Letters to the Editor: Solar and recreation can coexist
Mar05

Letters to the Editor: Solar and recreation can coexist

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. Solar and recreation can coexist Hickory Ridge golf course in Amherst is in its last...

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Wellness: Going Barefoot to Connect with the Natural World
Mar05

Wellness: Going Barefoot to Connect with the Natural World

Remember playing shoeless in the grass as a kid, or feeling the earth under your feet as you ambled down your favorite path or sat barefoot by a lake or around a campfire? For some of us, those carefree days of foot freedom are but a fond memory. However, there are many reasons why we may want to reconsider kicking off our shoes when we can. From the simple joy and freedom that our unshod feet may elicit, to increasing strength and...

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V-Spot: Is Hormone Replacement Therapy the Key?
Mar04

V-Spot: Is Hormone Replacement Therapy the Key?

Hi Yana, I’m a transgender male, no bottom surgery yet (there’s a good chance it’s not even in the cards for me, anyway) and I’ll be starting HRT (hormone replacement therapy) soon. I’ve always been very frank with partners that I’m not comfortable with being touched, and they’ve respected that. But, the few times I’ve allowed a girlfriend to go down on me, I didn’t orgasm. I can’t orgasm by myself, either. I’ve never even had one....

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Free Will Astrology: Stick with it like Bob Dylan, Gemini
Mar04

Free Will Astrology: Stick with it like Bob Dylan, Gemini

ARIES (March 21-April 19): Genius inventor Thomas Edison rebelled against sleep, which he regarded as wasteful. He tried to limit his time in bed to four hours per night so he would have more time to work during his waking hours. Genius scientist Albert Einstein had a different approach. He preferred 10 hours of sleep per night, and liked to steal naps during the day, too. In my astrological opinion, Aries, you’re in a phase when it...

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Cinemadope: CatVideoFest at Amherst Cinema
Mar04

Cinemadope: CatVideoFest at Amherst Cinema

If you’ve been around the interwebs for a bit, you’ve almost certainly run across Henri. Henri — or, to use his full title, Henri, le Chat Noir — is an ennui-soaked cat whose subtitled French musings call to mind old arthouse imports. “If my tail wags, it is a reflex action,” intones Henri over a soundtrack of Satie. “Nothing more.” In other installments, all shot in the same scratchy black and white, Henri visits the vet or bemoans...

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Basemental: Jesus Vio brings his ‘Dutch Science’ to the Pioneer Valley
Mar01

Basemental: Jesus Vio brings his ‘Dutch Science’ to the Pioneer Valley

Free Pizza was a punk band founded in 2009 and based in Boston. If the name isn’t too much of a giveaway, the ethos of the band was playful and goofy. The heavy-hitting upbeat rowdiness was accessible, earnest, and always a good time. In 2016, Free Pizza threw in the towel and frontman Jesus Vio split off to try something different. He moved to Nashville and formed a band using his own name. There he recorded his first solo record,...

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Orlen, Gabriel, and Avery on the Valley Advocate Sessions Stage
Mar01

Orlen, Gabriel, and Avery on the Valley Advocate Sessions Stage

Orlen, Gabriel, and Avery perform folk music with rich vocal harmonies, lap steel slide licks, and ragtime inspired guitar. Check out the group’s Advocate Sessions performance in the video below. Interview with Orlen, Gabriel, and...

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Stagestruck: Motor City Soul
Mar01

Stagestruck: Motor City Soul

There’s a party going on in the basement of Chelle and Lank’s house – an unlicensed after-hours drink-and-dance dive in inner-city Detroit. That is, until a police raid on a similar establishment explodes into violence and the neighborhood goes up in flames. Detroit ’67 is the first, and weakest, of Dominique Morisseau’s trilogy of plays known as the Detroit Project. The current production, through March 10 at Hartford Stage Company,...

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Staff Picks: Stop Making Sense/Bach and Friends/Krewe les Gras
Feb28

Staff Picks: Stop Making Sense/Bach and Friends/Krewe les Gras

Talking Heads Film @ Amherst Cinema // Friday, MARCH 1 This Friday, March 1, Amherst Cinema brings Talking Heads’ fantastic and groundbreaking concert film “Stop Making Sense,” to the screen as part of its Late Nights series. The film was shot during the course of three nights in December 1983 and features, arguably, the best versions of the band’s famous songs such as “Psycho Killer,” and “Burning Down the House.” The film will be...

