Friday, September 21, 2012

Underground sounds from across the musical spectrum occupy Northampton clubs this Fall

Channy Leanagh of Poliça

, Gardens and Villa
Thursday, October 4th 10PM Iron Horse
Poliça: Minneapolis continues its golden run of producing quality talent with the first project to arrive out the Gayngs collective, the super slick electronic pop-soul outfit Poliça. Fronted by ice cool vocalist Channy Leanagh who sang with Gayngs, produced by Ryan Olson and featuring Mike Noyce from Bon Iver, it’s a who’s who of the current Twin Cities scene.Polica- "Lay Your Cards Out" VideoPolica- Rolling Stone Feature/   Polica- Lollapaooza Feature

Gardens and Villa

Gardens & Villa (on Secretly Canadian) is the project of five college friends from Santa Barbara, formed following the collapse of a noisier post-punk band and a hitch-hiking journey up the west coast. The music they make is very much connected to coastal city they call home -- the stoney bike rides, dance parties, a scene free of judgment. Watch Gardens and Villa "Black Hills" video.

Great Lake Swimmers, Snowblink
Friday, October 5th 10PM Iron Horse

Great Lake Swimmers 
Toronto's Great Lake Swimmers have been compared to Nick Drake, Iron and Wine, Red House Painters, and After the Gold Rush-era Neil Young. They explore the worlds of indie folk, roots music and alt-country pop, with a focus on haunting, somber ballads. New Wild Everywhere is the follow-up to their Polaris Music Prize shortlisted and Juno nominated 2009 album Lost Channels. Their fifth album in just under a decade, this new collection of 12 tracks reveals a depth and maturity previously only hinted at by lead singer and songwriter Tony Dekker. Watch an in-studio performance of Great Lake Swimmers performing "New Wild Everywhere."

Jason Collett (of Broken Social Scene), Brothers Born
Monday, October 8th 7PM Iron Horse

Jason Collett

Political. Personal. Poetic. Such is the new album Reckon from one of Canada’s most renowned songwriters, Jason Collett. Recorded at Revolution Recording Studios in Toronto, the album was produced by Howie Beck and includes guest appearances by Afie Jurvanen (Bahamas), Basia Bulat, Kevin Drew & Zeus. An eleven song retrospective titled Essential Cuts will be released as a companion to Reckon via Arts & Crafts on September 25th. Stream the new album here. To celebrate the release of Reckon, Jason has unveiled a video for lead track "I Wanna Rob A Bank," directed by Corey Ogilvie, it premiered via Huffington Post.

Brothers Born

Brothers Born is Joel Stroetzel of Killswitch Engage & Mike Wyzik of Red Door Exchange. They're playing a show with Lloyd Cole at Flying Object soon which should give Killswitch fans who are hard rock purists at least momentary pause before belting out incongruous requests. Joel is clearly multi-faceted and you'll have ample opportunity to see Killswitch before the end of 2012 ;-)

Dark Dark Dark, Emily Wells
Thursday, October 11th 8:30 Iron Horse

Dark Dark Dark 
Who Needs Who, the new album by Minneapolis sextet Dark Dark Dark, is a stirring and rich body of songs that sees the band breaking ground, and settling into the strengths of a quintet that has worked incredibly hard, both on the road and in their personal lives. Since their last full length, 2010’s Wild Go, the band has toured extensively in the US and Europe, enjoying sold out shows, national radio appearances, and support dates for bands like The National and Low. Watch Dark Dark Dark's video for "Daydreaming."

Emily Wells
Emily Wells has long been turning heads with her unique songcraft. The performer, producer and songwriter trades in a striking mix of classical instrumentation, folk rawness and hip-hop production anchored by her haunting combination of voice and violin. Her burgeoning reputation owes as much to her hypnotic live show where, working a looping pedal, Wells becomes a one-woman orchestra, playing live drums, guitars, analog synthesizers and beat machines as well. It's that same blend of deft composition and hand-wrought quality that deeply colors each of Wells' albums, Watch Emily Wells' video for "Passenger."


