Get Out With Staff Picks: Hang Out With Master Beaders
Jul24

Get Out With Staff Picks: Hang Out With Master Beaders

200 Master Beaders, 1 Project — ALL WEEKENDThis weekend maser beadwork artist Darcy Rosner and beaders from SweetBananberry will be at Three Sisters Sanctuary in Goshen adding another whimsical art installation to the outside gallery. They’ll be assembling a mosaic mannequin out of the beadwork of 200 participating artists from across the globe. The mannequin will become a regular feature at Three Sisters, but if you want to...

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Tease VIDEO Feel Good Drift on Sessions Friday
Jul20
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Staff Picks: Harry Potter Inspired Music with Draco and the Malfoys
Jul17

Staff Picks: Harry Potter Inspired Music with Draco and the Malfoys

Draco and the Malfoys • Saturday  I held out on Harry Potter mania for years, but finally succumbed when the last book came out in 2007. I read them all in a matter of months, but I didn’t go as far as these folks, who wrote albums of Harry Potter-inspired music. I can’t think of a better venue to appreciate this band than a library, and that’s exactly where they’re having the show. Hoping they play “All...

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Cinemadope: ‘Wanna-Bes Need Not Apply,’ Documentary on Madonna’s Back-up Voguers
Jul17

Cinemadope: ‘Wanna-Bes Need Not Apply,’ Documentary on Madonna’s Back-up Voguers

“Wimps and Wanna-Be’s need not apply!” That was the tagline of a print ad announcing an open audition for “FIERCE Male Dancers” who wanted to earn a spot on Madonna’s controversial, ground-breaking Blond Ambition Tour in 1990. It would have been a dream job for any dancer, but nobody — certainly not the seven young men, most barely 20 at the time, who ended up touring the globe with the pop star — could have predicted the impact the...

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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 MusicBoston/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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Behind The Music: The People and Promoters Going Beyond IHEG
Jul10

Behind The Music: The People and Promoters Going Beyond IHEG

For years the Iron Horse Entertainment Group with its quintet of venues — Pearl Street Nightclub, The Calvin, The Basement, The Iron Horse Music Hall, and Mountain Park — reigned over the Pioneer Valley music scene.IHEG’s rule has irked some people.Frustration with the entertainment group boiled over recently leading to a guerilla campaign against IHEG owner Eric Suher, and two widely circulated news stories about crumby conditions at...

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At Play: All Things Scottish and Great
Jul10

At Play: All Things Scottish and Great

Get your Scot on at the 24th annual Glasgow Lands Scottish Festival Saturday at Look Park in Northampton. The day-long event is jammed with all things Celtic and “tidy” (that’s Scottish slang for excellent).The day will feature Scottish music, athletic feats of strength, vendors, historical recreations, food, and beer.Don’t miss Albannach (that’s them in front of that rippin’ hawk). The band is straight outta Scotland and features...

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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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Tundrastomper Are Good Musical Neighbors in Western Mass
Jul03

Tundrastomper Are Good Musical Neighbors in Western Mass

Tundrastomper, an explosive, chaotic, and notey rock band, formed about 10 years ago when Skyler Lloyd, Sam Brivic, Andrew Jones, and Max Goldstein were teenagers — about 13 years old each. They grew up in a town in Westchester, New York, called Ardsley. I looked it up on Google Maps and, well, it is what you might expect for New York City suburbs: the green space is evenly split between golf clubs and public parks, and the houses...

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Get Pumped for Green River Fest With Pre-Show at The Root Friday
Jul03

Get Pumped for Green River Fest With Pre-Show at The Root Friday

Before the sounds of mic checks and inflating balloons echo over the Greenfield Community College verdant field to signal the start of Green River Fest next weekend (July 14-16), this Friday (July 7) Sun Parade and Twisted Pine will give the Valley a taste of the the genre-bending rock that’s in store with a show at The Root Cellar.Sun Parade’s music is chill and groovy with hypnotic melodies under a soft-fuzzy coo on the mic. Their...

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The Future of Western Mass Music Is Here: Next Wave Stage at Green River Fest
Jul03

The Future of Western Mass Music Is Here: Next Wave Stage at Green River Fest

On July 14, attendees of the Green River Festival will get a taste of the future of music in the Valley. The Next Wave Stage will feature a five-band concert with local bands with members ages 18 and younger. As a bonus, anyone 18 and under gets into the festival for free that day.During the spring, bands from Western Mass and Southern Vermont applied to get on the stage’s debut lineup. Jim Olsen, president of Signature Sounds and the...

