Back Talk: Non-violence belongs in schools more than military
Apr05

Back Talk: Non-violence belongs in schools more than military

Non-violence belongs in schools more than the military In response to “Is High School Too Young for Military Recruitment?” published March 28 – April 3, 2019: The Soviet Union had its Young Pioneers, Hitler’s Germany had its Hitler’s Youth, the U.S. has JrROTC. Military training should have no place in our high schools. The use of non-violence means for resolving differences is what belongs in our high schools. — Rick Yoder,...

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Valley Advocate Staff Picks: DakhaBrakha at Gateway City Arts, Mini Golf and Cocktails, and Plants of the Bible Release Show
Apr04

Valley Advocate Staff Picks: DakhaBrakha at Gateway City Arts, Mini Golf and Cocktails, and Plants of the Bible Release Show

DakhaBrakha @ Gateway City Arts // TUESDAY, April 9 When I got the press release for this show a couple weeks ago, I was immediately intrigued by their name and their look. World music quartet, DakhaBrakha from Kiev, Ukraine, are bringing their unique style to Western Mass. Their name means “give/take” in the old Ukrainian language. So let them give us the music, so we can take it and store it in our musical libraries. They intertwine...

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Stagestruck: 25 Years on the Edge
Apr04

Stagestruck: 25 Years on the Edge

In 1994, Stacy Klein moved her adventurous company, Double Edge Theatre, from Boston to a former dairy farm in rural Ashfield, and started milking the Muse. A quarter-century later, the 100-acre spread is home to a resident company of artists and a hub of visceral, imagistic, movement-based exploration and performance. It took a few years for the locals to get used to the presence of artsy types on the edge of their village, but now...

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Bringing Homeopathy Out of the Shadows
Apr04

Bringing Homeopathy Out of the Shadows

You’ve probably heard of homeopathy, a popular yet controversial alternative medicine practiced all over the world. But, besides being a hot button topic, what exactly is homeopathy and how does it work? Abby Beale, a professional classical homeopath practicing in Northampton, hopes to answer that question and bring awareness about homeopathy to the local community with the screening of Just One Drop, a documentary set to show at...

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Reading His Own CIA File‘Left, Gay & Green’ autobiography a coming-of-age story amid turbulence
Apr04

Reading His Own CIA File‘Left, Gay & Green’ autobiography a coming-of-age story amid turbulence

Born a red diaper baby in, of all places, Liberty, N.Y., and raised on a hardscrabble poultry farm owned by his American Communist parents, Royalston resident Allen Young’s life as it’s portrayed in his new autobiography, Left, Gay & Green: A Writer’s Life, has taken many paths and undergone personal transformations. But his core birthright leftist leanings have always followed him; hence, the “left” in the book’s title. I don’t...

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Valley Advocate Spring Arts Preview 2019
Apr03

Valley Advocate Spring Arts Preview 2019

Welcome to the Valley Advocate’s 2019 spring arts preview. Inside this collection of a dozen arts events happening across the Pioneer Valley, you’ll find poetry readings, dance performances, live local music shows, a DIY literary festival, important filmmaking, and even a giant pancake breakfast. The Valley is known for its vibrant cultural and arts scene, and there are plenty of interesting happenings in store this spring to explore,...

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Bizarro Briefs: Little Debbie Getaway
Apr03

Bizarro Briefs: Little Debbie Getaway

For the love of Debbie  A man from Elmira, N.Y., has been charged with a felony crime after stealing a Little Debbie snack cakes delivery truck. Did he do it for the sweet, sweet chocolate cakes? No. He wanted to visit his friends. Twenty-minutes after allegedly stealing the truck, the 38-year-old man was arrested and admitted that he was using the vehicle to visit friends and family. Something tells us that this man’s friends and...

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Editorial: Policing the Police in Springfield
Apr03

Editorial: Policing the Police in Springfield

Last week, 14 Springfield police officers were indicted by a Worcester-based grand jury. It was in connection with a 2015 alleged assault on four people following a disagreement at a city bar. Some are charged with assault and battery, and others for covering it up. Since then, Western Mass News has reported that several of the indicted officers have had additional complaints against them since 2015, one of which includes being...

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Valley Show Girl: Soulful Euphoria
Apr02

Valley Show Girl: Soulful Euphoria

Eu·pho·ri·a – noun; a feeling or state of intense excitement and happiness. Westfield’s soulful rock quartet, The Screaming Hearts, are in the process of uniquely releasing a collection of songs that will eventually be compiled into an album. Conducting, recording, and then releasing each song one-at-a-time is mainly due to the band’s low budget, but I think it’s an amazing idea to showcase each song as a stand-alone piece of...

