Podcast: Beerhunter Hunter Styles and Beer Week co-founder Sally Noble talk beer
Jun18

Podcast: Beerhunter Hunter Styles and Beer Week co-founder Sally Noble talk beer

Advocate alumnus Hunter Styles, who still writes our Beerhunter column, and Sally Noble, co-founder of Western Mass Beer Week, tell us about the embarrassment of riches of beer we have in the Valley. Hear about Sally’s beer beginnings and the start of Western Mass Beer Week, of Hunter’s recent travels (and beer sampling) in Norway, and see whether the pair can convince Gina that beer is actually...

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Free Will Astrology: Scorpio, Go play outside for a while!
Jun18

Free Will Astrology: Scorpio, Go play outside for a while!

ARIES (March 21-April 19): According to my analysis of the astrological omens, you have cosmic permission to enjoy extra helpings of waffles, crepes, pancakes, and blintzes. Eating additional pastries and doughnuts is also encouraged. Why? Because it’s high time for you to acquire more ballast. You need more gravitas and greater stability. You can’t afford to be top-heavy; you must be hard to knock over. If you would...

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Lisa Marie Ellingsen on the Valley Advocate Sessions Stage
Jun15

Lisa Marie Ellingsen on the Valley Advocate Sessions Stage

Lisa Marie Ellingsen is a Northampton-based Americana singer-songwriter who’s a little bit folk, blues, rock, and country. Her full Advocate Sessions performance is now available to watch in the video below. Interview with Lisa Marie...

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VIDEO: Lisa Marie Ellingsen on Advocate Sessions Friday
Jun14

VIDEO: Lisa Marie Ellingsen on Advocate Sessions Friday

Check out a short teaser video of local Americana singer-songwriter Lisa Marie Ellingsen. Her full performance will be available...

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Students ask the questions at Northampton High School event for state rep and senate candidates
Jun14

Students ask the questions at Northampton High School event for state rep and senate candidates

“I am consistently inspired by the youth activists in this community,” said Lindsay Sabadosa of Northampton in front of a room full of students, teachers, parents, and community members at the Northampton High School auditorium on June 13. Sabadosa, a candidate for the 1st Hampshire state Representative seat, was one of eight candidates to participate in a question-and-answer forum at the school where the questions were fielded by...

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Podcast: Jennifer Levesque on music in the Valley and 10 years of Advocate cover designs
Jun11

Podcast: Jennifer Levesque on music in the Valley and 10 years of Advocate cover designs

Jennifer Levesque brings the Valley’s music shows to life as the Advocate’s Valley Show Girl columnist. She’s also been designing the Advocate’s covers for more than 10 years. She tells us about her favorite Advocate issues and what’s going on in the Valley’s music scene, especially with new Valley Show Girl concerts starting this...

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Free Will Astrology: Time to visit The Land of Sweet Nonsense, Pisces
Jun11

Free Will Astrology: Time to visit The Land of Sweet Nonsense, Pisces

ARIES (March 21-April 19): My Aries acquaintance Tatiana decided to eliminate sugar from her diet. She drew up a plan to avoid it completely for 30 days, hoping to permanently break its hold over her. I was surprised to learn that she began the project by making a Dessert Altar in her bedroom, where she placed a chocolate cake and five kinds of candy. She testified that it compelled her willpower to work even harder and become even...

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Tundrastomper on the Valley Advocate Sessions Stage
Jun08

Tundrastomper on the Valley Advocate Sessions Stage

Tundrastomper is a DIY basement/ math rock band that excels at angular distorted experimental rock. Check out the band’s full Advocate Sessions performance in the video below. Interview with...

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VIDEO: Tundrastomper on Valley Advocate Sessions Friday
Jun06

VIDEO: Tundrastomper on Valley Advocate Sessions Friday

This week’s Valley Advocate Sessions band is experimental math/basement rock group Tundrastomper. Check out a teaser video of the band’s upcoming Advocate Sessions video to be released this...

