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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Music Pick: Hothfest at Max Cap
Jan09

Music Pick: Hothfest at Max Cap

Bone Chilling Metal Turn those cold winter blues into face-melting metal this weekend at the 3rd Annual Hothfest! Two full days of killer lineups featuring local bands scattered throughout touring bands. “When death metal takes over New England!” says the man behind it all: organizer and Disguise the Curse drummer Jamie Cross. DTC are slated to play midday Sunday. Among the almost 30 bands scheduled to perform are Splattered Entrails,...

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Electrifying the Vinyl: Electric Eye Records in Florence is a vinyl lover’s go-to destination
Nov21

Electrifying the Vinyl: Electric Eye Records in Florence is a vinyl lover’s go-to destination

That slight scratching sound the needle makes when you gently place it on the record. The brief static that comes through the speakers before the music hits. Then: bam! Just like magic, music emerges from my vintage suitcase record player, sounding like nothing else. It was my mother’s. She gave it to me when I was a child, and I was immediately drawn to it. Surely the ’70s rainbow design on the inside lid was the initial culprit....

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Scene Here: Dreaming Away with Deer Tick
Aug08

Scene Here: Dreaming Away with Deer Tick

Down an old country road, tucked into the mountains in Becket, rests the 200-year-old Dream Away Lodge. The romantic name suits the intimate atmosphere with dim lighting and couples in every nook. It’s a lot like entering a good friend’s living room with unique, mismatched decor and a friendly black poodle hanging out. On this Saturday night, Ian O’Neil and Dennis Ryan of the folk rock band Deer Tick were performing an acoustic gig. I...

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Saturday’s Tribute to Daddy K (KJ Morris) @ Diva’s
Jul05

Saturday’s Tribute to Daddy K (KJ Morris) @ Diva’s

This past Saturday at Diva’s Nightclub in Northampton, a tribute to KJ Morris was held. Under the name Daddy K, Morris was a dancer and drag performer at Diva’s and was a huge part of the LGBT community in the Valley. Drag queens and kings, close friends, acquaintances and more came out to celebrate the life and impact that Morris left behind. Diva’s was packed with familiar faces and there was a constant line to get...

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Review: Gaiah’s Perfect Disaster
Feb16

Review: Gaiah’s Perfect Disaster

A couple weekends ago, I went and saw Springfield-based Gaiah perform at Maximum Capacity to support their recent release, Perfect Disaster. The performance was far from a disaster. I mean, these guys have been around the Valley music scene for some time. They are far from new to this. Do you remember nights at the Fat Cat Bar & Grill in Springfield in the early 2000s? To relive that era in my distant memories always leaves me...

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Women in Rock’s Luminaries
Jan25

Women in Rock’s Luminaries

When you hear the term “rock star,” who comes to mind first? Elvis Presley maybe, or The Rolling Stones? When I was little, I was introduced to Pink Floyd, Bruce Springsteen, and Led Zeppelin. All male-based rock bands. When I stepped out of my parent-influenced taste in music – all while still loving them – I found the ladies. Heart, Joan Jett and Blondie were some of the earlier treats that made me realize rock music is...

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Halloween Haunts

This Halloween, get your costumes ready and head over to the Iron Horse for the Annual Halloween Bones Shakedown with DJs LeFox (Sugar Biscuit) & Hip Sockit (Pollinate). It’s a dance party with prizes, so to win, you gotta DANCE! A night of costumed attendees and dance-fueled music that’ll keep the dance floor moving all night. 10 p.m. to 1 a.m. Iron Horse Music Hall, 20 Center St., Northampton, (413)...

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Show Us Your Tattoos
Oct26

Show Us Your Tattoos

The message here needs no explanation. I am a war tax resister, and this was my fourth and last tattoo from Saved Tattoo in Brooklyn, NY. (right) — Tom Wilson, Shelburne Falls My favorite Disney movie is The Little Mermaid, so that’s the reason why I decided to do that theme. Plus, I love the ocean and always have had a closeness with the sea. — Tonianne Silva, Indian...

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My Favorite Walk: Route 20’s Hidden Gem
Aug12

My Favorite Walk: Route 20’s Hidden Gem

Along scenic Route 20 in Chester, is the Chester-Blandford State Forest. On a 95-degree summer afternoon, the natural shade from the tall trees kept us cool as we walked the mile up to the Sanderson Brook Falls. Walking along the path, we only saw a few small groups of people. All said hello when they passed and continued in the opposite direction. One woman had a small dog that I don’t think barked once. It was almost as if, as soon...

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VIDEO Concert, Goodbye, Kool Thing, Kim Gordon makes her exit
Jul22

VIDEO Concert, Goodbye, Kool Thing, Kim Gordon makes her exit

Goodbye, Kool Thing Standing inches away from me moaning her iconic voice into the mic for soundcheck stood Kim Gordon. The longtime Northampton resident is bidding farewell to the Pioneer Valley, and she picked the perfect place to say goodbye. On top of the historic Florence building that includes the Miss Florence Diner rests the 13th Floor Music Lounge, a place where you see friendly faces every time you visit. It’s a small and...

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