Valley Show Girl: Stoned to Death III – A day full of doom, sludge, stoner metal, and the memory of Joe Magrone
May29

Valley Show Girl: Stoned to Death III – A day full of doom, sludge, stoner metal, and the memory of Joe Magrone

Churches are the most beautiful architectural buildings, in my opinion. I’m not a religious person, so when I do get a chance to enter these beauties, it’s because of a wedding or a funeral and I just look forward to leaving — the religion part of it just makes me uncomfortable. But on this marvelous day, I got to enjoy the beauty in the environment that makes me the most comfortable — at a show. The Stone Church in downtown...

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Valley Show Girl: Snacktime! Musical story time with a pirate from the Valley
Apr26

Valley Show Girl: Snacktime! Musical story time with a pirate from the Valley

Valley Advocate writer alum Tom Sturm has a new gig these days. Dressing like a pirate and singing the songs of pirate life for kids — but pleasantly appealing for adults as well. With the album glued in my CD player in my car for weeks, my 7-year-old son and I knew each song by heart. And when the music on my phone synced up to the car, he’d request Snackbeard instead of his normal faves, The Talking Heads or Bowie. I sadly missed...

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Valley Show Girl: Friday the 23rd!!
Mar28

Valley Show Girl: Friday the 23rd!!

Friday the 13th has become a horror franchise with 12 (and I’m sure there will be many more in the future) slasher films, television shows, comics, novels, video games and, of course, merchandise; take a look at the number of Jason’s masks roaming around on Halloween. When the first movie came out in 1980, the boy named Jason Vorhees emerged from Crystal Lake and has been a vicious killer for almost 40 years. The very first “Jason”...

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Valley Showgirl: Say Darling took me to Patsy-ville at Back Porch Festival
Mar06

Valley Showgirl: Say Darling took me to Patsy-ville at Back Porch Festival

For over 25 years The Back Porch Radio Show has been airing Sunday mornings on The River 93.9 FM. Curated by radio host Jim Olsen, the selected sounds are a variation of American roots music including bluegrass, folk, classic country, blues, and more.  Olsen is also the president of the record label and live music presenter Signature Sounds which produces about 200 shows in the Valley every year, including The Back Porch Festival. Now...

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Valley Show Girl: The Brian and Vicky Show at 7B’s in Westfield
Feb14

Valley Show Girl: The Brian and Vicky Show at 7B’s in Westfield

With that typical New England ice storm still fresh in the air, I had Vanilla Ice’s Ice Ice Baby in my head all day. Walking into 7B’s Bar and Grill in Westfield to hear the classic Johnny Cash tune The Ballad of Jesse James was all it took … poof! be gone Ice Ice Baby! Set up in the corner, performing classic and new country tunes are Vicky St. Pierre and Brian Chicoine. If you’re a Johnny Cash and/or June Carter Cash fan,...

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Valley Show Girl: A Night of Funky R&B for Jane Doe Inc.
Jan24

Valley Show Girl: A Night of Funky R&B for Jane Doe Inc.

I love it when music collides with a charitable fundraiser event, especially when that event involves human rights. The happenings at The O’s Music Bar in Sunderland last week were just that. Rise Up Productions, a liberal activist group of musicians and actors based here in the Valley, put on music shows and theater events for various local charities. Each event, so far, has been focused on a different beneficiary for each show. “We...

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Valley Show Girl: Guitars and Coffee
Jan08

Valley Show Girl: Guitars and Coffee

The smell of strong coffee warms me from the cold as I open the door to Iconica Social Club for the first time. From the outside, it looks like an odd brick building in the middle of a parking lot behind Haymarket in Northampton. But upon entering, you’re engulfed within an interior designer’s dream. There were a handful of people crowded near the coffee bar, ordering some yummy-smelling concoctions that were served in science lab...

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Valley Show Girl: Party Time! Excellent!
Dec26

Valley Show Girl: Party Time! Excellent!

I don’t know about any of you, but 2017 kicked my ass. But, as always, one of the things that keeps me sane, is music. So let’s bid a farewell to this year with some kick ass shows that are sprinkled throughout the Valley. There is literally something for everyone, and this list isn’t even all of it!     Bring the Kids! Perfect for the family day, just dress the kids warm. Since 1985, First Night Northampton has been filling...

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VALLEY SHOW GIRL: ‘Short Stay’ Here For Long Haul
Dec11

VALLEY SHOW GIRL: ‘Short Stay’ Here For Long Haul

About a month ago, Valley musician Nate Martel came into the Advocate office to drop off his debut solo album “Short Stay.” Being a fan of his role in rock group, Outer Stylie, I was pumped to get the CD into my car as soon as I left work. And that I did. Recorded at Barnhouse Recording in Chicopee and engineered and mixed at Sonelab in Easthampton, all 11 songs are written and performed by Martel. Additional musical contributions...

