The Songs We Can’t Get Out Of Our Heads: An Advocate Chat
May24

The Songs We Can’t Get Out Of Our Heads: An Advocate Chat

The Advocate Chat is a recurring series where the Valley Advocate staff talks about a topic on their minds. The text below has been lightly edited. kristinpalpini (Editor-in-Chief Kristin Palpini): OK, so today we are talking about songs that get stuck in our heads. We’re keeping it nice and breezy ahead of the long weekend. I think I have a song stuck in my head on most days. Usually the same song for multiple days.cgoudreau...

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‘Ask a Punk’ Documentary on Western Mass DIY gives glimpse into growing music scene (w/vid)
May22

‘Ask a Punk’ Documentary on Western Mass DIY gives glimpse into growing music scene (w/vid)

Amherst College junior Brian Zayatz’s new documentary, Ask a Punk, opens on a dark basement. You can’t see much other than some hazy Christmas lights in the frame. Some very involved yet calming music — tritones soaked in reverb — plays in the background.This basement in Hadley, along with others throughout the Valley and beyond, could have been finished and furnished with a crisp flat screen, but instead its brick walls are being...

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Review: A ‘Lil Alt-Country on Lisa Marie Ellingsen’s ‘NoLa to NoHo’ (w/audio)
May22

Review: A ‘Lil Alt-Country on Lisa Marie Ellingsen’s ‘NoLa to NoHo’ (w/audio)

Local singer-songwriter Lisa Marie Ellingsen smiles with an air of satisfaction. She’s wearing a leather jacket and flannel shirt, leaning against a rustic wooden backdrop on the front cover her new album, NoLa to NoHo. The photos were shot at the Florence Pie Bar, which is evident from a picture of a slice of apple pie and a piping hot cup of black coffee hidden behind the CD’s jewel case and, of course, the credits on the liner...

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TEASE (W/VID) FlavaEvolution’s Funky Jazzy Sessions Set … Full Set Coming Friday
May17

TEASE (W/VID) FlavaEvolution’s Funky Jazzy Sessions Set … Full Set Coming Friday

\/ \/ Scroll down for video. \/ \/ Recorded May 9, 2017, at the party for Best Of the Valley Readers’ Poll 2017 first place winners hosted by the Valley Advocate at the Log Cabin in Holyoke.Want more Sessions now? Go to sessions.valleyadvocate.com to hear intimate sets by Valley artists you may not know yet, but are worth discovering – and...

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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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Valley Music Showcase in Easthampton, Friday (w/vid)
May15

Valley Music Showcase in Easthampton, Friday (w/vid)

Valley Music ShowcaseGenres clash in the most melodic way possible Friday night in Easthampton. The Valley Music Showcase at the New City Brewery is a “bi-monthly mini music fest” — or as I like to call it, the Bi-Mon Min-MuFest — and it pulls from all musical genres, according to organizers. The fest is judged and there are prizes for the winner. This show’s bands include a wealth of Valley Advocate Sessions alumni: Grayson Ty, The...

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Appalachian Still On The Valley Advocate Sessions Stage
May12

Appalachian Still On The Valley Advocate Sessions Stage

Check out Appalachian Still:Also visit our Sessions page, with an interview with the artist and all of our other Sessions...

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TEASE: Appalachian Still, Jamming Bluegrass on the Sessions Stage (w/vid)
May11

TEASE: Appalachian Still, Jamming Bluegrass on the Sessions Stage (w/vid)

Check out the full Appalachian Still Sessions concert Friday online at valleyadvocate.com. Can’t wait for Friday to hear more Sessions? Great! Head over to the archive and listen to sets by the likes of The Suitcase Junket, Ray Mason, Eavesdrop Trio, Hannah & Maggie, Eric Lee, the Merrill Shepard Show, Mammal Dap, Fancy Trash, And the Neighbors and...

