The concept is nothing new. Some musical artists are well known and popular and, depending on where they are in their career trajectory, they pack the Iron Horse, Pearl Street, Calvin Theatre, and Mountain Park with loyal fans. We all have our favorite stories of seeing future greats at the Iron Horse playing to half-full houses. The Breakout! Emerging Artist Series is simply our way of flagging shows we book by new artists that we think have that certain spark even if they aren’t yet household names; bands or solo artists or ensembles with artistic authenticity that we dig, regardless of genre, and think you will too.
The first two Breakout! shows we’ll tell you about happen the same night just across town from each other and are timed so you can catch both shows if you have the hunger.
Nicole Atkins, Marc Pinansky -Friday, April 29th 7PM at the Iron Horse Music Hall
Lots of things have changed from Nicole Atkins' debut, Neptune City. She was named one of the best acts at South By Southwest 2011 by SPIN Magazine. She has a new band, a new label and a new sound on Mondo Amore. Described with adjectives like "fierce," her sophomore LP is filled with dark songs (relatively speaking). Epic is a description so overused as to be leeched of meaning. So it’s not damning Nicole Atkins with faint praise to say that she's got an epic sensibility – and a voice to go with it. The title of her sophomore release implies that ambition, which comes wrapped up in tightly arranged 3- and 4-minute songs rich in instrumental texture and big-beat dynamics. This Jersey girl knows how to rock, but she's also got a lingering romance with classic 1960s pop. You know, the kind of condensed symphonic wallop and surging emotional force that made Phil Spector the Tycoon of Teen, amped up Bruce Springsteen's signature anthems, and gives this album its big, unbeatable heart. And she’s even better live, where her sheer presence in the room adds a level of awe and power to the music. Marc Pinansky of Boston’s well-respected band Township opens the show.
Yuck, NYC UFOs, Big Nils - Friday, April 29th 9PM in the Pearl Street Clubroom
Songs like "Automatic" and "Daughter" have brought much-deserved attention on UK band Yuck, marking them as a group with a penchant for beautiful, minimalist tracks. Those impressive works, and their performances opening for Modest Mouse and Pains of Being Pure at Heart brought them to the attention of the folks at Fat Possum, who signed the band. Lately they’ve been touring with Aussie psych pop outfit Tame Impala. Yuck doesn't worry much about first impressions: Short of calling a band "We're Terrible," it's hard to imagine a name riper for dismissal. On stage, though, this is a remarkably assured young riser. Standing out for reasons far greater than just drummer Jonny Rogoff's heroically gigantic Afro, Yuck captures the frayed noise and hooky, guitar-driven melodies of '90s rock, even though its members, at 20, are too young to have experienced it firsthand. Two of the area’s best local bands open; Big Nils and NYC UFOs.
Tickets are available at Northampton Box Office, 413-586-8686 and online at IHEG.com