April Fool’s Recap

We hope you enjoyed our April Fool’s antics last Friday! Did you get to see our “upside-down” web pages? They were a lot of fun to put together, and the response we’ve received has been absolutely wonderful! Hooray for fun! Now, whatever shall we do for next...

Happy Valley Showdown: Week Three

One of my pasttimes living in the valley is “drinking and drawing,” which has all the fun of drinking and driving, but usually doesn’t end up in multi-vehicle collisions. Usually. And when me and a friend were looking to do a bit of that, we weighed our options and decided the third week of the Happy Valley Showdown, at the Elevens in Northampton, was where to go. The Happy Valley Showdown is a Battle of the Bands for people who hate to have to see Bands Battling. I hadn’t been to a traditional one, because it took this long to kick my young adulthood habit of playing Final Fantasy games all the time, but it offered stuff that I like. A whole range of performers, from Pinter Moment, a talented fellow plinking away sad songs on a guitar to great effect, to the campily dramatic new wave showboating of Daniel Ouellette, to the Robert-DeNiro-from-Taxi-Driver-mohawk-sporting Idiot Savant who put together some wonderful synth music by himself, and played in two other bands. The rules are simple: a band has to play four original songs and one cover, in whatever way they please, and like any good democracy, the people who were there vote for their favorites. LOLFM did a cover of the Beach Boys. It’s the same song, but no one would mistake this for the Beach Boys. The grand prize, over time, is to win some precious recording time at Slaughterhouse Recording, as well engineering and mastering, but there’s still a ways to go for that: there are two more rounds with different bands on Sunday the 23rd and...

We Like the Moon

‘Cause it is close to us. (Be careful not to have your speakers up too loud when you click that!) All silliness and Spongmonkeys aside, we also like the moon because there is going to be a spectacular total lunar eclipse on the morning of Tuesday, December 21st!  In the Eastern Standard Time zone it is all going to start around 1:30 am, be totally eclipsed at 3:17 am, and finish up at 5:01 am. An eclipse like this doesn’t happen all that often, the last one was on February 21, 2008, and those of us in North America and parts of western Europe are in the absolute perfect area for viewing.  So if you can drag yourself out of bed, it should be a spectacular...

Thanksgiving Facts

Thanksgiving is only a few days away! The holiday has come to represent a time of being grateful for the good things in life, food, and family. It is also a holiday that has a history filled with uncertainty and no small amount of controversy. Here are the hard facts about Thanksgiving: -The primary evidence for the “first Thanksgiving” in Plymouth, MA is scanty, a whole two sources that give us the very basics. There was a feast that lasted for three days and plenty of food, the Plymouth Colony members enjoyed recreations, and there were around 90 Wampanoag men there including one of their leaders Massasoit. And that’s really about it. -There are a lot of people out there who contradict the traditional “Pilgrims and Native Americans sat down and ate together and were friends!” And rightly so. The politics of the time between the Plymouth Colony and the Wampanoag were complex. Due to the nature of the Internet, however, even the justifiable arguments have spread and mutated into strongly held beliefs without much evidence. Scholar Jeremy Bangs wrote an exhaustive article going through all of the various websites claiming to debunk the myths of Thanksgiving. He doesn’t set down any conclusions, but the article is an interesting, if long, read. -Thanksgiving wasn’t instituted as a national holiday until October 3, 1863, by Abraham Lincoln after a rather intense campaign by Sarah Josepha Hale to make the holiday a lasting institution. Before that, presidents had declared a day of thanksgiving every year or so, when they felt like it. -Franklin D. Roosevelt attempted to move Thanksgiving to an...

Jewelery Show at Lori Warner Studio/Gallery

If you’ve got some time on December 4th and 5th, you should head down to the Lori Warner Studio/Gallery in Chester, CT for a jewelery show featuring the stunning craft of a Skytemple friend Mandy Carroll-Levia. It is a perfect chance to find a handcrafted one-of-a-kind jewelery piece for an upcoming holiday or special...