Plants and Animals, And The Kids
Friday, October 12th 10PM Iron Horse
Plants and Animals

Plants and Animals are two boyhood friends from Canada’s East Coast, and a French-Canadian. Their first full-length album, Parc Avenue, was shortlisted for the 2008 Polaris Music Prize and was nominated for a 2009 Juno Award for Alternative Album of the Year; the band were also nominated for New Group of the Year.  They played over 100 shows that year, including a long US tour with Frightened Rabbit. To the Pitchfork Festival appearance the summer before, they added to the list such notables as Primavera in Barcelona, Bumbershoot in Seattle, End of the Road in the English countryside, a marquee spot at the Montreal Jazz Festival, and many more. They often describe their music as post-classic rock. Watch the Plants and Animals video for "The Mama Papa.
And The Kids (four of the five members)

And The Kids: "Moderately attractive people playing moderately attractive music," reports their Facebook page. Hannah first picked up a guitar in middle school to be in a joke band with Rebecca.  Rebecca started playing drums in her elementary school band. She met Hannah in her middle school music class and they proceeded to attend The Institute for the Musical Arts together. Paul is an area musician who has been playing in different musical groups for ten years plus. He currently is also one half of the Coyote Choir. Luke is another local musician who has been working as a freelance jazz upright bassist, vocalist and guitarist since 2007. He joined And The Kids part-time last year before leaving to work as a volunteer farmer overseas.  Megan finished her undergraduate in popular music studies from The University of Western Ontario and started attending the Institute for the Musical Arts in 2011. How do these Valley kids do it? See for yourself
Zammuto (of the Books), Lymbyc System
Saturday, October 13th 10PM Iron Horse


Nick Zammuto has been making music since 1999. Since 2001 he has been composing music with the band the Books. This year, he has started working on a new project called "Zammuto" including a self titled album that came outr in April 2012 on Temporary Residence Limited. He lives in a little mountain town called Readsboro, VT with his wife and his three sons, which is where he creates all of his music in his home studio... and with the help of Sean Dixon on drums, Gene Back (multi-intrumentalist), and Mikey Zammuto on bass... he has created a rockin' new band! Watch as filmmaker Matt Day visits former Books member Nick Zammuto on his family's farm.

Lymbyc System

Lymbyc System: Hailing from Tempe, Arizona, Jared and Michael Bell formed Lymbyc Systym late in 2001. Drawing inspiration from the groups Tortoise, Explosions in the Sky, and Four Tet, their compositions cleverly combine vintage keyboards, infectious melodies, analog effects, dynamic drumming, and intricate laptop programming to form melodic and cohesive tracks that blur the borders between post-rock, indie-rock, and the most organic electronic music. Listen. Hypnotic!Dramatic! Cinematic!

Menomena, PVT (formerly Pivot)
Sunday, October 14th 8:30 Pearl Street Clubroom


Menomena: During the last decade, Menomena has become its own reference point. From hooks wrapped around plummeting baritone saxophone lines and nearly inhuman rhythms to serpentine lyrical frameworks and high-concept album art, Menomena has established a singular and unmistakable aesthetic.  After 2010's irrepressible and intricate Mines, Menomena co-founder Brent Knopf took his leave to focus on his solo project Ramona Fallst causing Justin Harris and Danny Seim - close friends since high school and now well into their second decade of making music together-to recast Menomena as a duo. They didn't slow down; they actually sped up, writing, recording and releasing Moms this September. Moms is the Portland-based band's fifth, and their first as a duo. Read Pitchfork's 8.0 review of Menomena's album Moms.

PVT are a 3-piece band based in London and Sydney. They are currently signed to Warp Records.  In 2010, the group decided to remove the vowels from their name Pivot after a legal claim was made from an American band of the same name. About the name change, Richard Pike said “It was frustrating and kind of ridiculous, but it became quickly obvious that it was a legal battle in the US we may not even win, and one we just couldn’t afford to lose. So in the end, we weren't fazed by it. Altering the name just seemed to be another step in the process for the record to come out and be heard… At the end of the day it’s small change. Watch PVT's new video for Shiver, the opening moment of our forthcoming album.

Divine Fits (with members of Spoon, Wolf Parade, New Bomb Turks)
Friday, October 19th 9PM Pearl Street Clubroom

Divine Fits (Click for High Res)
Divine Fits is a super-trio comprising Spoon's Britt Daniel, Wolf Parade's Dan Boeckner and Sam Brown of Columbus, OH's New Bomb Turks. OF COURSE there are echoes of what these guys have done before.  'A Thing Called Divine Fits' crackles with the sort of daring and electricity few of their contemporaries can muster. There's tremendous songcraft to spare on (the Joe Meek-on-PEDs "Would That Not Be Nice" but there's also a keen confidence shining through that you'd usually mistake for a totally new band. Which, I suppose, is exactly what these guys are. And if we're really lucky, they'll make this a regular thing. Watch Divine Fits on Jimmy Fallon and a few album trailers.