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Cinemadope: Dear Genre
Apr02

Cinemadope: Dear Genre

Genre films are a bit like the snack food of the cinematic universe. Something of a guilty pleasure, often consumed late at night, and each with its own diehard fans. These are the films that almost never seek to be all things to all people, but instead deliver an artistic strike so specific that a built-in audience, familiar with the visual vocabulary of the style, is almost guaranteed. Of course, these are also the films that for...

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Q&A with Of Montreal frontman Kevin Barnes: Dealing With a Dismantled Reality
Apr01

Q&A with Of Montreal frontman Kevin Barnes: Dealing With a Dismantled Reality

For more than two decades Of Montreal frontman, songwriter, and singer Kevin Barnes, based in Athens, Georgia, has been a musical chameleon; starting out with psychedelic indie pop before moving on to a wide range of other genres such as synth-driven electronic pop music, funk rock, R&B, avant-garde experimental sound collages, indie folk, and dance pop. With nearly two dozen releases and 15 studio albums since the group’s 1997...

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Stagestruck: Blood, Tears & “Sweat” – Two plays reflect on the past and echo the present
Apr01

Stagestruck: Blood, Tears & “Sweat” – Two plays reflect on the past and echo the present

Two of the Five Colleges’ season-ending productions, both by award-winning women playwrights, hark back to moments in recent history that continue to reverberate. One takes place in a remote backwater, the other in the industrial heartland, but they share themes of life-shattering violence — physical and emotional, economic and social — and the value of community. At UMass this weekend and next, the theater department stages Lynn...

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V-Spot: What Do I Do With My Dude Pubes?
Apr01

V-Spot: What Do I Do With My Dude Pubes?

Hi Yana, I have a question I’ve been wondering about (okay, obsessing about!) and I do not think I am alone in this one: What does a man need to do about hair “down there”? I keep my pubic area trimmed but unsure what is the best and safest method for my scrotum. Any recommendations on products? Even considered getting it lasered, but I do not think I am up for that. Does it even matter to most women or is this something men have...

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Free Will Astrology: Gemini will meet people even Hemingway could stand
Apr01

Free Will Astrology: Gemini will meet people even Hemingway could stand

ARIES (March 21-April 19): A mushroom shaped like a horse’s hoof grows on birch trees in parts of Europe and the U.S. If you strip off its outer layer, you get amadou, spongy stuff that’s great for igniting fires. It’s not used much anymore, but it was a crucial resource for some of our ancestors. As for the word “amadou,” it’s derived from an old French term that means “tinder, kindling, spunk.” The same word was formerly used to...

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Basemental: Some Armchair Philosophy on Making Music in 2019
Mar29

Basemental: Some Armchair Philosophy on Making Music in 2019

One of the more difficult things about making music is the shape and form of the modern music industry. There are so many reasons why talented bands might develop a loyal and dedicated niche audience and never break through to larger success. At this point in time it almost seems fair to blame algorithms playing tastemaker for this. The way people discover and listen to music has changed dramatically over the past decade, as...

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“Breathing In, Monotypes:” Abstract nature art in layers of ink
Mar29

“Breathing In, Monotypes:” Abstract nature art in layers of ink

At first glance, Doris Madsen’s artwork seems to be a collection of slightly abstract paintings inspired by nature: a frigid island shore, an overhead bird’s eye view of Greenland, the stark Icelandic countryside, and a collection of pitcher plants. But on closer examination, the process for making these images is much more involved with dense layers of ink through monotype printing. Madsen’s artwork is on display through April 25 as...

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Plants of the Bible on the Valley Advocate Sessions Stage
Mar29

Plants of the Bible on the Valley Advocate Sessions Stage

Plants of the Bible are a dream pop duo with synths and rich mellow vocal harmonies. Check out the band’s Advocate Sessions performance in the video below. Interview with Plants of the...

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Bizarro Briefs: The Great Flat Earther Cruise Tour of 2020
Mar28

Bizarro Briefs: The Great Flat Earther Cruise Tour of 2020

Flat Earthers are arguably one of the easiest people to poke fun at. Raise your hand if the first time you heard about the group of people who still believe that the Earth is flat, you thought it was a joke. Well, those fine misinformed folks are planning a cruise next year at their annual conference to find the edge of the planet; they’re looking for a giant ice wall that holds back the oceans. The goal is to test their theory that...

