Learning through the Lens of Food: Apples

Poetry, Place & Hearth: Apples

Food connects us. It’s an integral part of our cultural identity and is often prepared with the idea of sharing, giving, and enjoying together.  Nothing indicates the beginning of autumn and the fall harvest in Western Massachusetts like the crisp bite of a local apple picked right off the tree, or the sweet taste of a freshly baked apple pie.

Apple season is a beloved time of year in New England with apple orchards preserving our heritage, regional identity, and local landscape. By visiting pick-your-own apple orchards, we meet the farmers that grow our food, learn firsthand how apples grow, and engage in the seasonality of the land and the sense of belonging it instills within us. Traditional recipes, the scenic orchard landscapes, and the representation of apple-picking in literature and art remind us of how the apple has become a rich part of our cultural heritage. Read the rest of this entry »

How Do Apples Grow?

One-Room Schoolhouse: Connecting to Place through Literature & History

One-Room Schoolhouse: Connecting to Place through Literature & History

In the 1800’s, the traditional academic year was quite different in New England. An element of seasonality was incorporated into how the school term was determined. In rural areas, children who helped out on the family farm attended school during the winter and stayed home to assist with the harvest during the summer and fall. In a one-room schoolhouse, grade levels were often mixed and one teacher was responsible for all of the students’ learning. A man or woman, the school teacher assigned tasks to each student depending on the pupil’s age, grade, and level of advancement.

19th century poet, John Greenleaf Whittier, wrote a poem that describes well a typical country schoolhouse in New England. A Quaker, abolitionist, and native of Haverhill, MA, Whittier is part of a group of poets also known as the schoolroom poets. Whittier, William Cullen Bryant, Henry Wadsworth Longfellow, James Russell Lowell, and Oliver Wendell Holmes Sr. were considered the first American poets to bring forth an authentic American voice and rival the British poets. They were referred to as the Schoolroom Poets, Fireside Poets, or Household Poets given their popularity and widely read works. One of Whittier’s poems, “In School-days,” read here in this video by Tom O’Bedlam, describes the memory of an old man as he recalls a fellow student and the life lesson she taught him.

When listening to (or reading) this poem, notice the description of the schoolhouse: the warped floors, the schoolmaster’s worn desk, and the battered seats of the students – all characteristics that point to a typical 19th century schoolhouse in New England.  Read the rest of this entry »

Who Were the Fireside Poets?

History of Education: A Lesson

Contemporary Conversations About Education

Contemporary Conversations About Education

Contemporary conversations about modern day education include” inspiring and forward-looking leaders and thinkers on the topic of learning, including Dr. Angela Lee Duckworth, Bill Gates, Rita F. Pierson, Sir Ken Robinson and Geoffrey Canada, among others.” Hear what many of these folks have to share in this this TED Talk special on education:

29 Community-Based Educational Highlights: Economics to Psychology. Nature Walks to Migration.

Want to organize a Monarch Butterfly tagging effort? Monarch Watch has instructions and kits with tags for tracking.

Economics to Psychology. Fall Foliage to Graveyards. Songbirds to Coding. These are just a few of the community-based learning highlights we’re featuring this week!

Peruse our list below and make plans to get out into your community and learn while you play!

Featured community highlights this week:  You can become a citizen scientist on Wednesday, September 14, 4pm-6pm by helping to tag monarchs before they head south to the overwintering grounds in Mexico. Jennifer Unkles has been tagging monarchs since 1997. She will be teaching participants at the Hitchcock Center about the monarch’s life cycle, their epic annual migration, how the tagging program works, and how to tag any monarchs you’re able to catch and release. Registration is recommended. 413-256-6006. 845 West Street. Amherst, MA. (FREE)


Industrial HistoryCutlerySeed SavingService-Based LearningClimate ChangeImmigrationEconomicsGuided HikesFood StudiesWild EdiblesMigrationSTEMOpera1Computer ProgrammingHorticultureBilingualismOrnithologyFood HistoryCulinary ArtsEntomologyCitizen ScienceFinancial LiteracyPsychologyCartographyAncestryCemetery Walk


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HFVS Back to School Episode with Guest DJ, Joanie Leeds (Radio Show/Podcast)

Hilltown Family Variety Show

Listen to Podcast:

Back to School Episode
with Guest DJ, Joanie Leeds

Joanie Leeds of Joanie Leeds & The Nightlights guest DJs our Back To School Episode. Joanie hand picked all of the school themed songs including a few from her CD, Bandwagon as well as from artists such as: Pop Ups, Dizzy Gillespie, Justin Roberts, Bari Koral, Recess Monkey, Lunch Money, Astrograss, Miss Nina, They Might Be Giants, The Verve Pipe, Chuck Berry, Trout Fishing in America and Rocknoceros.  – www.joanieleeds.com

Saturday from 9-10am & Sunday from 7-8am
September 3rd & 4th, 2016
Original Broadcast: Aug 31, 2013
WXOJ LP – 103.3 FM – Valley Free Radio
Northampton, MA

FEATURED VIDEO:  Joanie Leeds & the Nightlights , “Back to School.”