Deer Tick
Monday, October 22nd 8PM Pearl Street Ballroom
Deer Tick
Deer Tick: Naturally, after so many years of critics praising [and making fun of] them for their “folk” and “country” sounds and hardly ever mentioning the fact that they’ve also recorded virtually dozens of other kinds of music, the band wanted to make a record that was truer to their live set (which has gained some notoriety): raw, loud, and heartfelt. The result, last years Divne Providence, has a little Exile, a little In Utero, a little Nilsson Schmilsson, but it’s 100% Deer Tick in their purest, and most carefree form. The songs are there. The delivery is in your face. There’s no studio magic. There’s no hiding the fact that Deer Tick is just five regular dudes. This record may rattle your thoughts, and it may make you think differently about Deer Tick, but at least they didn’t make the same album four times in a row, right? They've also been busy with two side projects, Middel Brother and Diamond Rugs, and a new EP called Tim. Watch Deer Tick's video for "Main Street."
Brown Bird, The Milkman's Union
Tuesday, October 23rd 7PM Iron Horse
Brown Bird

A cantankerous and drafty ship stationed in Providence, RI, Brown Bird plays original music influenced by country, early American folk, blues, Eastern European, and Gypsy music, and has fans on both sides of the Atlantic. David Lamb’s lyrics are as well-written as they are emotionally intelligent, thankfully avoiding the pitfalls of the wish-wash known as “modern-folk” or “singer-songwriting”. Lamb and his partner MorganEve Swain write simply, and the record is eerily sparse at times – a tambourine, a bass drum and the cello often the sole accompaniement to Lamb’s cracked, wood-smoke voice.  Brown Bird's fifth full length album, Salt For Salt, is available on Supply & Demand Music. Watch Brown Bird perform "Thunder and Lightning" during an interview with Radio Boston Host Meghna Chakrabarti at the WBUR studios September 19, 2011.

The Milkman's Union
The Milkman’s Union is an enigmatic three-piece based in Portland, Maine. While their sound can most easily be characterized as indie-rock, idiosyncrasies abound. Drawing from classical, jazz, electronic, and various non-western musics, the band infuses rock grooves with deft melodic hooks and rhythmic flourishes that combine for a unique sound. Over the past two years, their sound has been broad enough to share the stage with diverse acts such as Deerhunter, The Morning Benders, Woods, Wintersleep, Ben Kweller, S. Carey, White Hinterland, Ducktails, The Devil Makes Three, Cuddle Magic and Generationals. Their latest full-length ‘Roads In’ is currently in rotation at more than 100 independent radio stations across the U.S. and Canada. They just released a gorgeous 7” single featuring guest vocals from fellow Mainer Lady Lamb the Beekepeer (who opens for Kaki King on  November 8th at the Iron Horse). Listen to it here!
The Jon Spencer Blues Explosion, Ava Luna
Thursday, November 1st 8PM Pearl Street Clubroom

Jon Spencer Blues Explosion
On stage and in the studio, The Jon Spencer Blue Explosion have destroyed and rebuilt American roots music with such ferocity and wild abandon, that it's hard to believe there is anything left. It's been twenty years since Spencer and his sonic terrorists first tore up the indie-rock landscape with fever and a visceral, untouchable vision of rock'n'roll. Meat And Bone is their first studio album in eight years and comes on the heels of the meticulous and loving 2010 reissues of the band's Matador albums, including the classics Extra Width, Orange, and Now I Got Worry. (And more recently, the re-release of the long out-of-print seminal Pussy Galore catalog.) Watch Jon Spencer Blues Explosion perform a full half-hour set live in the KEXP Seattle

Ava Luna's "nervous soul" (Stax meets Kraftwerk)  has garnered the Brooklyn six-piece comparisons to indie greats (and borough-mates) like Dirty Projectors and TV on the Radio, but the guys and girls are doing something all their own - on their 2012 debut LP Ice Level and the handful of EPs that proceeded it, the band summons irresistible, demonically catchy funk that's like nothing you've ever heard before. Listen and see if we're right.