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Letters to the Editor: Rep. Neal should back the Green New Deal
Mar28

Letters to the Editor: Rep. Neal should back the Green New Deal

Welcome Back, Valley Advocate In response to “An Advocate History” and “Still at it After 45 Years,” published March 21 – 27, 2019: Thank you so much for becoming the Valley Advocate again. I had about given up on you as there was little of interest left, just entertainment advertisements in guise of listings. As long time, 45-year reader who looked forward to real news and investigative stories, you had lost your way. There is...

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Valley Advocate Staff Picks: NoHo Hoedown, Waiting for Godot, and Life/Like
Mar28

Valley Advocate Staff Picks: NoHo Hoedown, Waiting for Godot, and Life/Like

The NoHo Hoedown at the Iron Horse // FRIDAY The newly created Valley Twang Cooperative is bringing a night of local roots music to the Iron Horse Music Hall on Friday featuring three bands. There’s rockabilly/ country group Flathead Rodeo, Americana acoustic string band Appalachian Still, and rebel country group Josh LeVangie and the Pistoleros. If I wore a hat, I’d have to tip it to the Valley Twang Cooperative for promoting roots...

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Is High School Too Soon for Military Recruitment?
Mar27

Is High School Too Soon for Military Recruitment?

Each year, high school students across the country see uniformed members of the armed forces within school walls offering information on how to join up. But a local organization asks the question whether these soldiers are overselling a dangerous career path to an audience whose brains are still developing. The Resistance Center for Peace and Justice, a Northampton nonprofit, has published three editions of a report called “Military...

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Clueless Parent: The Ancient Art of Anger Management
Mar27

Clueless Parent: The Ancient Art of Anger Management

I got an email from a PR firm this week with the subject line: “The Epidemic of Extreme Parenting: How to Self-Assess.” I would say it was an interesting coincidence that it appeared just before the launch of this column, but it isn’t really. When I became a dad early in 2017, I saw immediately how pressure comes from all sides to be the “perfect parent.” This has been true for me, but it seems even more so for the moms I know — my...

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Editorial: Compassion Needs to Cut Through the Distractions with Gun Deaths
Mar27

Editorial: Compassion Needs to Cut Through the Distractions with Gun Deaths

Following the Parkland shooting last year, I was inspired by the activism of many of the student survivors, who marched to their state capital and lobbied Washington for gun control. The Advocate did a story about how those students were inspiring students in our own region to become active on the issue. But the news from the past couple of weeks has really brought home the much more devastating, lasting effects of these mass...

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The V-Spot: Why Do I Cry After Climax?
Mar26

The V-Spot: Why Do I Cry After Climax?

Hi Yana, I’m perplexed as to why, for the last 20 years, I start bawling like a baby when I masturbate and orgasm. It only happens when I envision my ex-lover, who I had a five-year extramarital affair with in the ‘90s. We were both musicians in a college town. We started our affair in our early 30s and broke up in 1990. Since then, I’ve enjoyed a satisfying sex life with several men. But when I bring myself to orgasm, I think of him...

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Free Will Astrology: Is grilled cheese the key to more sex, Virgo?
Mar26

Free Will Astrology: Is grilled cheese the key to more sex, Virgo?

ARIES (March 21-April 19): Kermit the Frog from Sesame Street is the world’s most famous puppet. He has recorded songs, starred in films and TV shows, and written an autobiography. His image has appeared on postage stamps and he has a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame. Kermit’s beginnings were humble, however. When his creator Jim Henson first assembled him, he consisted of Henson’s mom’s green coat and two halves of a white ping...

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Cinemadope: Rite of Spring – the 14th year of the Pioneer Valley Jewish Film Festival
Mar26

Cinemadope: Rite of Spring – the 14th year of the Pioneer Valley Jewish Film Festival

With every March in the Valley comes a feeling of renewal — the Spring Bulb Show at Smith, that exquisite extra hour of daylight, a breeze that doesn’t slice through your very soul. And with that new sense of life comes the urge to get out and about, to emerge from our months of fireside hibernation and catch up with old friends, and maybe — just maybe — catch a movie while the sun is still shining. The Pioneer Valley Jewish Film...

