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...

Read More
Forgotten: Springfield’s Black History Is Nowhere In Sight
Jun05

Forgotten: Springfield’s Black History Is Nowhere In Sight

Springfield, Massachusetts, was a big abolitionist hub during the days of the Underground Railroad — not that many people know this.When talking about Massachusetts history, Western Mass isn’t well represented in historical texts — they’re more focused on Boston. And even less well represented is Pioneer Valley black history.Springfield, Massachusetts, was an early safe haven for refugees. In 1783, Massachusetts was one of the first...

Read More
Down To Earth: The Valley’s Own Dinosaur Tracker
Jun05

Down To Earth: The Valley’s Own Dinosaur Tracker

As we struggle with tough questions surrounding science today, we could do worse than look for guidance to the great figures of the past.One such figure, it turns out, belongs to our own Pioneer Valley, and many argue he’s received too little attention:  Edward Hitchcock, geologist, botanist, minister, teacher, and president of Amherst College from 1845 to 1854.I first encountered Hitchcock during a field trip as a geology student at...

Read More
Cinemadope: Mad Max ‘Black & Chrome’ Escapes Hollywood’s Color Crutch
May30

Cinemadope: Mad Max ‘Black & Chrome’ Escapes Hollywood’s Color Crutch

There has been a trend in Hollywood filmmaking that, for the last decade or so, has steadily changed the look of our blockbusters. It’s a pervasive change, but one that has happened gradually enough that many people aren’t even aware that it has been happening, quite literally in front of their eyes. So then, a warning: If you haven’t noticed, and don’t want the way you look at movies to be changed forever, skip the next paragraph.The...

Read More
‘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...

Read More