Pick of the Day 8/1: Joe Purdy at the Iron Horse
Aug01

Pick of the Day 8/1: Joe Purdy at the Iron Horse

Firstly: Welcome to August!  We have now entered the eighth month of 2018 and it’s kind of hard to believe! Anyway,  folk rocker Joe Purdy is in Northampton tonight.  Purdy is prolific; he’s released fourteen albums over the last fifteen years.  His music is the kind you find on a Kia commercial or in the background of a show or movie.  Purdy also made his film debut as the lead in American Folk; it has a 79 percent Rotten...

Read More
Local Calendar: Tuesday 7/31 & 8/1
Jul31

Local Calendar: Tuesday 7/31 & 8/1

TUESDAY 7/31 MUSIC Alceste: 9:30 a.m. – 12 p.m. 12 Senior/$14 General. Opera based on heartbreaking story narrated by Euripides: King Admetus is dying and his wife, Alceste offers Apollo her own life in exchange for that of her beloved. $South Hadley’s Tower Theaters, 19 College St., South Hadley. 413-533-3456. info@towertheaters.com. Greenfield Military Band Concert: 7 p.m. – 8 p.m. Free. Energy Park, 50 Miles St.,...

Read More
Pick of the Day 7/30: Sorry to Bother You
Jul30

Pick of the Day 7/30: Sorry to Bother You

Okay, I have a funny feeling and a sneaking suspicion that there are going be some serious laugh out loud moments in Sorry to Bother You, a new movie about race, money, politics, and morals.  This is what the Amherst Cinema site says: “In an alternate reality Oakland, California, telemarketer Cassius Green (Lakeith Stanfield) finds himself in a macabre universe after he discovers a magical key that leads to material glory.  As...

Read More
Pick of the Day 7/27: Elliot Street Block Party in Brattleboro
Jul26

Pick of the Day 7/27: Elliot Street Block Party in Brattleboro

If you’re in Brattleboro, Elliot Street is the place to be on Friday. Celebrate food, the arts, and the shops with your green mountain neighbors. Get your grub on at the international food crawl, take your little ones to a concert for kids, and do your grown up thing with some music by Pinedrop, and M.O.D. featuring Molly Steinmark and Parker McQueeney. Elliot Street will be closed from the intersection of Main to the crosswalk in...

Read More
Local Calendar: Thursday 7/26 to Sunday 7/29
Jul26

Local Calendar: Thursday 7/26 to Sunday 7/29

THURSDAY 7/26 MUSIC A Little Night Music: 6 p.m. – 8 p.m. Trinity United Methodist Church will present “A Little Night Music” every Thursday during the month of July at 6:00pm. Free, donations accepted for all food items. Trinity United Methodist Church, 361 Sumner Ave., Springfield. 413-737-5311. Alex Johnson: 6 p.m. – 9:30 p.m. Alex Johnson of Colorway, formerly of the Drunk Stuntmen. Luxe Burger Bar, 1200 West Columbus...

Read More
Pick of the Day 7/26: Corazon de Granada
Jul26

Pick of the Day 7/26: Corazon de Granada

Ready to heat things up? Check out Corazon de Granada tonight as they bring their impeccable Flamenco music and dance to New City Brewery in Easthampton.  You can expect “a passionate evening … steeped in tradition,” the event hosts promise.  Corazon de Granada made its U.S. premiere in last year at the Kennedy Center in DC. 180 Pleasant St. (12 Rear), New City Brewery,...

Read More
Pick of the Day 7/25: We the People
Jul25

Pick of the Day 7/25: We the People

In this time of political chaos and division, it makes sense to go back to the beginning to determine exactly what the Great Experiment was all about. But We the People can’t be put in a box; not only because it’s outside on the farm in Ashfield Double Edge calls home, but because their vision is larger than an a mere examination of the meaning of democracy. Artistic Director Stacy Klein says in a Greenfield Recorder...