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Stagestruck Abroad: Toronto — Shades of Identity
Mar25

Stagestruck Abroad: Toronto — Shades of Identity

Greetings from Toronto, where it’s still winter, the wind whipping in from Lake Ontario is keen and bracing, and so is the theater. I’ve seen two plays here, a one-man show and an eight-woman show, both of them the work of bi-cultural authors, performed in key venues of the city’s vigorous alternative theater scene. Both plays revolve around questions of identity and belonging, race and culture, and both in their own ways involve...

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Rice: An American Band on the Valley Advocate Sessions Stage
Mar22

Rice: An American Band on the Valley Advocate Sessions Stage

This week’s Advocate Sessions band is Americana, blues and jamming rock n’ roll band Rice: An American Band. Check out Rice’s performance in the video below. Interview with Rice: An American...

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‘From Farms to Table’ exhibition in Northfield celebrates land, bird, and beast
Mar22

‘From Farms to Table’ exhibition in Northfield celebrates land, bird, and beast

For the past year or so, the Deerfield Valley Art Association has had a gallery and gift shop at 105 Main Street in Northfield. Particularly at this time of year, downtown Northfield may offer more to those driving through than those who actually stop and walk around. Northfield Creamie isn’t serving ice cream yet. Highland BBQ remains closed for the season. And the old churches and historic buildings seem made for driving by as you...

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Valley Advocate Staff Picks: Goblet and Jeopardy, Poetic Open Mic, Women’s Film Fest
Mar21

Valley Advocate Staff Picks: Goblet and Jeopardy, Poetic Open Mic, Women’s Film Fest

Goblet and Jeopardy at The Perch // THURSDAY Mar. 21 Thrashy Thirsty Thursday! The top floor of the Hawks & Reed Performing Arts Center in Greenfield is a nice open spot for some pits. Western Mass bastard thrasher’s Goblet and Brattleboro’s thrash metalist’s Jeopardy will inspire people to utilize that nice open spot for sure. 8:30 p.m, $10. The Perch at Hawks & Reed, 289 Main St, Greenfield. 413-774-0150. hawksandreed.com....

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Letters to the Editor: Venezuela could be US’s Waterloo
Mar21

Letters to the Editor: Venezuela could be US’s Waterloo

Hampshire College price tag comparable to most private institutions In response to: “Letters to the Editor: What’s missing from the Hampshire College discussion” (March 14-20, 2019): Hampshire College gives deep discounts and takes in diverse student pop. Hampshire College doesn’t have the coffers of state institutions. The price tag is comparable to most private institutions. You may very well get to see what the Pioneer Valley looks...

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An Advocate History: The Valley’s alternative voice for over 45 years
Mar20

An Advocate History: The Valley’s alternative voice for over 45 years

The first edition of the Valley Advocate was published on Sept. 19, 1973, with a cover story titled, “Prophet & Profit — ‘Spirit’ Dies,” about a large hippie commune in Leyden called “The Brotherhood of the Spirit,” which became defunct when more than half of them quit. So it’s no wonder why 40-year Advocate journalist Stephanie Kraft says that during the alternative weekly’s early years “a lot of people saw us as this little...

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Bizarro Briefs: A New Meaning for Phone Shield
Mar20

Bizarro Briefs: A New Meaning for Phone Shield

A new meaning for phone shield A 43-year-old Australian man may have his phone to thank for the fact that he was left with only a small cut on his chin after he came under attack by a man wielding a bow and arrow in rural New South Wales. Confronted with the bow and arrow, the first man whipped out his phone to take a photo of this would-be assailant. That quick thinking may have saved his life, as the attacker fired an arrow at him,...

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Editorial: Still At It After 45 Years
Mar20

Editorial: Still At It After 45 Years

Astute readers will no doubt observe the “plus” sign after the number 45 on this week’s cover. That is us coming clean that, no, this is not exactly our 45th anniversary issue. We wanted to bring you something like Chris Goudreau’s vast history of the Advocate found in this week’s edition, but in September of last year on the Advocate’s actual 45th anniversary. Unfortunately, that date was about two months after a major...

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Valley Show Girl: Adam Kozak and Music To Die To
Mar19

Valley Show Girl: Adam Kozak and Music To Die To

Adam Michael Kozak grew up in the ‘80s listening to DJ Jazzy Jeff and the Fresh Prince and Aerosmith. When he was a child, his mother played the digital organ they had set up in their living room, which she mainly played Barbara Streisand and Andrew Lloyd Weber show tunes on. Adam had begged for piano lessons, simply to learn to play Motley Crue’s “Home Sweet Home.” After only two months of lessons, he grew bored and didn’t touch an...

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