Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Challenge your musical boundaries with the Iron Horse Breakout! Emerging Artist Series: Five hand-picked shows for September.

Reading Rainbow, Eternal Summers at the Iron Horse Thursday, September 15th at 10PM
Philadelphia's Reading Rainbow (above) is a two-piece boy and girl couple, utilizing a metronomic drum beat underneath an irresistible guitar crunch; nothing short of beautiful bashing beats, mesmerizing melodies, and an overall crushing display of songwriting simplicity done right. They are one of a handful of new bands with an instantly unique and penetrating sound all their own, driving a deep groove down the center of each well-beaten track on the Prism Eyes LP, creating the addicting and awe-inspiring hum of fuzz-laden pop noise that will have your heart palpitating in seconds.  WATCH
In Roanoke, VA the scene is mostly cover bands but both members of the duo Eternal Summers (above) are a part of the Magic Twig Community, a collective of like-minded musicians that cherish boundless creativity and weirdo indie pop. When Yun hooked up with Cundiff, they immediately knew they had the right musical chemistry, and what resulted was something very, very punk. When they call it dream punk, they’re only partially joking. Taut, hooky and often wide-open, their sound is simple but it takes up room. They employ the quietest quiets and the loudest louds—from hazy, clanging reveries to rapid No Wave squalls calling to mind early indie legends like the Raincoats, Galaxie 500, Beat Happening, and Unrest. Eternal Summers spent the fall and winter of 2010 touring the east coast and midwest, playing with the likes of Harlem, Dum Dum Girls, Best Coast, Dan Deacon, Beach Fossils, Jenny and Johnny,and Wild Nothing to name a few. WATCH

These Unites States, Southeast Engine at the Iron Horse on Thursday, September 22nd at 10PM

These United States (above) , from Washington DC and Lexington KY, surrender themselves to unbridled rock and roll exuberance: ringing guitars, thundering drums, desperate yearning bordering on hope. By turns larger-than-life and disarmingly intimate, this is folk in the truest sense - a sound of the moment, of the cultural and emotional forces that animate everyday existence somewhere down below the headlines. And These United States play it the way folk was meant to be played: hard, fast, big, slow, long, loud, loose, at last unburdened. They play like they mean it. Like there's never been a better time to be alive. WATCH

Southeast Engine’s (above) folk-rock aesthetic emerged from the Ohio underground in 1999. The Wrens discovered them in 2006 and led Misra Records to the band later that year. The esteemed A Wheel Within a Wheel was released in 2007 and followed with 2009’s From the Forest to the Sea.  While preserving the signature sound that garnered Forest/Sea critical acclaim, the new Canary marks a dramatic step forward in regards to both songwriting and arrangement. In 2010 the band toured extensively with Deerhoof.  WATCH

Dark Dark Dark, A Hawk and a Hacksaw, Pillars and Tongues at the Iron Horse, Saturday, September 24th 10PM

If you visit Dark Dark Dark's (above) website,, you will first be greeted with the three naked asses that panel the cover of the Minneapolis sextet's newest album, Wild Go. Don't worry — these aren't anonymous asses; they belong to band members. Scroll down, though, and click the play button on their media streamer to hear "Daydreaming," and let the beautiful melancholy transport you. Dark Dark Dark revel in the world around us. On Wild Go, the chamber-folk sextet creates a stirring reminder to seek out the wonder and magic to be found in the everyday. Their sound sets Nona Marie Invie's soaring, haunting voice against an array of acoustic instruments, all the while leaving room for the listener to nestle themselves inside and take part. WATCH

A Hawk and a Hacksaw, (above) from Albuquerque, are accordionist Jeremy Barnes, who was previously the drummer for Neutral Milk Hotel and Bablicon, and violinist Heather Trost. Their music is inspired by Eastern European, Turkish and Balkan traditions, and is mostly instrumental. The band's self-titled first album (released in 2002) provided the soundtrack for the documentary Zizek!, directed by Astra Taylor, which features Slovenian cultural theorist Slavoj Žižek. Darkness at Noon (released in 2004), was the band's second release, and was recorded in England, the Czech Republic and New Mexico. WATCH

Chicago trio Pillars and Tongues focus on the abstraction of form and language in musical form. On Protection  they present a portrait of how the trio's musical history executing both prepared and improvised work, responding to a wildly varied panoply of environments, performing in basements, in temples, and in state parks - has grown as a language. It is a language peppered with considerable representations of visceral forms of distinctly American art and musics: there is gospel and there is blues, there is folk, and there are even hints of Tonalism. WATCH

Elephant Revival at the Iron Horse on Tuesday, September 27th at 7PM

Elephant Revival,(above) a neo-acoustic transcendental folk quintet from Nederland, Colorado, reveals hidden treasures deep within a vast repertoire of original material. In one show, the quintet can be seen delving into original folk pieces fused with traditional style ballads, Scottish/Celtic fiddle tunes, psychedelic country, indie rock, powerful reggae grooves, 40s/50s jazz standards and an occasional hip-hop beat amongst other styles. Elephant Revival tours in a vegetable oil powered 1989 International School Bus which was converted in 08' by the great mechanical mind of Sage Cook. The group is continually inspired to spread the message of sustainable community and eco-consciousness in this constantly changing world. WATCH

Joy Kills Sorrow at the Iron Horse on Friday, September 3oth at 7PM

Joy Kills Sorrow’s (above) new album This Unknown Science , out 9/13 on Signature Sounds is so good you could fill a bathtub with the tears of recognition it evokes. With its bold new brand of acoustic music, the Boston-based string band brings a decidedly modern sensibility to an old-world sound, channeling the prodigious talents of its individual members into elegant arrangements and well-crafted songs. While the group pays due homage to its Bluegrass roots—its name refers to one of the first radio stations to broadcast the music of Bill Monroe, the result is a radical new strain of indie “folk” music, one that bravely breaks with tradition even as it salutes the past. They have a walk-in closet full of simply stunning original songs with hauntingly profound lyrics. The songs that emerge are dark and often funny, ruminating on modern life and love with eloquence and wit. WATCH

Tickets for all these shows cost less than a large pizza and are available at Northampton Box Office, 76 Main Street, 413-586-8686 and online at

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