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Monte Belmonte Wines: Wine with The Brothers Narkewicz
Feb28

Monte Belmonte Wines: Wine with The Brothers Narkewicz

MNARK: I’m so proud of him. I actually have his bumper sticker on my car in San Francisco, which was interesting because we just had an election for mayor. DNARK: Did I get any votes? Northampton Mayor David Narkewicz may have made headlines when he was the first person to purchase pot for recreational purposes on the East Coast, but it is the Mayor’s oldest sibling I’ve been jonesing to talk to for this column. Shortly after my wine...

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Lifting Every Voice: Springfield Black History Month lecture series educates and inspires
Feb27

Lifting Every Voice: Springfield Black History Month lecture series educates and inspires

On a cold night in the middle of February, lights are glowing in the windows of Spring of Hope Church of God in Christ, a small brick church on Alden Street in Springfield. Inside, the pews are about three-quarters full, and the attendees are listening to a different kind of sermon. “Out of fires, great things happen,” said 1999 Pulitzer Prize winner, Karen Hunter, after recalling a conversation between Martin Luther King Jr. and...

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Editorial: The ABCs of the #FakeNationalEmergency
Feb27

Editorial: The ABCs of the #FakeNationalEmergency

It was, to put it mildly, an act of moral turpitude and callous disregard for the suffering of separated families and victims of violence when President Donald Trump announced he would be circumventing Congress to declare a national emergency that, by his own admission, is unnecessary. The fact that he did it three days after Abraham Lincoln’s birthday and one week before George Washington’s birthday — presidents who faced true...

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Bizarro Briefs: No Bananas Stolen
Feb26

Bizarro Briefs: No Bananas Stolen

No bananas stolen Police in Sulphur, Louisiana, arrested a man wearing a gorilla suit, who allegedly broke into a home and hid underneath a mattress before his arrest. According to local news outlets in Louisiana, officers saw the costumed man walking through yards and had received calls about a suspicious person gazing into homes. The man ran into a home as officers approached and was then discovered hiding under the mattress. He was...

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Letters to the editor: Men must respect boundaries and be supportive
Feb26

Letters to the editor: Men must respect boundaries and be supportive

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. Men must respect boundaries and be supportive in the local music scene In response to...

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Mythic Women: The dolls of Turners artist Belinda Lyons Zucker
Feb26

Mythic Women: The dolls of Turners artist Belinda Lyons Zucker

“The coming months will be a more favorable time than usual to boost feminine authority and enhance women’s ability to shape our shared reality.” So says Rob Brezsny’s Free Will Astrology column this week under the entry for Taurus. Whether or not she believes in astrology (and whether or not she’s a Taurus), Turners Falls artist Belinda Lyons Zucker is fulfilling that prediction with her exhibit of clay and cloth doll figures at the...

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Cinemadope: Off the Wall
Feb25

Cinemadope: Off the Wall

Art lovers in the Valley are never far from a good gallery. Between the extensive collections of local colleges, dedicated museums, and the smaller neighborhood salons that pepper our local downtowns, we are lucky to live in an area with such a vibrant artistic community. This week, a few area cinemas play host to galleries from farther afield, giving locals a world tour without giving up the comfort of their favorite seat at the...

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Stagestruck: Center Stage for Seniors
Feb24

Stagestruck: Center Stage for Seniors

Two elder ensembles are this week’s headliners.  The Berkshire-based WAM Theatre has just announced its plans for a troupe of women over 65, and the latest offering from the British stage in the popular National Theatre Live series features a cast of old folks. Allelujah! is a biting satire on the healthcare industry and rapacious politics in the form of a quirky celebration of old age. The live-capture performance screens at...

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Olivia Frances on the Valley Advocate Sessions Stage
Feb22

Olivia Frances on the Valley Advocate Sessions Stage

Olivia Frances is a folk/pop singer-songwriter with environmentalist themes. Check out her Advocate Sessions performance in the video below. Interview with Olivia...