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Kitchen Dwellers Bring ‘Galaxy Grass’ to Northampton (w/vid)
May08

Kitchen Dwellers Bring ‘Galaxy Grass’ to Northampton (w/vid)

Got that Galaxy GrassA Kitchen Dwellers show is a true Montana bluegrass experience … that’s been strapped to a rocket, shot into space, and looped around Saturn a few times. Dubbed “galaxy grass,” the band’s sound is high-energy and exploratory jamming with just a touch of funk. Each song has a story pushed by a chugging mandolin-fiddle section. Torrin Daniels’ vocals growl like a spirit stitched out of Appalachia and fast...

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Join the Herd: Donna the Buffalo Stampedes Into Town (w/vid)
May08

Join the Herd: Donna the Buffalo Stampedes Into Town (w/vid)

Join the HerdQuintessential ’90s folk rock band Donna the Buffalo is coming to Holyoke as part of the group’s politically-active Stampede Tour. In addition to providing groove-heavy dance-able tunes, Donna the Buffalo seeks to bring attention to the inappropriate use of money to influence politics. DtB’s music is a mix of electric Americana, Cajun/Zydeco, rock, folk, reggae, and country that produces a high-energy sound. Call out your...

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What Will the Hatchery Do Next? Inventive Dance Performance This Weekend
May08

What Will the Hatchery Do Next? Inventive Dance Performance This Weekend

So, You Know They Can DanceAn homage to Wes Anderson’s highly stylized films and a self-reflective, choreographed spoken-word piece called “Perception” were among the performances featured in Hatchery’s debut show this winter. The pre-professional dance troupe’s second show is coming up this weekend, and it’s exciting to think about what this 10-person group of 13- to 19-year-olds have created. Part of the School for Contemporary...

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Blaise’s Bad Movie Guide: ‘Bad Channels’ Tune Into 666 … if you dare (w/vid)
May08

Blaise’s Bad Movie Guide: ‘Bad Channels’ Tune Into 666 … if you dare (w/vid)

I was saddened when I heard the news that Paul O’Neil, the founder of the Trans-Siberian Orchestra, had died. It seems my favorite bands have either passed away (the Ramones, the Cramps), or are eligible for AARP but continue to stumble on. In addition to Sparks and Alice Cooper, the Blue Oyster Cult is a prime example of the latter. Looking to expand their fan base in 1992, BOC produced the soundtrack for a movie called Bad Channels....

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Staff Picks: See The Greys in Agawam
May09

Staff Picks: See The Greys in Agawam

The Greys at The Still in Agawam • FridayThe Greys came in a couple months ago to perform a Sessions set with us and the duo had me in awe. The powerful, whispering voice of singer Cait Simpson folds perfectly inside the jazz-styled stand up bass plucking of Chris Merritt. They make their debut at The Still this Friday playing some originals along with “haunting renditions” of covers. 7 p.m., The Still, 858 Suffield St. — Jennifer...

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David Crosby of Crosby, Stills & Nash Talks Songwriting, Politics, and Fame
May05

David Crosby of Crosby, Stills & Nash Talks Songwriting, Politics, and Fame

David Crosby — the founding member of legendary 1960s and 1970s rock groups such as the Byrds and Crosby, Stills, & Nash — is coming to Northampton’s Academy of Music Theatre on May 19 for a show with his electric backing band. The two-time Rock n’ Roll Hall of Famer singer-songwriter and guitarist is set to release his third album in two years, Sky Trails, sometime this year. The Valley Advocate interviewed Crosby on May 3 to talk...

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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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The Thunder Down East Music Fest in Easthampton Saturday
May01

The Thunder Down East Music Fest in Easthampton Saturday

The Thunder Down EastIf you hear rumblings coming from Easthampton Saturday, come running — it’s the Thunder in the Valley Festival. This all-ages event will feature rock and roll, food trucks, craft beer, wrestling — with students from Kevin Landry’s Pro Wrestling Combine in Holyoke — Knockerball, and a “glorious” motorcycle ride over the Mount Tom reservation. Musicians slated to perform include LA Backstage Pass, Decades, B-Movie...