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Northampton High School students to question candidates for state races
Jun06

Northampton High School students to question candidates for state races

Northampton High School are organizing an event to put questions to students local candidates running for 1st Hampshire County state Representative and Hampshire, Franklin, and Worcester state Senator. It will take place at the school’s auditorium at 380 Elm St. in Northampton on Wednesday, June 13, at 6 p.m. “In a year of high stakes midterms, people often forget about local races that also are immensely impactful,” said Tadea...

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Bizarro Briefs: Lava S’mores Are Not Cool
Jun05

Bizarro Briefs: Lava S’mores Are Not Cool

Taking a break from posting about the volcanic doom on Hawaii, The U.S. Geological Survey’s Twitter account fielded this question: “Is it safe to roast marshmallows over volcanic vents? Assuming you had a long enough stick, that is? Or would the resulting marshmallows be poisonous?” The USGS replied, “Erm… we’re going to have to say no, that’s not safe. (Please don’t try!) If the vent is emitting a lot of SO2...

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Activist gather in Springfield to support Poor People’s Campaign
Jun04

Activist gather in Springfield to support Poor People’s Campaign

Historic Court Square was filled with almost 200 people on Monday, June 4, in downtown Springfield, where one of many rallies for the Poor People’s Campaign was launched. The campaign is doing a six-week launch which they’ve titled “A National Call for Moral Revival,” and made its way to the Valley after campaigning for about three weeks in Boston. Khalil Saddiq, a representative of the Poor People’s Campaign, was one of several...

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Undocumented immigrant Lucio Perez to speak at potluck at Amherst church where he takes sanctuary
Jun04

Undocumented immigrant Lucio Perez to speak at potluck at Amherst church where he takes sanctuary

Lucio Perez, an undocumented immigrant and a native of Guatemala who has been taking sanctuary in the First Church of Amherst since October, wants to personally show his gratitude towards the community through a potluck dinner on June 18 at 6 p.m. The dinner, which will be hosted by Amnesty International group 128 (Connecticut Valley chapter), the Pioneer Valley Workers Center, the First Church UCC Amherst, and the Interfaith...

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Podcast: Making granola inspired by local music
Jun04

Podcast: Making granola inspired by local music

What is the taste of local music? Tony “Tonez” Hall is finding out through making granola. Hall is co-owner of Holyoke-based Massachusetts Artisan Foods, wanted to make foods out of local products. One such product, Local Maple Granola, is made from maple syrup from Massachusetts, but also inspired by local musicians. Hall is in a band Flame n’ Peach & the Liberated Waffles, and also reached out to a handful of...

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Free Will Astrology: Literally smash time with a hammer, Aries
Jun04

Free Will Astrology: Literally smash time with a hammer, Aries

ARIES (March 21-April 19): According to my analysis of the astrological omens, you would be wise to ruffle and revise your relationship with time. It would be healthy for you to gain more freedom from its relentless demands; to declare at least some independence from its oppressive hold on you; to elude its push to impinge on every move you make. Here’s a ritual you could do to spur your imagination: Smash a timepiece. I mean that...

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Flathead Rodeo on the Valley Advocate Sessions Stage
Jun01

Flathead Rodeo on the Valley Advocate Sessions Stage

Flathead Rodeo is a roots and rockabilly band with plenty of country twang. Check out the band’s Valley Advocate Sessions performance in the video below. Interview with Flathead...

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Podcast: DJ Hip Socket talks 10 years of ecstatic dance in the Valley
May27

Podcast: DJ Hip Socket talks 10 years of ecstatic dance in the Valley

Aaron Brando, a.k.a. DJ Hip Socket, has been practicing and running Pollinate Ecstatic Dance for 10 years. Ecstatic dance is a free form dance, and Pollinate works hard to establish a safe environment for expression and dance. Brando talks about the variety of people who come to dance and what it has been like to watch the dance community flourish over the past decade. The 10-year anniversary is taking place June 1 at 25 Main St. in...