Tuesday, November 6th 8PM Pearl Street Clubroom

Brooklyn band Yeasayer’s third album, Fragrant World, is a hulking beast of a record. Keyboards clank and wheeze, tiny claps stumble against busted drum machines, and there’s very little obvious guitar. It’s an album that grapples with the schizophrenia of the modern world by gathering piles of electronics and molding them into something huge and often gorgeous. Yeasayer describe their music as "Middle Eastern-psych-snap-gospel." The band's dystopic mini-festos come couched in big hooks and grand indie gestures with eyes and ears for Eastern ephemera, psych rock, and wide-ranging religious cues. It's a trick that makes the apocalypse sound like a gigantic celebration.Watch Yeasayer's video for "Longevity."

Kaki King, Lady Lamb the Beekeeper
Thursday, November 8th 7PM Iron Horse

Kaki King

Hailed by Rolling Stone as “a genre unto herself, Kaki King is a true iconoclast, a visionary musician/artist whose singular work rightly stands out amongst the easily formatted. Over her decade-long career thus far, the Brooklyn-based guitarist/composer has recorded five extraordinarily diverse and distinctive LPs, performed with such icons as Foo Fighters, Timbaland, and The Mountain Goats, contributed to a variety of film and TV soundtracks (spanning Golden Globe-nominated work on Sean Penn’s Into The Wild to scoring – and appearing in as guitar-playing hand double – the acclaimed 2007 drama, August Rush), and played to ever-growing audiences on innumerable world tours. Each twist and veer marked the turning of a page, another step forward on a truly exceptional musical path. Beginning with 2002’s Everybody Loves You – to date, her only fully acoustic guitar recording – King has expanded and reconceived the role of the solo instrumental artist, constantly kicking at the boundaries of what’s expected. Watch the video for Kaki King's "Pull Me Out Alive."

Lady Lamb the Beekeeper
Lady Lamb the Beekeeper is the musical moniker of Aly Spaltro. Aly primarily grew up in the south west --in Arizona and Nevada--where she spent most of her early childhood years, never more content than when she was making oldies mix tapes with a boombox & flashlight in her closet . Aly and her family moved to Germany for two years before settling in her home state of Maine in 2004 and in the same coastal town where her heart was first broken came Lady Lamb the Beekeeper, a project which began solely as a means of self-expression & self-reflection during the long, dark winter of 2007 in the scalp of New England. Lady Lamb the Beekeeper writes sprawling, lyric & melody-based songs about lost , true & unrequited love, nostalgia, nectarine meat, wolf maulings, plum crumb cake & mustard colors, death & Guatemala, airplane rides & airplane crashes, lusting & pining,  aubergine & almond colored bedsheets,  balance beams hidden in the woods, desert mountain ranges,  dreams & nightmares, fawns & fawning, & occasionally "The Neverending Story." Head into the beehive.

Mirah, Mount Moriah
Monday, November 12th 8:30 Iron Horse

Mirah Yom Tov Zeitlyn has been at the heart of the vibrant Northwest independent music scene ever since her debut album You Think It’s Like This But Really It’s Like This. A collection of her own 4-track recordings alongside collaborations with Phil Elverum of The Microphones/Mt. Eerie, the album became an instant classic. A follow-up to her first release, the stunning Advisory Committee (2001) cemented Mirah’s place in the alternative music canon. These albums were an exploration of the territories beyond lo-fi, aiming to transcend mere technical limitations and to push the boundaries of ‘indie-rock’ towards a more meaningful communicative goal. Mirah's website is loaded with music, videos, and more recent news.
Mount Moriah
Mount Moriah: For Heather McEntire (of post-punk veterans Bellafea) & Jenks Miller (of heavy-psych/metal outfit Horseback) Mount Moriah is an outlet for a mutual interest in classic American folk & rock music. They live and create in North Carolina. Read, watch, and listen.

Rubblebucket, Reptar
Friday, November 16th 8PM Pearl Street ballroom


Rapturous, octet, Rubblebucket released their first live CD/DVD, Live in Chicago, with hits from the band's 2011 Omega La La, which was produced by Eric Broucek (LCD Soundsystem, !!!, Holy Ghost) at DFA Studios, and mastered by Joe Lambert (Animal Collective, Dirty Projectors, etc.). However, veteran fans will not be disappointed as Live in Chicago also includes old favorites such as: "Bikes", "November", and "Philips Van" from Rubblebucket's self titled debut. Of Rubblebucket's recent sold-out Bowery Ballroom gig in NYC, CMJ writes, "Unprovoked chants of “RUB-BLE-BUC-KET!” and “Let’s get weird!” rebounded about the empty Ballroom stage. Things would get weird. They’d also get loud, sweaty, ebullient and adorable, in that order."