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Listen to Podcast:

PLAYLIST

  • Joanie Leeds & The Nightlights – “Back to School” (Bandwagon)
  • Pop Ups- “Math Rock” – (Radio Jungle)
  • Dizzy Gillespie – “School Days (When We Were a Couple of Kids)” – (School Days)
  • Justin Roberts – “Recess” – (Recess)
  • Bari Koral – “Backpack” (Family Rock Band)
  • Recess Monkey – “Science Fair” (The Final Funktier)
  • Joanie Leeds & The Nightlights – Use Your Words- (Bandwagon)
  • Lunch Money – “I Love My Library” – (Dizzy)
  • Astrograss – “Continental Geography” – (The Colored Pencil Factory)
  • Miss Nina – “New Alphabet” – (Sha Doo Be Doop)
  • They Might Be Giants – “Meet the Elements” – (Here Comes the Science)
  • The Verve Pipe – “Homework Blues Stomp” – (Are We There Yet)
  • Joanie Leeds & The Nightlights – Bandwagon- (Bandwagon)
  • Chuck Berry – “School Days” – (The Anthology)
  • Trout Fishing in America – “Rubber Baby Buggy Bumpers” – (Rubber Baby Buggy Bumpers)
  • Crossing Guard – “Rocknoceros” – (Pink!)
  • Joanie Leeds & The Nightlights – “Nightlights”- (Bandwagon)

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SciShow: Teaching the World of Science Through Video

SciShow: Teaching the World of Science Through Video

Spotlighting the most engaging and fascinating of scientific topics with brevity, SciShow brings kid-friendly web-based doses of science to screens everywhere! Offered through SciShow’s Youtube channel are dozens upon dozens of videos teaching about everything from plasma to the influences of science fiction.

Science-curious learners of almost any age can take advantage of the information offered through SciShow’s videos in numerous ways, including gaining exposure to new topics, solidifying understanding of topics already explored, or adding background knowledge to topics explored through experience.  Read the rest of this entry »

HFVS World Languages Episode with Guest DJ, Sarah Aroeste (Radio Show/Podcast)

Hilltown Family Variety Show

Listen to Podcast:

World Languages Episode with
Guest DJ, Sarah Aroeste

This week on the HFVS, Sarah Aroeste, a children’s singer and songwriter in the rare and eclectic dialect of Spanish called Ladino, will take listeners around the globe to explore some contemporary kids music in lesser-known dialects. From Quechua to Yup’ik to Amharic and more, Aroeste hopes listeners will agree that good music is good music, no matter the language! — www.saraharoeste.com

Saturday from 9-10am & Sunday from 7-8am
August 6th & 7th, 2016
WXOJ LP – 103.3 FM – Valley Free Radio
Northampton, MA

Featured video:  Sarah Aroeste, “Ora de Despertar”


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Listen to Podcast:

PLAYLIST

  • Will Stroet – “La récréation” [Wordplay] FRENCH
  • Sarah Aroeste – “Ora de Despertar” [Ora de Despertar]  LADINO
  • Manos Vafiadis – “Horalia” [Xana Zoo]  GREEK
  • World Music with DARIA  – “Yaw, Yaw, Puka Polleracha” [Beautiful Rainbow World]  QUECHUA
  • Lillebjørn Nilsen  – “Reven ut på hønsejak” [Haba Haba!]  NORWEIGAN  the Fox & the Farmer
  • DJ Serdar Ayyıldız & DJ Selami Bilgiç “Mini Mini Bir Kuş (feat. Zeliha Sunal)” [Çocuk Diskosu]  TURKISH
  • Les Sambalelê – “Atirei o Pau No Gato” [Brésil] PORTUGUESE
  • Arik Einstein – “Adon Shoko” [Shirey Hayeladim] HEBREW
  • Sarah Aroeste – “Las komidas” [Ora de Despertar] LADINO
  • K3 – “Als het binnenregent” [10.000 luchtballonnen]    DUTCH
  • Pamyua  – “Bubble Gum” [Side a / Side b ]   YUP’IK 
  • Macdara – “Beidh Aonach Amárach”  [The Love Token] GAELIC
  • Elena Moon Park – “Diu Diu Deng”  [Rabbit Days and Dumplings] TAIWANESE
  • Loreen Hattar – “I have a Train” [Arabic Children’s Songs: A New Day] ARABIC
  • All Around This World – “Kabuli Tutu” [All Around This World: Africa] SWAHILI
  • Bole 2 Harlem – “Hoya Hoye” [Bole 2 Harlem, Vol.1]  AMHARIC
  • Geraldino – “Wenn du Singst” [Wow!] GERMAN
  • Sarah Aroeste – “Nochada Buena” [Ora de Despertar]  LADINO

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History Through the Lens of “What If?”

AlternateHistoryHub Promotes Consideration of Context in Studies of Human History

Every event in our own lives directly influences the next – and similarly, everything that we do as a country, a culture, and as humans influences all that comes after. Every major historical event – from battles and assassinations to natural disasters and deadly diseases – has shaped the events that follow it, making our timeline of human history not just a series of events, but a gradual and (so far) endless chain reaction of events.

So what if some of the major events that are part of our human timeline had never happened, or had happened differently?

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HFVS Wildlife Episode with Guest DJs, Casey & Kevin from The Whizpops (Radio Show/Podcast)

Hilltown Family Variety Show

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Wildlife Episode with Guest DJs, Casey & Kevin from The Whizpops

Kevin and Casey of The Whizpops have put together a fun educational show about wildlife and imagination seamlessly weaving songs about animals both real and make-believe. Join them on a musical journey through endangered species, mustaches, and even unicorns! — www.thewhizpops.com

Saturday from 9-10am & Sunday from 7-8am
July 30th & 31st, 2016
WXOJ LP – 103.3 FM – Valley Free Radio
Northampton, MA

Featured video: Black Footed Ferret by The Whizpops!