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Lexi Weege Plays Homefield Brewing Sunday
Jul03

Lexi Weege Plays Homefield Brewing Sunday

Woman of RockLexi Weege has picked up on how solo female acts are received: they’re objectified, controlled, censored, and restrained — but you won’t see any of that at a Weege show or hear it in her music. She’s punk AF in that way. Weege’s sound is bold, alive, and woke as hell. Her powerful voice and jazz-inspired compositions are just one aspect of Weege’s electric performances. Weege is a regular on...

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Wizard of Oz Performed by Plucky PaintBox Theatre
Jul03

Wizard of Oz Performed by Plucky PaintBox Theatre

Do You Represent the Lollipop Guild?After more than 70 years since the film’s release (and more than 100 since the book’s), is there any more magic to be wrung from The Wizard of Oz? PaintBox Theatre has answered this jaded question with a resounding, Absolutely! With just three actors, a few props and a whole lot of cleverness and children’s art, the PaintBox troupe is going to recreate the wonderful world of Oz....

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A Review Of Sodada’s “Sunshine EP”
Jun26

A Review Of Sodada’s “Sunshine EP”

What do you get when you combine Pink Floyd’s brand of jazzy progressive rock; the bittersweet melodies of The Beatles; soulful R&B a la Stevie Wonder; and a punk rock attitude? You find a band like Sodada, which succeeds in being much more than the sum of its parts.The local quartet, which was recently featured on the Advocate Sessions stage, released a new seven-song extended play (EP) called Sunshine EP on April 1 that features...

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Long Live the Staycation! Why Leave Western Mass?
Jun26

Long Live the Staycation! Why Leave Western Mass?

Hanging around the house is something we all do, but usually in an unfocused, squished-between-chores-and-obligations sort of way. But when you stay home for vacation, your dwelling can become a sanctuary, free from the day-to-day grind. If you can’t afford to get out of town, treat your home like a resort: stock it with your favorite goodies, splurge a bit on something comfy, and postpone responsibilities for a while. Indulge in the...

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RISE UP Board Game Is All About Fighting The System
Jun26

RISE UP Board Game Is All About Fighting The System

What do you do when the state of the world makes you so angry and/or demoralized that you don’t even want to leave the house? A new board game called Rise Up: The Game of People & Power, and created by former Hampshire College students, is the answer!Rise Up is a collaborative board game in which you and your fellow players are activists fighting against “the system.”So, of course, the Advocate had to play!Before the game begins,...

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Sodada on the Valley Advocate Sessions Stage
Jun23

Sodada on the Valley Advocate Sessions Stage

Check out Sodada, a dreamy indie jazz band combined with soulful punk rock, recorded for Valley Advocate Sessions on May 30 at the Valley Advocate Offices.BONUS: Interview with SodadaLike what you’re listening to? Check out the Valley Advocate Sessions page for bands and artists, including Shokazoba, Flava Evolution, Peter Blanchette, and...

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Advocate Sessions Tease: Sodada
Jun21

Advocate Sessions Tease: Sodada

Sodada is a quintet that plays dreamy jazz meets soulful punk rock. Stay tuned for the band’s full performance out this Friday.Can’t wait for Friday to see more Sessions? Check out some local bands...

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Basemental: The Leafies are a Guerilla Band
Jun19

Basemental: The Leafies are a Guerilla Band

Some might describe The Leafies You Gave Me as a “band,” but that would be an understatement. At least in the musical sense.Yes, they are musicians. And yes, they make music. But they are a band more like New Oxford American Dictionary’s second definition of the word band: “a group of people who have a common interest or purpose.” It cites the example of a “guerilla band,” which does seem fitting for this 10-piece avant garde...

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Seth Newton on The Valley Advocate Sessions Stage
Jun16

Seth Newton on The Valley Advocate Sessions Stage

Check out local singer/songwriter and powerhouse alternative rock vocalist Seth Newton perform for the Valley Advocate Sessions recorded on May 30 at the Valley Advocate Offices.BONUS: Interview with Seth Newton Like what you’re listening to? Check out the Valley Advocate Sessions page for bands and artists, including Shokazoba, Flava Evolution, Peter Blanchette, and...