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Free Will Astrology: Summon old school tenacity as seen in Jurassic Park, Taurus
May25

Free Will Astrology: Summon old school tenacity as seen in Jurassic Park, Taurus

ARIES (March 21-April 19): A critic described Leonardo da Vinci’s painting the Mona Lisa as “the most visited, most written about, most sung about, most parodied work of art in the world.” It hasn’t been sold recently, but is estimated to be worth hundreds of millions of dollars. Today it’s kept in the world-renowned Louvre museum in Paris, where it’s viewed by millions of art-lovers. But for years...

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Gabe’s Band on the Valley Advocate Sessions Stage
May25

Gabe’s Band on the Valley Advocate Sessions Stage

Check out the full Valley Advocate Sessions performance of local anarchistic rock n’ roll group, Gabe’s Band. Make sure to watch until the end for some classic rock styled chaos. A Not So Serious Interview with Gabe’s...

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VIDEO: Gabe’s Band on Valley Advocate Sessions Friday
May23

VIDEO: Gabe’s Band on Valley Advocate Sessions Friday

Check out a teaser for anarchistic local rockers, Gabe’s Band. The group’s complete Valley Advocate Sessions video will be released this Friday.

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Connecting with Coal Country: What I learned visiting Kentucky with Hands Across the Hills
May22

Connecting with Coal Country: What I learned visiting Kentucky with Hands Across the Hills

“It’s like you’re going to a foreign country… Do you need a passport?” Letha Dollarhyde of Letcher County, Kentucky, said this — partly in jest, partly not — about coming to Leverett, Massachusetts, when she visited here last fall. Our Hands Across the Hills project is about “Dialogue and Cultural Exchange.” “Cultural exchange” — isn’t that the phrase used by the State Department when American artists and scholars travel to other...

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Bizarro Briefs: Guns aren’t fool proof, or dog proof
May22

Bizarro Briefs: Guns aren’t fool proof, or dog proof

Guns aren’t fool proof, or dog proof Everyone knows that dogs are goofballs. They eat things they shouldn’t. They dig up things they shouldn’t. And sometimes they shoot things they shouldn’t. One man in Iowa found out the hard way that the safety on his gun wasn’t fool proof, or dog proof, when his dog jumped up on his lap and discharged the gun that he was wearing around his waist. The dog accidentally disengaged the safety of...

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Podcast: Making a connection with coal-country Kentucky
May21

Podcast: Making a connection with coal-country Kentucky

Sharon Dunn and John Clayton are members of the Hands Across the Hills project, an initiative to connect the people of Leverett, where about 90 percent voted for Hillary Clinton, with those of Letcher County, Kentucky, where 80 percent voted for Trump. Clayton wrote an essay with Sharon’s help on the Kentuckians visiting Leverett. In April, folks from Leverett went down to Kentucky for a return visit, and Dunn wrote an essay...

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Free Will Astrology: Tell the world you’re made of gold, Virgo
May21

Free Will Astrology: Tell the world you’re made of gold, Virgo

ARIES (March 21-April 19): The Aries poet Anna Kamienska described the process of writing as akin to “the backbreaking work of hacking a footpath, as in a coal mine; in total darkness, beneath the earth.” Whether or not you’re a writer, I’m guessing that your life might have felt like that recently. Your progress has been slow and the mood has been dense and the light has been dim. That’s the tough news. The good news is that I...

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VIDEO: Blame Cadence on Valley Advocate Sessions Friday
May16

VIDEO: Blame Cadence on Valley Advocate Sessions Friday

Blame Cadence is a one woman chorus of looped soulful a cappella pop. Check out a teaser video of Blame Cadence’s Valley Advocate Sessions performance, which will be released this...

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Podcast: An adult jump rope team! Jennifer Therkelsen talks about adult fitness and practicing in a bar
May14

Podcast: An adult jump rope team! Jennifer Therkelsen talks about adult fitness and practicing in a bar

Jennifer Therkelsen had never jump roped as a kid, but now is one of the core members of the Pioneer Valley Jump Rope team, an all-adult jump rope team that practices weekly at The Taproom in Hadley. In our weekly podcast collaboration with Amherst Media, Therkelson talks fitness, jump ropes, and what it’s like to practice in a bar. The team has made nationals and will be competing in June. Check out their fundraising page...