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Valley Show Girl: Leave it to the Women
Nov27

Valley Show Girl: Leave it to the Women

A couple weeks ago I wrote my column based on the fiasco that is Wikipedia Vs. Women, where locally and nationally non-male musicians are getting edited out of the popular DIY online encyclopedia due to male editors not accepting articles from certain publications (with some being discounted just for having the word “feminist” in the title). Part one of a local event series on the topic was a roundtable discussion put on by Tanya...

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Valley Show Girl: The Case of the Missing Wiki Edits
Nov13

Valley Show Girl: The Case of the Missing Wiki Edits

Tanya Pearson has been accumulating a continuous list of female musicians for her Women in Rock Oral History Project which she started at Smith College in December 2014. Accompanied by 29 video interviews (so far!) with some of them available on http://www.womenofrock.org, she has set the bar for having underrepresented female musicians speak their truth and tell their story behind what it’s like to be a female musician in a “Man’s...

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Valley Show Girl: A Bloody Good Time
Oct30

Valley Show Girl: A Bloody Good Time

Later this month, Chicopee’s Maximum Capacity will close and open at some point in the future with new ownership. Will there still be shows? If so, will they include metal/rock shows? Only time will tell. But in the meantime, you still have a chance to get to “one last show.” Over the years of going to certain clubs/venues, you develop memories that either bring a smile to your face, or a head shake, like “wow, yeah, that totally...

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Reverend Dan and the Dirty Catechism on Advocate Sessions Stage
Oct27

Reverend Dan and the Dirty Catechism on Advocate Sessions Stage

Reverend Dan and the Dirty Catechism, Springfield-based preacher rock n’ roll with a side of post punk. BONUS: Reverend Dan and the Dirty Catechism interview: Check out our past Sessions performers, including Seth Newton, Old Flame, Shokazoba, and Tang...

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Valley Show Girl: Luthier’s Unplugged: Metal, Grunge, and Singer/Songwriter Action
Oct16

Valley Show Girl: Luthier’s Unplugged: Metal, Grunge, and Singer/Songwriter Action

After having a so-long get together at Galaxy in Easthampton with my coworkers to send off Kristin Palpini on her next adventure, I dragged my sad ass down the street to Luthier’s Coop. And I tell ya, there’s nothing like seeing Pee Wee Herman’s inviting goofiness to bring a smile to my face. Kudos to whoever put that delight at the entrance. The small venue is illuminated with white string lights, the walls are lined with all...

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Valley Show Girl: The Neon Oxen
Oct02

Valley Show Girl: The Neon Oxen

On the first fall evening that actually felt like fall I walk into the 13th Floor Music Lounge in Florence just in time to catch soundcheck for the first band, Holyoke’s stoner psych-rock, Oxen. Let’s take a trip down memory lane. Oxen’s first EP The Glass Coffin was my first music review, almost 4 years ago. That was when I realized, not only do I love music, I love writing about it, experiencing it. The now 3-piece are...

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Pixies at Smith College
Sep21

Pixies at Smith College

The Pixies rocked out a 31-song set, which was close to 2 hours of non-stop jams last night at the John M. Greene Hall, at Smith College in Northampton. Here’s a sample of some pictures and video from their show. — Jennifer Levesque, jlevesque@valleyadvocate.com          ...

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Valley Show Girl: Millpond.live Hosts Music Under the Stars
Sep18

Valley Show Girl: Millpond.live Hosts Music Under the Stars

For the last six weekends of summer, Millpond.Live puts on a free grassroots festival at Millside Park in Easthampton for all ages to enjoy. Produced by Laudable Productions, a creative agency in Easthampton that has a plethora of services including community engagement to concert production. The concert is powered by volunteers in the community and sponsored and supported by local businesses, including us at the Valley Advocate....

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Valley Show Girl: Watching Punk Docs at Home
Sep05

Valley Show Girl: Watching Punk Docs at Home

Sometimes you wanna make it out to a show, but let’s face it life happens. Maybe you’re sick, or you can’t find a babysitter, or that snowstorm that’s fast approaching cancels everything and you are stuck inside. Have no fear! Documentaries galore are here! If you’re a fan of punk history as much as myself, there are a plethora of gems that are always there for your viewing. I could hibernate for a month straight and still not get...