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Listen to Podcast:

PLAYLIST

  • The Tokens – “The Lion Sleeps Tonight (Wimoweh)” [The Lion Sleeps Tonight]
  • The Pop Ups – “The Bat” [Radio Jungle]
  • The Whizpops – “Monarch” [Ranger Rick’s Trail Mix Vol. 1]
  • Caspar Babypants – “Butterfly Driving A Truck” [Sing Along!]
  • The Whizpops – “Pika” [Ranger Rick’s Trail Mix Vol. 1]
  • The Big Wu – “Kangaroo” [Tracking Buffalo Through The Bathroom]
  • The Pop Ups – “Elephant” [Radio Jungle]
  • The Whizpops – “Everything’s Better With A Mustache (Walrus Song)” [Ranger Rick’s Trail Mix Vol. 1]
  • FunkeyMonkeys – “Mustache” [[Mustache]
  • The Salamanders – “Please Don’t Eat My Guitar” [[The Salamanders]
  • Ylvis – “The Fox (What Does The Fox Say?)” [The Fox (What Does The Fox Say?) – Single]
  • The Whizpops – “Swift Fox” [Ranger Rick’s Trail Mix Vol. 1]
  • Blitzen Trapper – “Furr” [Furr]
  • Sallie Ford and the Outside Sound – “Not an Animal” [Dirty Radio]
  • Brent Holmes – “I Can’t Wait To Hibernate” [Bear Tunes for Kids]
  • Recess Monkey – “Lovestruck Unicorn” [Novelties]

HFVS Novelty Music Episode with Guest DJ, Jack Forman from Recess Monkey (Radio Show/Podcast)

Hilltown Family Variety Show

Listen to Podcast:

Novelty Music Episode with Guest DJ, Jack Forman from Recess Monkey

Recess Monkey whisks listeners of the Hilltown Family Variety Show off on a trip to the Novelty Shop for a madcap hour of truly strange musical oddities! The band’s bassist frontman Jack Forman guides us through a collection of dust-covered rarities and instant classics, each guaranteed to out-weird the last! — www.recessmonkeytown.com

Saturday from 9-10am & Sunday from 7-8am
July 23rd & 24th, 2016
WXOJ LP – 103.3 FM – Valley Free Radio
Northampton, MA

Featured video:Recess Monkey’s “Sweaty Yeti” from Novelties


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Listen to Podcast:

PLAYLIST

  • Tiny Tim – “Livin’ in the Sunlight, Lovin’ in the Moon Light” [God Bless Tiny Tim]
  • Recess Monkey – “Every Flavor” [Novelties]
  • Barnes & Barnes – “Fish Heads” [Fish Heads – Single]
  • Paul McCartney – “Uncle Albert/Admiral Halsey” [RAM]
  • Spike Jones & His City Slickers – “Little Bo Peep Has Lost Her Jeep” [The Jones Laughing Record]
  • Recess Monkey – “Wind Up Robot” [Novelties]
  • Leonard Nimoy – “Ballad of Bilbo Baggins” [Spaced Out – The Best of Leonard Nimoy & William Shatner]
  • Mike Phirman – “What Makes the Breakfast?” [Single]
  • Recess Monkey – “Sweaty Yeti” [Novelties]
  • “Weird Al” Yankovic – “Yoda” [Dare to be Stupid]
  • Parry Gripp – “Chimpanzee Riding on a Segway” [Single]
  • Alvin & the Chipmunks – “Witch Doctor” [Greatest Hits: Still Squeaky After All These Years]
  • Flight of the Conchords – “Foux du Fafa” [Flight of the Conchords]
  • Paul McCartney – “Monkberry Moon Delight” [RAM]

 

HFVS with Guest DJ, Dean Jones from Dog on Fleas (Radio Show/Podcast)

Hilltown Family Variety Show

Listen to Podcast:

Guest DJ, Dean Jones from Dog on Fleas

Grammy winning producer, Dean Jones from Dog on Fleas, is our guest DJ this week. — www.dogonfleas.com

Saturday from 9-10am & Sunday from 7-8am
July 16th & 17th, 2016
WXOJ LP – 103.3 FM – Valley Free Radio
Northampton, MA

Featured video: Jonathan Richman- “That Summer Feeling” (I, Jonathan)


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Listen to Podcast:

PLAYLIST

  • Jonathan Richman- “That Summer Feeling” (I, Jonathan)
  • Dean Jones – “Swiss Cheese Angels” (In My Dreams)
  • The Harmonica Pocket – “I Love Ukeleles” (Sundrops)
  • Michael Hurley – “Why Should I Have to Worry” (Long Journey)
  • The Efe Pymies – “Ikobi” (Echoes of the Forest)
  • Stevie Wonder – “Outside My Window” (Journey Through the Secret Life of Plants)
  • Joanna Newsom – “Bridges and Balloons” (The Milk-eyed Mender)
  • The Deedle Deedle Dees – “Super Strong” (The Rocket Went UP)
  • Roberto Stepheson – Frevo Danado de Bom na Tocaca Furada (Guide to Pernambuco)
  • Dean Jones – “Humans are Still Evolving” (In My Dreams)
  • Donovan – “Wear Your Love Like Heaven” (Donovan’s Greatest)
  • Kishi Bashi – “Wonder Woman, Wonder Me” (151A)
  • Katie Ha Ha Ha – “Shenendoah” (Katie Ha Ha Ha)
  • Dog on Fleas – “Babies” (Beautiful World)
  • Art Ensemble of Chicago – “The Key” (Fanfare for the Warriors)
  • Marcy Marxer – “Things are Coming My Way” (Things are Coming My Way)
  • Regina Spektor – “Don’t Leave Me (Ne Me Quitte Pas) (What We Saw from the Cheap Seats)

HFVS with Guest DJ, Cactus from Secret Agent 23 Skidoo (Radio Show/Podcast)

Hilltown Family Variety Show

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Guest DJ, Cactus from Secret Agent 23 Skidoo

Family Funk and Half Pint Hip Hop specialist Secret Agent 23 Skidoo takes listeners on a journey through the weird and lovely sonic landscape of family music at its best! This show features the story “Weirdo Calhoun and the Odd Men Out,” fringe science explanations on the fantastic from bio physicist Jeff Firewalker Schmitt, and some very strange sponsors. Appropriate for ages 1 through 1 billion. — secretagent23skidoo.com