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Django This Weekend: You’ve Never Heard an Accordion Rock Like This (w/vid)
Jun12

Django This Weekend: You’ve Never Heard an Accordion Rock Like This (w/vid)

Hot Gypsy JazzNorthampton’s annual Django in June is a week-long bonanza of Gypsy jazz workshops, concerts, and jamming with artists from across the globe. The event celebrates the musical stylings of Django Reinhardt. The music has been described as hot jazz or Gypsy swing, either way the sound is jolly, accessible, and unique. There’s a camp for “djam” musicians that runs throughout the celebration, but for the rest of us, there’s...

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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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Spirit Ghost on The Valley Advocate Sessions Stage
Jun09

Spirit Ghost on The Valley Advocate Sessions Stage

Check out Amherst-based indie/garage/ surf rock band Spirit Ghost’s Advocate Sessions performance recorded on May 23 in The Advocate Offices. BONUS: Interview with Spirit GhostLike what you’re listening to? Check out the Valley Advocate Sessions page for bands and artists, including Shokazoba, Flava Evolution, Peter Blanchette, and...

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LISTEN UP: The Best Local 18-&-Under Bands to Play Green River Fest Revealed!
Jun05

LISTEN UP: The Best Local 18-&-Under Bands to Play Green River Fest Revealed!

In a new addition to the 30-plus -year-old Green River Fest, Signature Sounds has found the best local bands with musicians ages 18 and under to be featured performers Friday night on the Next Wave Stage.But wait there’s more! Friday night admission will be free to anyone under age 18.Sponsored by the Valley Advocate, the five winners of The Next Wave competition will each play a set July 14 on, where else, the longrunning...

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Basemental: Dump Him’s New Record Is Really Freaking Good
Jun05

Basemental: Dump Him’s New Record Is Really Freaking Good

Editor’s note: Jaclyn Walsh uses they/them pronouns.Valley musician, student, and DIY booker Jaclyn Walsh wants you to dump your boyfriend so much that they named their band Dump Him.On the surface such a statement might charm the misandrists and queercore punks more than it appeals to standard bearing capitalist-hetero-patriarchs. But to only look so far would be to miss the point — or the attitude and ethic behind the band. Just...

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Valley Advocate Sessions TEASE: Spirit Ghost
Jun07

Valley Advocate Sessions TEASE: Spirit Ghost

Spirit Ghost, an Amherst-based indie garage rock band with a splash of surf, came into the Valley Advocate Offices to record for Valley Advocate Sessions on May 23. The band’s full performance and interview will be available on Valley Advocate’s website and the Valley Advocate Sessions page on Friday. Until then, here’s a teaser to satiate your ghostly hunger. Can’t wait for Spirit Ghost’s full...

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Peter Blanchette on The Valley Advocate Sessions Stage
Jun02

Peter Blanchette on The Valley Advocate Sessions Stage

Check out 11-string arch-guitarist virtuoso Peter Blanchette and violinist Kenny Butler perform 1500s French Renaissance folk music, and other classical gems. Also visit our Sessions page, with an interview with the artist an all of our other Sessions...

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Classic TEASE: Peter Blanchette on the Archguitar! Watch a tease, full video Friday
Jun01

Classic TEASE: Peter Blanchette on the Archguitar! Watch a tease, full video Friday

Can’t wait for Friday to see more Sessions? Check out some local bands now.

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A Love Letter to Radio: Johnny Memphis Band’s ‘Rarities’
May30

A Love Letter to Radio: Johnny Memphis Band’s ‘Rarities’

Polka, doo-wop, jazz swing, and country western music — you wouldn’t think one band would cover these eclectic genres across six songs, but The Johnny Memphis Band, based out of Florence, does just that and more on its new record, Rarities.The sole songwriter for the band is Johnny Memphis, aka John Reily, a former WRSI disc jockey who adopted his stage name when he got his start on the airwaves in 1986. The band’s new album is a love...

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Shokazoba on the Valley Advocate Sessions Stage
May26

Shokazoba on the Valley Advocate Sessions Stage

Check out ten-piece Afrobeat meets old school funk and jazz ensemble Shokazoba.Also visit our Sessions page, with an interview with the artist an all of our other Sessions...

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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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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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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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