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Young@Heart Celebrates 35 Years Saturday
May01

Young@Heart Celebrates 35 Years Saturday

Forever Young@HeartYoung@Heart, a chorus of people age 70 and older who love singing contemporary tunes, is celebrating 35 years of belting out the hits with a show this Saturday at the Academy of Music Theatre in Northampton. Hear new arrangements of songs by Psychedelic Furs, Los Lobos, Radiohead, Tears for Fears, Emerson, Lake and Palmer, and more.Young@Heart Celebrates 35 Years: Saturday, 7:30 p.m. $20-$25. Academy of Music...

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Facing the Wolf: Old Flame’s Wolf in the Heather EP Reviewed
May01

Facing the Wolf: Old Flame’s Wolf in the Heather EP Reviewed

The blues has always been about addressing heartbreak and strife going back to 1930s Depression-era America. Northampton-based indie garage rock blues duo Old Flame seem to share that sentiment for today’s world. The band’s debut seven-song EP, Wolf in the Heather, features songs of resistance to the Trump Administration with biting lyrics and a penchant for muddy blues riffs.“The storm is raging but I’m caught in this cage/ I ain’t...

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Hannah & Maggie on the Advocate Sessions Stage
Apr28

Hannah & Maggie on the Advocate Sessions Stage

Bright-eyed and bolstered by a rapidly growing fan base, the award winning NYC duo has set out to make the world of singer-songwriters a more cheerful place. Although they’ve been favorably compared to Simon & Garfunkel and The Indigo Girls, these ladies have an undeniable originality and a sound all their own. Their efforts to blend the folk music they were raised on with a modern-day melodic energy prove successful time and...

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Just a Taste (VIDEO): Hannah and Maggie, folk pop duo, to be featured on Sessions Friday
Apr26

Just a Taste (VIDEO): Hannah and Maggie, folk pop duo, to be featured on Sessions Friday

Nice photo ^^ Nice video vvCan’t wait for more Sessions? Head over to the Sessions page and listen to more of the best local bands you might not have heard of – and a couple you probably...

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Garage Pop Band Hammydown to be Featured on Sessions this Friday
Apr19

Garage Pop Band Hammydown to be Featured on Sessions this Friday

Who is Hammydown?To see more come back Friday afternoon when we’ll post the full 20 minute concert and interview with Hammydown. Want more Sessions? Check out past performances from bands that include Mammal Dap, The Suitcase Junket, Mikey Sweet, Ray Mason, The Eavesdrop Trio, and Fancy Trash at...

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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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Rick Murnane Live on the Sessions Stage
Apr13

Rick Murnane Live on the Sessions Stage

Rick Murnane is a Northampton-based singer-songwriter who has played with more area bands than you can shake a drumstick at, but his guitar skills are equally impressive when he plays his powerful and tender songs solo. Whether you’re listening to “Last Friday,” Murnane’s monthly songwriting series or during his regular live gigs up and down the Valley, Murnane will enthrall. Here’s a tease for...

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Basemental: From Northampton to Nashville
Apr10

Basemental: From Northampton to Nashville

On the road with The Sun ParadeFrom the streets of Nashville I called Lynne Bertrand, who manages the Northampton band The Sun Parade. There was a problem.I had stopped by the venue earlier and noticed the sign outside said they were going first. This wasn’t going to fly, because the people the band had driven from Northampton to play for — an A&R rep and the president of New West, a Nashville based record label who is interested in...

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Calling All New Bands!
Apr10

Calling All New Bands!

We’re still a few months out from July’s annual Green River Festival in Greenfield, but we’re right on time to share a special early announcement from producers Signature Sounds. This year, the festival will add a new stage called the Next Wave Stage, which will host a youth band contest to showcase five of the most promising up-and-coming young Western New England music groups. The Next Wave Stage is open to musical acts from Western...

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Spring Arts Preview: Top Valley Events (April-June 2017)
Apr03

Spring Arts Preview: Top Valley Events (April-June 2017)

Tweet Puppets for the PeopleFrom its founding in New York’s Lower East Side in 1963 to its decades-long residence in the Northeast Kingdom of Vermont, Bread & Puppet Theater remains one of the country’s most inventive and internationally recognized performing arts troupes. The company’s instantly familiar style of street theater shows — which mix music and dance with drama, puppetry, satire, and slapstick — are always a spectacle and,...

