

Stagestruck: Hip-Hop Hybrid — Ephrat Asherie Dance at Jacob’s Pillow

The dance companies that opened this year’s season at Jacob’s Pillow epitomize the festival’s enduring mission. This week the mainstage hosts Pilobolus, one of the pillars of modern dance and still innovating after 45 years. And in the Pillow’s intimate Doris Duke Theatre, Ephrat Asherie Dance exemplifies the festival’s ongoing commitment to stylistic and thematic boundary-pushing. Both shows run through Sunday July 1st. I was at...

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Pick of the Day 7/1: Klezperanto at Hawks & Reed
Jun29

Pick of the Day 7/1: Klezperanto at Hawks & Reed

Boston-based Klezperanto takes traditional klezmer music and adds its own twist, introducing a variety of genres  to the mix such as Colombian big band music, funk, surf rock, and covers of TV theme songs from 1970s cop shows. I had the opportunity to speak with band leader/clarinetist Ilene Stahl and she sold me on going to her show at Hawks & Reed Performing Arts Center on Sunday. The melange of influences should get you...

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