There are four boys who make up Reptar. They have offered twice as many (if not more) explanations for why they chose to name their band after a Rugrats character. But these days, the Athens, GA based group is sticking to this one: "I first tried to name the band Invisible Boyfriend," giggles singer-guitarist Graham Ulicny. "And everybody goes, 'that is the stupidest name I have ever heard in my life." So why Reptar? "It is the second stupidest band name we have ever heard." Still, the ability to amuse and arouse their fans is just as important to them as indulging their musical curiosities. This sonic wanderlust extends from African Music to post-punk to psych-pop and has won them high fives from NPR and NME alike.

Dinosaur Jr., Screaming Females
Wednesday, November 28th 8PM Pearl Street Balloom

Dinosaur Jr.
Dinosaur Jr. is now widely recognized as one of the most significant American rock bands of all time; the sound they pioneered in the late-80s having permeated through the past 20 years. Preceding Nirvana by several years, they were instrumental in bringing the crashing sounds of lead guitar back to indie rock. It wasn't just their signature metallic haze that made an impression on listeners; their effects-laden guitars were wrapped around some of the best songwriting of the decade. The first three albums -- Dinosaur, You're Living All Over Me and Bug -- were cult masterpieces and when the original line up of Mascis, Barlow and drummer Murph re-formed in 2005 for select live dates it was apparent that the years apart had not eroded any of their vitality. In fact, many critics claimed their shows were even better than they used to be. It was natural, then, that the band would begin to work on new material. Their new album, I Bet On Sky, plants them squarely in the present landscape like majectic old growth trees among the shrubs. Dinosaur Jr. - "Watch The Corners" off their album 'I Bet On Sky.' Out on September 18, 2012 via Jagjaguwar.

Screaming Females
Screaming Females' seven years as a band, four full-length albums and 700 globe-spanning live shows has made them difficult to miss. Through it all, the New Brunswick, New Jersey trio have continued to exude a frenetic energy which is built upon the zeitgeist of America's punk and indie underground yet has always remained forward-looking. Fittingly, for Screaming Females' 5th album Ugly, the band enlisted legendary recording engineer Steve Albini, famed for his unique ability to capture the ferociousness of a live performance while delivering gorgeous sonic clarity. The album's 14 tracks reaffirm the touchstones of the band; they can still shred and front-woman Marissa Paternoster can still unleash a powerful howl. Listen to UGLY.  Yup. Perfect band to play with Dino Jr.
Mark Eitzel, Philip Price
Friday, November 30th 10PM Iron Horse

Mark Eitzel
Mark Eitzel's new solo record, Don't Be a Stranger comes out on Merge Records on 10/2/2012. After a string of bad luck that included a heart attack that set him back several months and the implosion of his band American Music Club, Mark Eitzel fortuitously found himself in the studio with celebrated producer Sheldon Gomberg (Rickie Lee Jones, Ron Sexsmith, Ben Harper), thanks to the generosity of an old friend. The result is Eitzel's finest solo album in over a decade. Mark Eitzel has released over 15 albums of original material with his band American Music Club and as a solo artist. The Guardian has called him "America's Greatest Living Lyricist" and Rolling Stone once gave him their Songwriter of the Year award. Originally formed in 1983, American Music Club released seven albums before breaking up in 1995. They reunited in 2004 and subsequently released two albums on Merge Records, Love Songs for Patriots and The Golden Age. Listen to Mark Eitzel's "I Love You But You're Dead" from the album Don't Be a Stranger, out October 2, 2012 on Merge Records

Philip Price

Philip Price, singer/songwriter/guitarist has been a key ingredient in the "sound of the Valley" (if such a thing  exists) for about 20 years; certainly within the realm of 'folk rock' and melodic Beatles-esque pop. He is best known for (and most prolific with) his five-piece band Winterpills who released their fifth and most ambitious album, All My Lovely Goners, early in 2012 on Signature Sounds (the local label that just moved its headquarters into the heart of Northampton.). He has toured as part of the like-minded Grant Lee Phillips' backing band, as well as founding The Maggies, Feet Wet, Gay Potatoes (with Chtis Collingwood of Fountains of Wayne), and Memorial Garage. We're hoping someday he will make a Philip Price solo album. Seeing him play solo-acoustic is the closest we'll get to that for now. Philip Price Interview in Valley Advocate.

Tickets for all shows are on sale now at Northampton Box Office, 76 Main Street, 413 586 8686 and online at

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