Saturday from 9-10am & Sunday from 7-8am
July 9th & 10th, 2016
WXOJ LP – 103.3 FM – Valley Free Radio
Northampton, MA

Featured video:  Barenaked Ladies – “Pollywog In A Bog” (Extended Version)


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Listen to Podcast:

PLAYLIST

  • Barenaked Ladies – “Pollywog in a Bog” [Snacktime]
  • Justin Roberts – “Pop Fly” [Pop Fly]
  • Secret Agent 23 Skidoo – “My First Multiverse” [Infinity Plus One]
  • Sugar Free All Stars – Bunnybot {Sugar Free All Stars]
  • Pointed Man Band – “Old Mother Blubber Hunter” [Flight of the Blue Whale]
  • Secret Agent 23 Skidoo – “Weirdo Calhoun: Hip Hop Version” [Weirdo Calhoun and the Odd Men Out]
  • Mista Cookie Jar – “Be a Little Angel” [Music is Everywhere]
  • Molly Ledford and Billy Kelly – “Count Your Rings” [Trees]
  • Secret Agent 23 Skidoo – “Tastes Like Space” [Infinity Plus One]
  • Josh and the Jamtones – “I The Pop Ups – “Pictures Making Pictures” [Appetite for Construction]
  • Secret Agent 23 Skidoo – “Secret Superhero” [Infinity Plus One]
  • Parliament – “Placebo Syndrome” [Funkentelechy Vs. The Placebo Syndrome]

 

 

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HFVS History of Folk Music for Families Episode with Guest DJ, Greg McIlvainey (Radio Show/Podcast)

Hilltown Family Variety Show

Listen to Podcast:

History of Folk Music for Families Episode
with Guest DJ, Greg McIlvaine

This week on the HFVS, Greg McIlvaine, singer and guitar player with The Hollow Trees guest DJs this week with History of Folk Music for Families Episode. He plays fun and fascinating family songs ranging from the earliest recorded music up to the present. The songs reflect a short history of family music with an emphasis on the songs and artists that have influenced him the most. – thehollowtrees.com

Saturday from 9-10am & Sunday from 7-8am
July 2nd & 3rd, 2016
WXOJ LP – 103.3 FM – Valley Free Radio
Northampton, MA

Featured video: The Hollow Trees – I Can’t Dance (I’ve Got Ants in My Pants) :


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Listen to Podcast:

PLAYLIST

  • The Hollow Trees – “What Do You Want on Your Taco?” [Hello Friend!]
  • Stella Mahew – “I’m Looking for Something to Eat” [UCSB Cylinder Audio Archive]
  • Chubby Parker – “King Kong Kitchie Kitchie Ki-Me-O” [Anthology of American Folk Music (Edited by Harry Smith)]
  • Lake Howard – “Chewing Chewing Gum” [The Story That the Crow Told Me Vol. 2]
  • Cousin Emmy – ”Johnny Booker” [The Story That the Crow Told Me Vol. 1]
  • Phil Harris and His Orchestra – “The Thing” [Vintage Children’s Favourites]
  • Charles Penrose – “The Laughing Policeman” [Vintage Children’s Favourites]
  • Cliff “Ukulele Ike” Edwards – “Singing in the Rain” [Singing in the Rain]
  • Hoosier Hot Shots – “From the Indies to the Andes in His Undies” [Everybody Stomp]
  • Burl Ives – “Tam Pierce” [The Wayfaring Stranger]
  • Woody Guthrie – “Riding in My Car” [Woody’s 20 Grow Big Songs]
  • Ed McCurdy – “The Old Woman and the Pig” [Children’s Songs – The Greatest Hits]
  • The Hollow Trees – “I Can’t Dance (I’ve Got Ants in My Pants” [Hello Friend!]
  • Richard Dyer-Bennet – “The Leprechaun” [With Young People in Mind]
  • Burl Ives – “The Goat” [Burl Ives Sings Little White Duck And Other Children’s Favorites]
  • Carole King – “One Was Johnny” [Really Rosie]
  • Tom T. Hall – “How Do You Talk to a Little Baby Goat [Country Songs for Children]
  • Raffi – “Apples and Bannanas” [One Light, One Sun]
  • Dan Zanes and Friends – “Smile Smile Smile” [Night Time!]
  • John Lithgow – “The Gnu Song” [Singin’ in the Bathtub]
  • Hullabaloo – “I Chew” [I Chew]
  • Lisa Loeb – “Linger” [Camp Lisa]
  • The Hollow Trees – “My Dog Has Fleas” [Hello Friend!]

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HFVS Fun in the Sun Episode with Guest DJ, Jason Didner (Radio Show/Podcast)

Hilltown Family Variety Show

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Fun in the Sun Episode with Guest DJ, Jason Didner

Guest DJ Jason Didner invites you for an hour of “fun in the sun” themed music by today’s great children’s musicians and a few well renowned classic rock and reggae acts. You’ll get to know more about the “Jersey Shore Sound” that Jason and band are proud to call an influence. You’ll catch the beach party spirit that’s on full display from Southside Johnny and the Asbury Jukes, an energy that also shows up in tracks by Brady Rymer and Yosi. You’ll enjoy the feel-good sounds of Jimmy Cliff, Suzi Shelton, Miss Nina and more. Whether you’re headed for the beach, the lake or the pool, this episode can be your summer soundtrack! — junglegymjam.com

Saturday from 9-10am & Sunday from 7-8am
June 25th & 26th, 2016
WXOJ LP – 103.3 FM – Valley Free Radio
Northampton, MA

Featured video: Princess Katie & Racer Steve “Sand in my Sandwich” [Tiny Cool]


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Listen to Podcast:

PLAYLIST

  • Brady Rymer and the Little Band That Could – “Get This Party Started” [Just Say Hi]
  • Justin Roberts – “Kickboard Baby, Yeah” [Pop Fly]
  • Suzi Shelton – “It’s a Beautiful Day” [Smile in my Heart]
  • Jimmy Cliff – “I Can See Clearly Now”” [We All Are One…The Best of Jimmy Cliff]
  • Jason Didner and the Jungle Gym Jam – “Day at the Beach” [Lollipop Motel]
  • Baze and His Silly Friends – “Silly Sandy Shark’s Swinging Summer Surf Song” [Best Day Ever]
  • Yosi and the Superdads – “B-E-A-C-H” [Super Kids Rock]
  • Southside Johnny and the Asbury Jukes – “Havin’ a Party” [The Best of Southside Johnny and the Asbury Jukes]
  • Princess Katie & Racer Steve “Surf Radio” [Tiny Cool]
  • Princess Katie & Racer Steve “Sand in my Sandwich” [Tiny Cool]
  • Miss Nina and the Jumping Jacks “Sunshine Blue Skies” [Every Day’s Your Birthday]
  • Chicago, “Saturday in the Park” [Chicago V]
  • Jason Didner and the Jungle Gym Jam, “Stay in the Pool” [Everyone’s Invited!]
  • Hullabaloo, “Waterfront” [I Chew]
  • Rolie Polie Guacamole, “Swim Like the Dolphin” [Time for Hummus]
  • Darlene Graham and the Shades of Green Band, “I’m Going to the Beach” [Big Hugs from Mama.”
  • Laurie Berkner Band, “Under a Shady Tree” [The Best of the Laurie Berkner Band]

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HFVS with Guest DJ, Kb Whirly (Radio Show/Podcast)

Hilltown Family Variety Show

Listen to Podcast:

Guest DJ, Kb Whirly

This week on the HFVS, Kb Whirly takes us on a funky musical journey. From dancing like a rooster in the kitchen with Pete Seeger, to celebrating all the critters with Andrew and Polly, KbWhirly will take us on a cruise through folk, blues, funk, pop and hip hop tunes that are sure to get your toes tappin’! – www.kbwhirly.com

Saturday from 9-10am & Sunday from 7-8am
June 18th & 19th, 2016
WXOJ LP – 103.3 FM – Valley Free Radio
Northampton, MA

Featured video: Big Bang Boom – “Hippie Mom” [Because I said So!]


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Listen to Podcast:

PLAYLIST

  • 1. Pete Seeger – “All Around the kitchen” [American Folk Games and Activities Songs]
  • 2. Kb Whirly – “Camp Song” [Camp Songs Vol.1]
  • 3. Randy Kaplan – “In a timeout Now” [Mr. Diddie Wah Diddie]
  • 4. Mills Trills – “Brooklyn” [Everyone Together now]
  • 5. Big Bang Boom – “Hippie Mom” [Because I said So!]
  • 6. Vered – “Peekaboo” Vered [Hello My Baby]
  • 7. Frances England – “City of Hills” [Explorer of the World]
  • 8. KB Whirly – “Peter Piper’s Pickled Palace” [Camp Songs vol.1]
  • 9. Sugar Free Allstars – “Grumpopotamus” [Sugar Free Allstars]
  • 10. Kb Whirly – “Scary Gary” [Camp Songs Vol.1]
  • 11. Shel Silverstein – “Peanut Butter Sandwhich” [Where the Sidewalk Ends]
  • 12. Shel Silverstein – “Sarah Cynthia Sylvia Stout…” [Where the Sidewalk Ends]
  • 13. Jazzy Ash featuring Mister Cookie Jar – “Throw me Sumthin’ Mister” [Home]
  • 14. Kb Whirly featuring Jazzy Ash – “Hole in my Bucket [Camp Songs Vol.1]
  • 15. Josh and the Jamtones featuring Secret Agent 23 Skidoo – “I >3 Ur Face” [Rocksteady]
  • 16. Secret Agent 23 Skidoo – “Three Pointed Back” [The Perfect Quirk]
  • 17. Andrew and Polly – “Critters” [Odds and Ends]
  • 18. Kb Whirly – “Say Say My Playmate” [Camp Songs Vol.1]

HFVS You Are What You Eat Episode with Guest DJ, Eric Herman (Radio Show/Podcast)

Hilltown Family Variety Show

Listen to Podcast:

You Are What You Eat Episode with Guest DJ, Eric Herman

Family music artist Eric Herman serves up a smorgasbord of fun food songs. From chocolate-covered brussels sprouts to a thousand tiny doughnuts, Eric will musically explore the idea that you are what you eat. – www.erichermanmusic.com

Saturday from 9-10am & Sunday from 7-8am
June 11th & 12th, 2016
WXOJ LP – 103.3 FM – Valley Free Radio
Northampton, MA

Featured video: “Crazy Over Vegetables”


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Listen to Podcast:

PLAYLIST

  • Alphabet Rockers – “Food Songs” [Go!]
  • Oliver! – “Food Glorious Food” [Oliver! – Original Cast Recording]
  • Eric Herman and the Thunder Puppies – “You Are What You Eat” [Bubble Wrap]
  • The Imagination Movers – “What’s in the Fridge?” [Juice Box Heroes[
  • Brady Rymer and the Little Band that Could – “Pie” [Here Comes Brady Rymer and the Little Band that Could]
  • David Tobocman – “Ice Cream on a Hot Dog” [Lemonade School]
  • Chuck Cheeseman – “Chocolate-Covered Brussels Sprouts” [Dancing With No Shoes On]
  • Gwendolyn and the Good Time Gang – “Sweet Marmalade” [Get Up & Dance]
  • Frances England – “Blueberry Pancakes” [Fascinating Creatures]
  • Kelli Welli – “Cookin’ Up Some Happiness” [single]
  • Joanie Leeds and the Nightlights – “Food Fight” [Good Egg]
  • Recess Monkey – “Sack Lunch” [Field Trip]
  • Eric Herman and the Invisible Band – “Crazy Over Vegatables” [Monkey Business]
  • Barenaked Ladies – “Popcorn” [Snacktime]
  • Ginger Hendrix – “Macaroni Boy Eats at Chez Shooby Doo” [Macaroni Boy Eats at Chez Shooby Doo”]
  • Steve Cooper – “Ketchup and French Fries” [single]
  • Weird Al – “Eat It” [“Weird Al” Yankovic in 3-D]
  • Mister G – “Chocolalala” [Chocolalala]
  • Caspar Babypants – “A Thousand Tiny Doughnuts” [Hot Dog!]
  • Eric Herman and the Thunder Puppies – “Take a Bath” [Bubble Wrap]