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Valley Show Girl: Music That Got Me Through White Supremacy News
Aug21

Valley Show Girl: Music That Got Me Through White Supremacy News

The white supremacy horror show that happened earlier this month in Charlottesville really got to me. That Sunday, I barely left my bed. I mainly watched stupid chick flicks to occupy my mind with less meaningful things. After dinner however, I took my 6-year old son to the all ages show at The Tank in Feeding Hills where The Prozacs were putting on a punk show for the release of their album, Exist, which I reviewed last week. Music...

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Album Review: Pop and Punk Collide In The Prozacs’ Sci-Fi Influenced “Exist”
Aug04

Album Review: Pop and Punk Collide In The Prozacs’ Sci-Fi Influenced “Exist”

Back in January of this past year, the members of Westfield-based pop punkers, The Prozacs, parted ways. Formed in 2001 by Jay Gauvin (or better known as J Prozac), the band had seen many different line-ups of members throughout their time performing. Gauvin was going to end the band following this year’s breakup, but realized that it made no sense after all the hard work that had been put into making their latest album, Exist. “Also...

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Valley Show Girl: A Jam Session in the Forest With Staind Singer Aaron Lewis
Aug07

Valley Show Girl: A Jam Session in the Forest With Staind Singer Aaron Lewis

Staind. Remember them? I think at one point in our late-’90s lives we were all blasting “Tormented” or “Dysfunction” and relating to the ultra-sensitive alternative rock that was birthed right here in the Valley. Well, times have changed, and people change. Aaron Lewis, singer of the now-retired Staind has gone on to other things, including switching up musical genres to country. Lewis also puts on an amazing benefit concert once a...

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Valley Show Girl: Soundtracking Life with Eddie Japan
Jul24

Valley Show Girl: Soundtracking Life with Eddie Japan

Ahead of their show at the Iron Horse, I plug my purple Skull Candies into my ears, and click play on the intro track to Eddie Japan’s Golden Age. The sound of static pulls me in, reminding me of vinyl, so I pretend I’m listening on a record player, not my computer at work. “E-Cabaret /When the Morning Comes” jumps right into a blend of genres: I hear’ bits of ’70s pop, ’80s new wave, a hint of Latin, and a dash of big band, all on a...

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Eddie Japan Bringing 60s Pop With 80s New Wave to Northampton Saturday
Jul17

Eddie Japan Bringing 60s Pop With 80s New Wave to Northampton Saturday

Cinematic Pop Music Boston/Western Mass’ Eddie Japan combines that feel good ‘60s pop with a splash of ‘80s alternative new wave that’s a blast. In 2013, Eddie Japan won Boston’s ultra cool Rock ‘n’ Roll Rumble, and picked up a Boston Music Award for “Live Artist of the Year.” That sold me. I’m going to check them out for my column next week, Valley Show Girl, when the band comes to town on Saturday night. Eddie Japan is...

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Valley Show Girl: Khalif Neville and Ian Haas Are Musical Chameleons
Jul10

Valley Show Girl: Khalif Neville and Ian Haas Are Musical Chameleons

I hear the sound of jazz in the parking lot as I walk towards New City Brewery in Easthampton last Thursday night. People are gathered in the patio area enjoying the music while also enjoying the summer night air. Inside, the old factory building with exposed beams, pulleys, and brick walls are inviting as I look at the multi-colored handwritten beer specials on the chalkboard at the bar. I order the Original Ginger Beer (which is...

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Valley Show Girl: Pick It Up! Pick It Up!
Jun26

Valley Show Girl: Pick It Up! Pick It Up!

After drinking sangria and picking at BBQ all day at a bridal shower this weekend, I shrugged off the floral shackles of proper wedding etiquette and hit The Cove in Southwick for the first time. Danny Pease and The Regulators put together a one-day summer bash at The Cove with bands playing throughout the day on the deck and moving the last two performances inside at night. As I walked up the stairs to the packed deck, the lights...

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Valley Show Girl: Stoned to Death II
Jun12

Valley Show Girl: Stoned to Death II

I walked into the entrance of The Arts Block Ballroom on Main Street in Greenfield to soundchecking and friendly, familiar faces. With a couple of hellos’ and hugs, I paid the $20 for the 2nd Annual Stoned To Death fest, put on by Promotorhead Entertainment, and melted into the crowd. Originally known as The Arts Block, the venue had changed its name this past May to The Arts Block Ballroom when the entire building became Hawks and...

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Valley Show Girl: Queer Punk Rocks at Flywheel in Easthampton
May30

Valley Show Girl: Queer Punk Rocks at Flywheel in Easthampton

One of my all-time favorite venues to see local bands will always be Flywheel’s first location. The alternative performing arts space first opened in 1999 on Holyoke Street in downtown Easthampton. During the early 2000’s, it was my sanctuary. I met so many people in those years attending these DIY-styled shows. It’s one of the places that made me fall in love with live music and performance art. Since the 15-plus years since I first...