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Free Will Astrology: Work on that PBJ recipe, Taurus
May11

Free Will Astrology: Work on that PBJ recipe, Taurus

ARIES (March 21-April 19): According to my assessment of the astrological omens, your duty right now is to be a brave observer and fair-minded intermediary and honest storyteller. Your people need you to help them do the right thing. They require your influence in order to make good decisions. So if you encounter lazy communication, dispel it with your clear and concise speech. If you find that foggy thinking has started to infect...

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Amber Belle on the Valley Advocate Sessions Stage
May11

Amber Belle on the Valley Advocate Sessions Stage

Amber Belle is a singer-songwriter with a honey toned voice who performs original folk and country music. (To watch Amber Belle’s performance click on the video below) Interview with Amber...

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VIDEO: Amber Belle on Valley Advocate Sessions Friday
May09

VIDEO: Amber Belle on Valley Advocate Sessions Friday

Amber Belle is a singer-songwriter with honey toned vocals who performs folk and country songs. Check out a teaser video of her upcoming Advocate Sessions video to be released this Friday.

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Podcast: Sex workers Bella Vendetta and Brook Rain speak out against SESTA
May07

Podcast: Sex workers Bella Vendetta and Brook Rain speak out against SESTA

The federal anti sex trafficking law known as SESTA/FOSTA was passed nearly unanimously by Congress and signed by President Donald Trump earlier this spring, but local consensual sex workers says the law does little to stop sex trafficking while taking away protections for their already dangerous work. Bella Vendetta and her girlfriend Brook Rain are both sex workers in Western Mass and talk about what the law does and how it...

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Bizarro Briefs: ‘Mystery pooper’ exposed
May07

Bizarro Briefs: ‘Mystery pooper’ exposed

‘Mystery pooper’ exposed On a daily basis, a New Jersey man eluded police detection and managed to relieve himself (i.e. poop) on school grounds at a New Jersey high school. Police finally caught up with the “mystery pooper,” as they called him, after setting up a sting operation that every officer on the force was probably clambering not to be a part of. It turns out it was the school’s superintendent! He was charged with lewdness,...

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Free Will Astrology: Be inspired by melting cheese, Aquarius
May07

Free Will Astrology: Be inspired by melting cheese, Aquarius

ARIES (March 21-April 19): The Torah is a primary sacred text of the Jewish religion. It consists of exactly 304,805 letters. When specially trained scribes make handwritten copies for ritual purposes, they must not make a single error in their transcription. The work may take as long as 18 months. Your attention to detail in the coming weeks doesn’t have to be quite so painstaking, Aries, but I hope you’ll make a strenuous effort to...

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The Gaslight Tinkers on the Valley Advocate Sessions Stage
May04

The Gaslight Tinkers on the Valley Advocate Sessions Stage

The Gaslight Tinkers perform traditional Celtic fiddle music mixed with Afrobeat, funk, reggae, and Latin grooves. Check out the band’s Advocate Sessions performance in the video below. Interview with The Gaslight...

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VIDEO: The Gaslight Tinkers on Valley Advocate Sessions Friday
May02

VIDEO: The Gaslight Tinkers on Valley Advocate Sessions Friday

The Gaslight Tinkers perform traditional Celtic fiddle music mixed with Afrobeat, funk, reggae, and Latin grooves. Check out a teaser video of the band’s Advocate Sessions performance, which will be online this...

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Police report filed on vandalism of Parkland shooting art installation
Apr30

Police report filed on vandalism of Parkland shooting art installation

Following reporting that vandals defaced a piece of artwork meant to honor the victims of a recent school shooting late last week and that no police report had been filed, police have received a complaint and are investigating. Police originally said no investigation was taking place due to a lack of a police complaint, but Springfield police were contacted Friday night at 7 p.m. about the vandalism of the art installation, which was...

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