HFVS Music of the World Episode with Guest DJ, Keith Terry (Radio Show/Podcast)

Hilltown Family Variety Show
Music of the World Episode
with Guest DJ, Keith Terry

Keith Terry from Crosspulse Ensemble is our Guest DJ this week! Keith’s program is about World Music AND Music of the World – not only songs from artists around the planet, but sounds of the planet, itself – from the calls made by insects and birds,  to  atmospheric sounds created by lightening.   Plus some found sound — music created by the sounds we don’t always think of as musical, such as fog horns and trains, even bricks.   Join Keith in this exploration of some new and unusual ways of creating and listening to music. – www.crosspulse.com

Saturday from 9-10am & Sunday from 7-8am
June 4th & 5th, 2016
Original broadcast: 2013
WXOJ LP – 103.3 FM – Valley Free Radio
Northampton, MA

FEATURED VIDEO: Keith Terry, organizer of the International Body Music Festival, stopped by The World studios in Boston to demonstrate the amazing music the human body can make.


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Listen to Podcast:

PLAYLIST

  • Crosspulse Percussion Ensemble – “Body Beat” [I Like Everything About You, Yes I Do.]
  • Bayaka Pygmies – “Bayaka Song” [Pulse of the Planet]
  • Ba Benzélé Pygmies – “Unknown” [Anthology of Afro Music – UNESCO]
  • Zap Mamá – “Brrrlak!”  [Divas volume two]
  • Crosspulse Percussion Ensemble – “Cumbe” [I Like Everything About You, Yes I Do]
  • Mangbetu – “Water Drumming” [Pulse of the Planet]
  • Tangle Eye- “Katie Left Memphis with wood chopping” [Alan Lomax’s Roots of the Blues]
  • Unknown- “Bricks” [Unknown]
  • “Postal Workers Cancelling Stamps at the University of Ghana Post Office” [1975 field recording, James Koetting]
  • Crosspulse Percussion Ensemble – “Flores” [I Like Everything About You, Yes I Do]
  • Mayan Marching Band – “Unknown” [Unknown]
  • The Tahitian Choir – “Morotiri Nei” [Rapa Iti]
  • Keith Terry & Crosspulse – “Body Music” [Keith Terry & Crosspulse]
  • Vocal Sampling- “Una Forma Mas” [Una Forma Mas]
  • Barbatuques – “Cneiro verde” [O Seguinte é Esse]OK
  • Ants – “Ants” [Pulse of the Planet]
  • Antonio Carols Jobim – “Foghorn” [original soundtrack from the film Black Orpheus]
  • Crosspulse Percussion Ensemble – “Jalan Jalan” [I Like Everything About You, Yes I Do]]
  • Talab Khan Barna- “Sat Bhayan Ki Ek Behanadli I” [Latcho Drom: Bande Originale Du Film Soundtrack]]
  • Atmospheric Whistlers – “Atmospheric Whistlers” [Pulse of the Planet]
  • Barbatuques – “Respirando” [O Seguinte é Esse]
  • Inuits – “Unuit Throat and Harp Songs”  [Canadian Music Heritage Collection]
  • Sergio Mendez “Fanfarra Despedida” [Brasileiro]

Under the Hat: Mindful of Your Audience

Music in Motion

The immediate and primal power of music to illicit emotional response is hard-wired into us as humans. Whether we’re conscious of it or not, we listen to music for many different reasons. Some music makes us feel happy, while some music makes us feel melancholy. Some makes makes us feel like taking a nap, while others make us feel like jumping up and down.  Read the rest of this entry »

HFVS Latin American Episode with Guest DJ, Sandra Velasquez (Radio Show/Podcast)

Hilltown Family Variety Show

Listen to Podcast:

Latin American Episode with Guest DJ, Sandra Velasquez

Moona Luna’s Sandra Velasquez takes you on a Latin American bus adventure.  Based on her own travels by bus through Latin America, she provides you with a soundtrack for a journey that is as rich and diverse as the changing landscape. – www.moonalunamusic.com

Saturday from 9-10am & Sunday from 7-8am
May 28th & 29th, 2016
WXOJ LP – 103.3 FM – Valley Free Radio
Northampton, MA

Featured video: “PANORAMA” by Moona Luna


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Listen to Podcast:

PLAYLIST

  • Rana Santacruz – “Lo Unico Que Quiero” [Chicavasco]
  • Moona Luna – “Panorama” [Panorama]
  • Los Super Seven – “Canoero” [Los Super Seven]
  • Susana Baca – “Que Bonito Tu Vestido” [Afrodiaspora]
  • Ana Tijoux – “1977” [1977]
  • Moona Luna – “Vamos, Let’s Go” [Vamos, Let’s Go]
  • Rana Santacruz – “Ojitos De Maguey” [Chicavasco]
  • Paulihno Moska & Ceu- “10 Contados” [Ceu]
  • Pistolera – “Ponle Frenos” [El Desierto Y La Ciudad]
    Moona Luna – “Espejos” [Panorama]
  • Los Diablitos – “Los Caminos De La Vida” [Sorpresa Caribe]
  • Moona Luna – “La Llegada” [Panorama]