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Valley Show Girl: Alt Jazz With The Greys at The Still in Agawam (w/vid)
May15

Valley Show Girl: Alt Jazz With The Greys at The Still in Agawam (w/vid)

A couple of weeks ago on The Still’s Instagram page they posted a beautiful picture of a mint julep. I’ve never had one, but always wanted to try the drink simply because that’s what they drank in The Great Gatsby. So, when I saw that The Greys were playing at The Still, I was like “Yes! I get to drink a mint julep while listening to jazz, so Daisy Buchanan of me.” And that I did. Although, I learned I don’t like mint juleps, but I do...

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Contemporary Stillness: Larry Preston’s Solo Exhibit Rethinks the Silent Ordinary (w/vid)
May15

Contemporary Stillness: Larry Preston’s Solo Exhibit Rethinks the Silent Ordinary (w/vid)

Be Still (Life), My Heart Contemporary still life artist Larry Preston paints solely for himself and what he interprets as beautiful. Beauty is often lost in ordinary objects you see all the time. Preston’s art focuses on bringing out those details and you’ll surely view them from a different perspective. Preston’s recent oil paintings will be showcased through a solo exhibit at William Baczek Fine Arts.  Larry Preston solo show:...

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Valley Show Girl: Re-Animate the Baystate Concert Series in Northampton
May01

Valley Show Girl: Re-Animate the Baystate Concert Series in Northampton

The nostalgia of Pearl Street in Northampton always brings back so many MMM’s (magical music memories) from my past. The way the street light illuminates that bend in the road where the tour buses usually line up is always a happy trigger for me. We can hear the Badfish (Sublime tribute) show through the paint chipped windows of Pearl Street Nightclub as we walk by to enter Sierra Grille next door. The last time I was at Sierra Grille...

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Valley Show Girl: Gimme, Gimme Noise Pollution, experimental night at The Root Cellar in Greenfield
Apr17

Valley Show Girl: Gimme, Gimme Noise Pollution, experimental night at The Root Cellar in Greenfield

After a full day of sitting inside a dankly weed-scented office — we did a photo shoot of some nuggets for this 4/20 issue — my first thought walking into The Root Cellar in Greenfield for an experimental show is “damn this place smells good” … and familiar. I’m fashionably late and, regrettably, miss the first set by Fully Glazed (Richie Records, Members of Watery Love). After ordering a well-deserved beer, I sit at the wooden...

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Valley Show Girl: Thao Nguyen Goes Solo at Gateway City Arts
Apr03

Valley Show Girl: Thao Nguyen Goes Solo at Gateway City Arts

A Woman Alive As I walked into Gateway City Arts in Holyoke for the first time, I came to a dead stop to admire the factory-style architecture. The ceilings are very high, with a huge industrial ceiling fan staring down. The large stage was lit up awaiting performers, with just a few dozen people starting to gather in the metal folding chairs. I made my way to the bar at the back of the venue to check out the list of appetizer...

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VIDEO Valley Show Girl: Experiencing an Album Live; Disguise the Curse’s Release Party
Mar20

VIDEO Valley Show Girl: Experiencing an Album Live; Disguise the Curse’s Release Party

A couple weeks ago I picked up Echoes of the Dying Light by local metal titans, Disguise the Curse. “Holy shit, this is amazing,” I said to myself while drumming on my steering wheel with the music blasting through my car speakers. Produced by Chris Daniele at Yucky Studios, the quality of the album is superb with not one track worth skipping. The album is still in my car stereo on repeat. The opening track “Caverns” sets the tone for...

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Valley Show Girl: Krewe Les Gras at Theodore’s
Mar06

Valley Show Girl: Krewe Les Gras at Theodore’s

I consider myself a musical schizophrenic. I can get into just about any genre you put in front of me — especially if it’s live. I may not be a musician, but music has been a passionate subject for me for as long as I can remember. One of the first local shows I went to when I was about 18 or so, was Hypnotic Kick and All That Remains at the Fat Cat Bar and Grill in Springfield. I soon became a regular at their hardcore nights on...

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In Concert: Weird Love Noise
Feb20

In Concert: Weird Love Noise

Spending Valentine’s Day with Thurston Moore and friends A distant droning noise fills the cold air as I get out of my car in a very full parking lot at the 13th Floor Music Lounge in Florence. I walk up the steps to the entrance of the club above JJ’s Tavern, and the distortion beyond the walls gets louder. I’m greeted by manager and promoter John Gulow with a smile. I open the doors, and am immediately hit with an intense...

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