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Come on out to the Back Porch: Back Porch Fest starts Feb. 28
Feb21

Come on out to the Back Porch: Back Porch Fest starts Feb. 28

It’s not often that you find a music festival during late winter, let alone a diverse collection of shows across four nights ranging from zydeco to bluegrass, country music, and folk. But Signature Sounds’ annual Back Porch Festival, now in its fifth year, is right at home with the indoor festival concept. This year the Northampton record label and concert production company is bringing music legends such as Rosanne Cash, C.J....

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The V-Spot: My Love No Longer Dominates
Feb20

The V-Spot: My Love No Longer Dominates

Hello from Vienna, Austria, Yana! Over the years I’ve realized that I like being dominated in sex. I want strong men who play with my brain, mainly verbally. A year ago I met a guy on a kinky hookup app. We went out on a date and hit it off immediately. In the beginning, he showed me so much about bondage and I had my fair share of bruises from skilled hands. We became a couple really fast, moved in together, and our partnership is...

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Free Will Astrology: Time for female empowerment, Taurus
Feb20

Free Will Astrology: Time for female empowerment, Taurus

ARIES (March 21-April 19): South Koreans work too hard. Many are on the job for fourteen hours a day, six days a week. That’s why a new concept in vacations has emerged there. People take sabbaticals by checking into Prison Inside Me, a facility designed like a jail. For a while, they do without cell phones and Internet and important appointments. Freed of normal stresses and stripped of obsessive concerns, they turn inward and...

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The Beerhunter: Shake Your Cabin Fever with a Taproom Day Trip 
Feb19

The Beerhunter: Shake Your Cabin Fever with a Taproom Day Trip 

It is right about now, during the shortest month of the year, that I have sat through some of the longest evenings of my life. Cabin fever is no joke, even if your cabin comes equipped with a fire, good books, and a stockpile of craft beer (plus some loved ones, I guess). February is cold, wet, and boring enough to make you pine for a quick spring thaw. It will come. Until then, remember that most breweries are open, and those valiant...

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Book Bag: ‘Enchantée’ by Gita Trelease; ‘Seven Full days’ by Ferris Shelton
Feb19

Book Bag: ‘Enchantée’ by Gita Trelease; ‘Seven Full days’ by Ferris Shelton

ENCHANTÉE By Gita Trelease Flatiron Books gitatrelease.com In Paris in 1789, as poverty grips most of the populace, and the aristocrats’ indifference to people’s suffering breeds growing anger, 17-year-old Camille Durbonne is struggling to provide for herself and her younger sister, Sophie. The girls’ parents have died from smallpox, and their dissolute brother, Alain, is busy gambling away what little money they have. Camille, the...

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Cinemadope: Natural Causes: The strange beauties of Rosamond Purcell
Feb19

Cinemadope: Natural Causes: The strange beauties of Rosamond Purcell

The photography of Rosamond Purcell is work that often feels plucked from another period. Her artistic impulse — what filmmaker Errol Morris described as “the contemplation of things that other people would normally just ignore” — harkens back to a time when many artists were also de facto naturalists, dealing with cadavers, carcasses, and the process of decay in the service of creating a new way of seeing the world around us. But...

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Wellness: Workouts that actually work out
Feb18

Wellness: Workouts that actually work out

It’s a month and a half into 2019, and what may have seemed like an easily obtainable fitness resolution on New Year’s Day might not seem that way anymore. To encourage those who may need a boost, we asked readers and fitness experts to share their best fitness advice. Siobhan Tripp of Hatfield says she seeks out fitness activities at the gym that she enjoys. “For me, it’s going to classes,” she said. Tripp schedules and tracks her...

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V-Spot: How Do I Stop Faking My Orgasms?
Feb18

V-Spot: How Do I Stop Faking My Orgasms?

Dear Yana, I’m in my early 30s and have been faking orgasms for about a decade of a colorful, explorative — if not straight up hyphy — sex life. I had my first orgasm about 13 years ago with a partner, who helped me discover simultaneous clitoral stimulation during penetrative sex. In the decade since, I’ve gotten down with all kinds of exciting and talented lovers, some of whom I’ve also definitely loved — none of whom got the job...