HFVS Science & Education Episode with Danny Weinkauf of They Might Be Giants (Radio Show/Podcast)

Hilltown Family Variety Show

Science & Education Episode with Danny Weinkauf of They Might Be Giants

LISTEN TO PODCAST:  

Danny Weinkauf guest DJs this week, demonstrating though song examples and commentary his love of science and education, and how it has influenced his favorite songs and personal writing style. − www.dannyweinkauf.com

Saturday from 9-10am & Sunday from 7-8am
 May 14th & 15, 2016
Original broadcast: May 10th, 2014
WXOJ LP – 103.3 FM – Valley Free Radio
Northampton, MA

Featured video:   “I am a Paleontologist” from They Might Be Giants album Here Comes Science.


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PLAYLIST

  • The Beatles – “Help!” (Help!)
  • Danny Weinkauf – “Archaeology” (No School Today)
  • Fountains of Wayne – “Hat and feet” (Fountains of Wayne)
  • They Might Be Giants – “Meet the Elements” (Here Comes Science)
  • The Okee Dokee Brothers – “Haul Away Joe” (A Mississippi River Adventure Album)
  • Danny Weinkauf – “Champion of the Spelling Bee” (No School Today)
  • Queen – “Lazing on a Sunday Afternoon” (A Night at the Opera)
  • Danny Weinkauf – “ice Cream” (No School Today)
  • They Might Be Giants – “Alphabet Lost and Found” (Here Come the ABCs)
  • Justin Roberts – “Recess” (Recess)
  • The White Stripes – “My Doorbell” (Get Behind Me Satan)
  • They Might Be Giants – “Electric Car” (Here Comes Science)
  • Danny Weinkauf – “Marsupial” (No School Today)
  • Caspar Babypants – “Kangaroo” (I Found You)
  • Laurie Berkner – “Fireflies” (Laurie Berkner Lullabies)
  • Lincoln “To Build a House” (Lincoln)
  • The Ramones ” I Want to be Sedated” (Road to Ruin)
  • They Might Be Giants – “I am a Paleontologist” (Here Comes Science)

Chemistry is F9 U92 N7!

3rd Annual Demo Show at the UMass Amherst Chemistry Department

People often talk about “chemicals” in our food, water, or hygiene products in reference to possibly toxic or carcinogenic ingredients. Some chemicals certainly are dangerous to humans, but EVERYTHING is made up of chemicals! But what is the exact definition of a chemical, anyway? The Merriam-Webster definition of “chemical,” reads: A substance obtained by a chemical process or producing a chemical effect. And chemistry is the study of how chemicals interact and react with one another.

Here Hank Green gives us a “crash course” in chemistry with a series of fast pace, educational videos:

Cooking is often used as an example of an everyday activity which involves chemistry. When you apply heat to a piece of steak in a pan, water content leaves the muscle fibers. This is why the fillet is smaller after it has been cooked. Think about some other interesting reactions which occur in the kitchen. Why does corn pop? Another way to ask this question would be, why don’t other grains pop? Corn contains water, which turns to steam, creating pressure inside the hard outer shell and eventually exploding.

What do these reactions look like close up? The web site, www.beautifulchemistry.net has amazing videos of reactions, like this one:  Read the rest of this entry »

Mythology and Mathematics through Stargazing

Transit of Mercury Inspires Community-Based Learning

Transit of Mercury 2006

The transit of Mercury is an astronomical phenomenon in which Mercury comes between Earth and the Sun, and can be seen as a tiny black dot moving across the sun. This event was predicted by Johannes Kepler before it was observed visually. That observation was recorded in 1631. Today, we generally hear about astronomical events before they happen, often camping outside at night to see rare occurrences in the sky. How do astronomers predict events like the transit of Mercury with such accuracy? In short, advanced mathematics. Astronomers draw from concepts of Physics, and use Algebra, Geometry, Trigonometry and Calculus to make measurements of distances between objects in the sky, and predictions of when they will appear in various ways from Earth.

You don’t need to know anything about mathematics to appreciate the beauty of the sky, however. For centuries, the night sky remained largely a mystery to humans, and many myths emerged to explain the sun, moon, stars, and planets. Lunar and solar deities emerged in cultures across the world.

Whether you want to learn more about the mathematics of astronomy, write your own mythological explanations, or simply enjoy the beauty of the sky, you can attend various astronomy-themed events at the Springfield Museums this month. On Monday, May 9 from 10am-1pm, museum visitors can witness the first transit of Mercury since 2006. Check the Museums’ Facebook page to make sure the event is happening, as it is weather dependent. On Saturday, May 14 from 12-4pm, visitors can engage in safe sunspot viewing, and see a collection of meteorites. There will be hands-on activities for all ages, information about how craters are formed on the moon, and a space sensory bin for kids.

May 9th and 14th events are free with museum admission. Planetarium shows are $3 for adults, $2 for children ages 3-17, and free for members. 413-263-6800, ext. 318. 21 Edwards Street, Springfield, MA.

Want to learn how to view on your own? Lucie Green describes what will happen when Mercury transits the face of the Sun, and how to observe it safely.


Related Posts:

The Ripple: The River Knows the Way

Sustainability: the River Knows the Way

Biology tells us that water is life. Religion tells us that life is sacred. Biology does not want to admit that life is sacred (because that would not be “objective,” but it would not exist without water.  Think of any biologist and name one not totally dependent upon water for life. Einstein’s brain was 75% water, and so are ours. Think of how you are reading this now—to some actual extent, water is reading this too. As a hard science, biology is a means for water to get to know itself—for water is life and life/bios is what biology studies.