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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 AliveAs 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 specials...

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On Stage: Where War Meets Food and Music
Apr03

On Stage: Where War Meets Food and Music

War and MusicPlaywright Quiara Alegría Hudes has jumped onto our cultural radar many times over the years — she received the 2012 Pulitzer Prize for Drama for her play Water by the Spoonful, and she wrote the book for the musical In The Heights alongside future Hamilton star Lin-Manual Miranda — but we get to delve into a somewhat quieter (but no less powerful) part of her repertoire this month with the UMass production of her...

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Album Release Party: Children of the Wild’s Traveling Rock Opera
Apr03

Album Release Party: Children of the Wild’s Traveling Rock Opera

The Tribe That QuestsIn recent years, ensemble theater group Children of the Wild has managed something nifty: the full integration of the musical band dynamic into their touring acts. Music and theater fused completely in the show The Wastelands, an original experimental folk opera inspired by Dante’s Purgatorio that toured the Great Lakes region from June to October 2016, taking over real-world settings like abandoned factories and...

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Saturday Live: Terence Blanchard and the E-Collective
Apr03

Saturday Live: Terence Blanchard and the E-Collective

One of the GreatsNew Orleans native Terence Blanchard has become one of America’s most respected jazz musicians, working as a trumpeter, bandleader, composer, arranger, and film score composer. He was an integral figure in the 1980s jazz resurgence, and his trumpet can be heard on nearly 50 film scores. But he’s pushing boundaries with his new quintet, The E-Collective — a project that fuses funk, R&B, dance, and blues. The group’s...

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New Thursday Series: Award-Winning Documentaries at Next Stage
Mar27

New Thursday Series: Award-Winning Documentaries at Next Stage

The World in FrameSince opening its historic church doors in 2011, Next Stage Arts Project has been working to bring world-class events into the small town of Putney, Vermont (just north of Brattleboro). Never has that mission been more clear than with the group’s newest project: a curated screening series for feature-length documentary films called [framed], each one presented by the filmmaker, who will be present at each screening...

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Saturday: Talk by Punk Photographer Cynthia Connolly
Mar27

Saturday: Talk by Punk Photographer Cynthia Connolly

Smile! (Or Don’t)Artist, photographer, and punk for the ages Cynthia Connolly made a name for herself in one fell swoop when she published Banned in DC: Photos and Anecdotes from the D.C. Punk Underground (79-85). That scrappy yearbook-style achievement snuck into stores in 1988 with a first print run of 2,000 copies, and stayed in print through 2005. Ten years later, it came back into print, so the moment is perfect to catch up with...

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VIDEO Teaser: The Greys play Advocate Sessions
Mar29

VIDEO Teaser: The Greys play Advocate Sessions

Jazz-inspired indie duo on vocals and bassWhen Cait Simpson sings and Chris Merritt plucks his upright bass, something simple and enchanting happens. The friends just released their first EP, The Landing, available on iTunes and Spotify.Catch the full video this Friday on Advocate Sessions, and browse full-set videos of your favorite local musical acts! Click to visit:...

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Basemental: Umbral Made Real
Mar27

Basemental: Umbral Made Real

How a fictional psychdrone collective from Berlin took form in GreenfieldIn 2015, a real writer and real College of the Atlantic professor named Daniel Mahoney published a real book called Sunblind Almost Motorcrash. In it, he wrote fictional reviews of imaginary bands. The purpose of the project, he said, was to “investigate the distance between sound and how we use language to describe sound,” which is the crux of this racket we...

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Music Spotlight: Jason Vieaux Plays UMass Amherst
Mar27

Music Spotlight: Jason Vieaux Plays UMass Amherst

Guitar Around the WorldTo hear NPR tell it, musician Jason Vieaux is “perhaps the most precise and soulful classical guitarist of his generation.” Vieaux’s album Play won the 2015 Grammy award for best classical instrumental solo, and he has played in hundreds of orchestras and music festivals in Asia, Australia, Europe, and Mexico. He plays a solo concert at UMass on Tuesday that is sure to speak to his remarkably expressive range —...

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