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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Stagestruck: A List Of Things To Live For in ‘Every Brilliant Thing’
Aug07

Stagestruck: A List Of Things To Live For in ‘Every Brilliant Thing’

Everyone needs something to live for. Some of us have a harder time finding it than others. Much harder. So … if you’re a young child and your mom has just tried to kill herself, what can you do about it? Well, you could give her a list of everything that makes the world beautiful and life worth living: 1.) Ice cream. 2.) Water fights. 3.) Staying up past your bedtime and being allowed to watch TV. “All things that, at seven, I...

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Staff Picks: Smell You Later in Williamstown
Aug07

Staff Picks: Smell You Later in Williamstown

Smell You Later // Thursday  The Osmotheque in Versailles, France, brings visitors to the museum on a journey of smells, cataloging the historic smells of perfumes. It’s name comes from the Greek words meaning “smell storehouse.” Now Williams College is taking a stab at its own Osmotheque to transform works in Museum of Art’s collection into scents. Perfumers Christopher Draghi and Robert Dobay lead the tour, starting at 5 p.m....

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LISTEN UP: Krunkelstiltskin plays that heavy rock with humor for you (SESSIONS VIDEO)
Aug04
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Ray Mason, the Valley’s Neil Young, Playing Aug. 3
Jul31

Ray Mason, the Valley’s Neil Young, Playing Aug. 3

Ray Mason, the Valley’s Neil Young If there’s a mic and some place for him to plug in his old Silvertone guitar, you’ve got a good chance of seeing Ray Mason. The tireless musician gigs up and down the Valley several times a week and for good reason — he’s awesome. Mason, who plays solo and with the Lonesome Brothers, is a talented storyteller and songwriter with a gift for infusing humor and honesty into his roots-style folk rock. Go...

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Tease Video: Krunkelstiltskin on Sessions Friday
Aug02

Tease Video: Krunkelstiltskin on Sessions Friday

Krunkelstiltskin is a heavy electronic driven eclectic rock band with a sense of humor. The group played on the Valley Advocate Sessions stage on July 12. Krunkelstiltskin’s full performance will be available online this Friday. Until then, here’s a teaser showcasing the...

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‘It Was Against the Law for Black and White Musicians to Play Together,’ Springfield Jazz & Roots Fest Seeks Justice
Jul31

‘It Was Against the Law for Black and White Musicians to Play Together,’ Springfield Jazz & Roots Fest Seeks Justice

Music is never just some notes of a melody — it’s always something more, says legendary New Orleans jazz saxophonist Charles Neville. Neville, who grew up in New Orleans during the Jim Crow era, but now resides in Huntington with his wife and children, has seen music change America. “I remember when the first black cops were allowed on the police force and one of the things we all as young teenagers laughed at was the fact that they...

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Outer Stylie on the Valley Advocate Sessions Stage
Jul28

Outer Stylie on the Valley Advocate Sessions Stage

Outer Stylie is a head-banging heavy psychedelic rock band with plenty soul. The four-piece group played on the Valley Advocate Sessions stage on July 12. Like what you’re listening to? Check out the Valley Advocate Sessions page for bands and artists, including The Mary Jane Jones, Sodada, Seth Newton, and...

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Tease VIDEO: Outer Stylie on Sessions Friday
Jul27

Tease VIDEO: Outer Stylie on Sessions Friday

Outer Stylie is a head-banging psychedelic rock band with plenty soul. The group played on the Valley Advocate Sesssions stage on July 12. Outer Stylie’s full performance will be available online this Friday. Until then, here’s a teaser showcasing the band. Can’t wait for Friday to see more Sessions? Check out some local bands...

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The Buddy McEarns Band Playing Friday
Jul24

The Buddy McEarns Band Playing Friday

Buddy McEarns Your Musical Respect Good time, blusey bar band Buddy McEarns rocks with driving, classical guitar riffs and just the tiniest dash of hippie jam. There’s something comforting about The Buddy McEarns Band, like looking at an old friend named nostaligia through beer goggles. Catch them once, or twice this weekend! The Buddy McEarns Band: Friday (with the full band), 6-9 p.m. Free. Luxe Burger Bar, 1200 W. Columbus...

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Get Out With Staff Picks: Hang Out With Master Beaders, or Hit Up ShenaNiFest
Jul24

Get Out With Staff Picks: Hang Out With Master Beaders, or Hit Up ShenaNiFest

200 Master Beaders, 1 Project — ALL WEEKEND This 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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Review: The Blues in Bloom, Lexi Weege’s New Album
Jul24

Review: The Blues in Bloom, Lexi Weege’s New Album

Lexi Weege is the type of performer who draws you in immediately. She’s a blues and jazz songstress with a voice that combines intimate and heartbreaking cabaret singing, in the vein of French chanteuse Edith Piaf, with 1960s boisterous rock n’ roll frontwoman stylings ala Janis Joplin. She follows in the footsteps of trailblazing blues and jazz singers  — Big Mama Thornton, Bessie Smith, and Ma Rainey — to name a few, while putting...

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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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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 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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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...

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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...

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Lexi Weege Plays Homefield Brewing Sunday
Jul03

Lexi Weege Plays Homefield Brewing Sunday

Woman of Rock Lexi 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...

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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...

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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 Sodada Like what you’re listening to? Check out the Valley Advocate Sessions page for bands and artists, including Shokazoba, Flava Evolution, Peter Blanchette, and more....

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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 Jazz Northampton’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 Ghost 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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