Read the rest of this entry »

HFVS Earth Day Episode with Guest DJ, Charity Kahn (Radio Show/Podcast)

Hilltown Family Variety Show

Listen to Podcast:

Hilltown Family Variety Show
Earth Day Episode
with Guest DJ, Charity Kahn

This special Earth Day show by Charity Kahn from Charity and the JAMband highlights songs and concepts that explore compassion, kindness, and our interconnectedness with Earth and all beings. The episode underscores the reminder that our love and intention are powerful forces that can inspire all of us to act in ways that protect and take care of the Earth. In addition to music along these lines, the show also includes a story (theme: interbeing) and a guided meditation (theme: non-harming). Because every day should be Earth Day! — www.jamjamjam.com

Saturday from 9-10am & Sunday from 7-8am
April 23rd & 24th, 2016
WXOJ LP – 103.3 FM – Valley Free Radio
Northampton, MA

Featured video:  EARTH DAY by Charity and the JAMband


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Listen to Podcast:

PLAYLIST

  • The Beatles – “Mother Nature’s Son” [The White Album]
  • Charity and the JAMband – “Earth Day” [EARTH]
  • Joe Reilly – “I Love Nature” [Children of the Earth]
  • The Banana Slug String Band – “Sun, Soil, Water and Air” [Singing in Our Garden]
  • Melita – “Turn the World Around” [Light Within]
  • Charity and the JAMband – “I Am the Earth and the Earth Is Me” [EARTH]
  • STORY: “The Sun in My Belly” by Sister Susan, illustrated by Sister Rain, inspired by the teachings of Thich Nhat Hanh
  • Charity and the JAMband – “We Speak for the Earth” [EARTH]
  • The Alphabet Rockers – “Change the World” [Playground Zone]
  • Charity and the JAMband – “Meditation for Non-Harming” [Sit Breathe Love: Guided Meditations for Children and the Grown-Ups Who Love Them
  • Neil Young – “A New Day for Love” [The Monsanto Years]

Under the Hat: School of Rock

School of Rock

In the 30+ years that I’ve been playing music professionally, I’ve been lucky to have many incredible experiences performing all around the world. There are lots of variables that go into creating a great show: the venue, the crowd, the sound, and of course, the rapport with other musicians. It’s a rare occasion when everything comes together, but when those magical moments happen it’s powerful for everyone fortunate enough to be in the band or in the audience.

Recently, in New York City, I played a concert that immediately found a spot high on the list of my all-time favorite gigs. The sold-out show was at a great theater (Symphony Space) on Broadway and my backing band was a group of phenomenal children. The kids who played with me are the stars of the hit Broadway musical “School of Rock.”

In many ways, working with Brandon, Evie, Dante and Ethan was similar to rehearsing and performing with grown-up pros. I sent them mp3’s and chord charts of the songs before we met, and they showed up prepared having done their homework. We had one short rehearsal and then played the show.  Read the rest of this entry »

The Ripple: Synchronization of the Watershed Flora & Fauna

A River Is Always In Synch

Like tiny submariners bursting up and out of the bottom of the brook, breaking into wings and soaring for a short time above the world they once knew, the stoneflies are here, molting from crab-shells they lived in. On the back of my neck, computer keyboard, every boulder around me: they multiply, skitter all directions, avoiding the rushing water they recently called home. The frenzy begins.  Read the rest of this entry »

HFVS Musical Diversity Episode with Guest DJ, Liz DeRoche (Radio Show/Podcast)

Hilltown Family Variety Show

Listen to Podcast:

Musical Diversity Episode with Guest DJ, Liz DeRoche

Liz DeRoche is our Guest DJ with Musical Diversity Episode. Liz will take listeners on a musical adventure exploring diversity in music. She showcases a wide variety of genres that are as unique and diverse as we are. — thesinginglizard.com

Saturday from 9-10am & Sunday from 7-8am
March 26th & 27th, 2016
WXOJ LP – 103.3 FM – Valley Free Radio
Northampton, MA

Featured Video:  “Show Me Your Happy” by The Singing Lizard


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Listen to Podcast:

  • Sunshine and the Moonbeams – “Melody in Me” [Melody In Me]
  • The Pop Ups – “Pretend We Forgot” [The Great Pretenders Club]
  • Alphabet Rockers – “Gimme Some Skin” [The Playground Zone]
  • Frances England – “Explorer Of The World” [Explorer Of The World]
  • 

The Singing Lizard – “Club Called Awesome” [Club Called Awesome]
  • The Roots – “Lovely, Love My Family” [Yo Gabba Gabba! Music Is… Awesome!]
  • 

Dolly Parton – “Love Is Like A Butterfly” [Love Is Like A Butterfly]
  • 

Ludwig van Beethoven – “Für Elise”
  • Cornelius – “Count Five or Six” [Fantasma]
  • Sam Cooke – “Twistin’ The Night Away” [Twistin’ The Night Away]
  • 

Gloria Estefan and the Miami Sound Machine – “Conga” [Primitive Love]
  • The Singing Lizard – “Be Yourself” [Club Called Awesome]
  • I’m from Barcelona – “Just Because It’s Different Doesn’t Mean Scary” [Yo Gabba Gabba! Music Is… Awesome!]
  • 

John D. Boswell – “Mister Rogers Remixed: Garden of Your Mind” [PBS Remixed]
  • Skeewiff – “Twelve Featuring The Pointer Sisters (Combo Breaker Remix)”
  • Chuck Brown & the Soul Searchers – “Bustin’ Loose” [Bustin’ Loose]
  • 

Mista Cookie Jar – “Happy Place” [Ultramagnetic Universal Love Revolution]
  • 

Lori Henriques – “How Great Can This Day Be” [How Great Can This Day Be]
  • The Singing Lizard – “Show Me Your Happy” [Club Called Awesome]

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