Read More
Pick of the Day 7/24: After the Rain at the Whately Library
Jul24

Pick of the Day 7/24: After the Rain at the Whately Library

Sometimes you just want to mellow out, right? So why not scoot up (or down) I-91 and check out an outdoor concert by After the Rain at the Whately Library. After The Rain performs acoustic and a cappella arrangements of everything from traditional Appalachian to classic rock and contemporary folk. Think Eagles, Indigo Girls and The Wailin’ Jennys and all the rich wonderful harmonies that make you feel as though every thing is gonna be...

Read More
Fighting back against the fitness summer slide
Jul24

Fighting back against the fitness summer slide

Summer vacation is a much needed break for both kids and parents and often serves as a respite from rigorous schedules that might include music lessons, team sports, and other extracurriculars. But while many parents concern themselves with summer learning loss, or summer slide, fewer focus on the potential decline in their child’s physical fitness. Just as summer brings an end to academics, for many it also closes the door on...

Read More
Pick of the Day 7/23: Leave No Trace
Jul23

Pick of the Day 7/23: Leave No Trace

Amherst Cinema is just a gold mine. No, really, their film curation is the bee’s knees. And my pick, once again, can only be found in the dark.  Leave No Trace is the story of a father and his daughter who have lived off the grid for some time. They make their home in the forests of Portland, Oregon.  When an event disrupts their private and idyllic world, they are both shuttled through the social service maze. Unable to live in...

Read More
Local Calendar: Monday 7/23 – Wednesday 7/25
Jul23

Local Calendar: Monday 7/23 – Wednesday 7/25

MONDAY 7/23 MUSIC Bang on a Can Summer Music Festival 2018:   MASS MoCa, 1040 MASS MoCA WAY, North Adams. Kitchen Jam – Local Music Rocks! Concert:  6:30 p.m. – 7:30 p.m. 2nd performance of our Local Music Rocks! Concert Series. Happening rain or shine!! Free. Emily Williston Memorial Library, 9 Park St., Easthampton. 413-527-1031. slevine@ewmlibrary.org. Monday Night Music – Jazz Duo Steve Kurtz and Dan Belmont:  7...

Read More
Pick of the Day 7/22: The Southern Vermont Dance Festival
Jul20

Pick of the Day 7/22: The Southern Vermont Dance Festival

The Southern Vermont Dance Festival 2018 is all day today! From 8 a.m. – 8 p.m. Take your pick of over “113 dance classes, two Galas at the Latchis, an outdoor Promenade Performance and picnic, two Informal Showings, and lots of free community events!”  The event includes both free and ticketed events. Now that sounds like a good day!  The River Garden, 157 Main St.,...

Read More
Pick of the Day 7/21: Lempicka at the Williamstown Theatre
Jul20

Pick of the Day 7/21: Lempicka at the Williamstown Theatre

Williamstown is definitely one of the places to be this summer if you love the stage! And one of my favorite artists is the inspiration for Lempicka, a world premiere musical. Tamara de Lempicka was a war time painter who created beautiful (and frosty) portraits of aristocrats and others. Her Art Deco style is beautiful and her story is compelling. Lempicka and her husband fled the Russian revolution and she turned to painting to...

Read More
Pick of the Day 7/18: Shakespeare Under the Stars: Othello
Jul18

Pick of the Day 7/18: Shakespeare Under the Stars: Othello

Shakespeare’s Othello is a remarkable play that hinges upon (gulp) racist stereotypes. Othello is, after all black, and his wife Desdemona is white.  Her father is none too happy and it doesn’t help that Othello’s standard bearer, Iago, is a master at stirring the racist pot.  There’s a lot of charged language in this play that sounds much prettier in Elizabethan English than in current slang, but the damage is...

Read More
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...

Read More
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). ...

Read More
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...

Read More
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....

Read More
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...

Read More
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...

Read More
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...

Read More
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...

Read More
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...

Read More
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...

Read More
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...

Read More
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...

Read More
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...

Read More
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.,...

Read More
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...

Read More
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...

Read More
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...

Read More
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....

Read More
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...

Read More
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...

Read More
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,...

Read More