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Letters to the editor: Passing the volunteer baton
Feb18

Letters to the editor: Passing the volunteer baton

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.   Limousine Liberals — a rebuttal What makes those right wingers think that right...

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Bizarro Briefs: Nazi Art Not a Winner
Feb15

Bizarro Briefs: Nazi Art Not a Winner

Nazi art not a winner Adolf Hitler can’t seem to catch a break. First, his quest for world domination hit a snag in the 1940s when the Allies defeated him in World War II, and now, no one wants watercolor paintings attributed to him. None of the five paintings believed to be painted by him received a bid at a German auction this week. Some believe that this is because the paintings are suspected fakes. But others just don’t think they...

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Advocate Staff Picks: Feb. 15 – 23
Feb15

Advocate Staff Picks: Feb. 15 – 23

Ch’CHUNK! at Luthier’s Co-op // FRIDAY, Feb. 15 Ch’Chunk is self-described as “a modern take on classic swing.” The band plays great original songs as well as Tin Pan Alley classics that instantly transports your mind to a dimly lit speakeasy. So, with that in mind, let guitar bar Luthier’s Co-op on Friday be your mind speakeasy this week from 8 to 9:30 p.m. Plus there’s two other great local bands that have performed on...

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Free Will Astrology: There are more galaxies near the big dipper than you think, Gemini
Feb15

Free Will Astrology: There are more galaxies near the big dipper than you think, Gemini

ARIES (March 21-April 19): When directors of movies say, “It’s a wrap,” they mean that the shooting of a scene has been finished. They may use the same expression when the shooting of the entire film is completed. That’s not the end of the creative process, of course. All the editing must still be done. Once that’s accomplished, the producer may declare that the final product is “in the can,” and ready to be released or broadcast....

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Stagestruck: Big Apple Bites
Feb15

Stagestruck: Big Apple Bites

At first glance, you’d think the two plays I saw in New York City last week have little in common. One is an international import from London to Broadway, the other an Off-Broadway transfer from a small regional theater in Vermont. One is twice as long as the other and fields a cast four times as large (and costs more than twice as much to see). One is set in Northern Ireland in 1981, the other in eastern Massachusetts in the present...

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Purging Plastic: The quest to break the addiction to single-use garbage
Feb14

Purging Plastic: The quest to break the addiction to single-use garbage

Eight billion metric tons. According to Industrial Ecologist Roland Geyer of the University of California, Santa Barbara, that is the amount of plastic that has been produced since the 1950s, and almost half of that, was created after the year 2000, causing plastic pollution and its environmental impacts to explode as well. Many argue that it is our societal addiction to convenience and a lack of forward thinking that has allowed...

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Valley Show Girl: And The Kids’ Whimsical Indie Rock
Feb14

Valley Show Girl: And The Kids’ Whimsical Indie Rock

Signature Sounds recording artists And The Kids from Northampton have made a name for themselves throughout their active musician years in the Valley. They’ve been locally and nationally covered and very recently had a live set at Paste Magazine that was streamed through social media. They are about to release their latest masterpiece on Feb. 22. Guitarist and vocalist Hannah Mohan and drummer Rebecca Lasaponaro first met in junior...

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Editorial: Back in the Weekly Swing
Feb14

Editorial: Back in the Weekly Swing

Excitement. Elation. Eagerness. Those were the emotions that bubbled up when I got the news that the Advocate would be returning to a weekly schedule, and that after six months performing other roles in the company I was being asked to return as its editor. What you now hold in your hands (online readers will have to imagine this) is the last of the Advocate’s biweekly issues. Also, after a stint going purely arts and entertainment,...

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Cinemadope: Movies for winter vacation
Feb14

Cinemadope: Movies for winter vacation

Listen, I love my kids. I do. But it’s been a long winter around here. The holiday season was a terrible round-robin of stomach bugs, the heat went on the fritz in their bedroom, and a cold snap kept us cooped up in the house on days when their energy level could have powered the whole of the Eastern Seaboard for a holiday weekend. Things were just getting back to normal (though let’s be honest, fellow parents: this has all in fact...

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