Posts Tagged ‘Northampton’

LIVE: Tweedy @ the Calvin Theatre, 9/27/14

Thursday, October 2nd, 2014

Review by Ross Marvin

Sure, there’s a certain gimmick to forming a band with your kid. This was true of Shirley Patridge and Keith. It was true of Frank Zappa and Moon Unit. It is true of Jeff and Spencer Tweedy. No coincidence, maybe, that critics of Tweedy and Wilco have consistently labeled the Chicago band as the poster boys of Dad Rock — a mysteriously less cool, grayer shade of hipster rock that comes with a side of perplexing lyrical poetry, experimental bleeps, microbrews and vegan food trucks.

While anyone who has attended the quasi-annual Solid Sound Festival that Wilco hosted from 2010 to 2013 at MASS MoCA (and coming again in June, 2015) sees the truth in my depiction above, fans who scratch a little deeper know how shallow it is to think such a description adequately sums up Jeff Tweedy’s now immense and incontrovertibly impressive songwriting catalog.

Last Saturday night at Northampton’s Calvin Theatre, the band was “Tweedy” in name only. This was a Jeff Tweedy show, one that captured the broad swath of his career from alt-country founder in Uncle Tupelo, to the many stages of Wilco (which go something like Americana, lush-pop, experimental pop, indie supergroup), to his strong new material, in which his 18-year-old son plays the role of musical foil and unquestioning acolyte.

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LIVE: The World Famous Headliners @ the Iron Horse Music Hall, 12/28/13

Monday, December 30th, 2013
Al Anderson

Al Anderson

Photographs by Bender Melon

Yes, face it, if you’re gonna step into the spotlight sporting a band name like the World Famous Headliners, you’ve got two options. Either you’ve got to be really good or really stupid.

As it turned out, the World Famous Headliners were definitely not stupid…

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Baroque and Bach in the Berkshires with the Brandenburgs for New Year’s Eve [Berkshire on Stage]

Monday, December 30th, 2013
 The Berkshire Bach Ensemble

The Berkshire Bach Ensemble

By Larry Murray

The Berkshire Bach Society celebrates the twentieth year of its landmark “Bach at New Year’s” series, featuring the celebrated Berkshire Bach Ensemble directed by world-renowned harpsichordist Kenneth Cooper. There will be two performances of the six Brandenburg Concerti… and for something a little different, they will be performed in reverse order.

Click to read the rest at Berkshire on Stage.

Perky “HMS Pinafore” Sails into Northampton With Huge Crew of Singers, Musicians [Berkshire on Stage]

Thursday, November 14th, 2013
Philip Hart Helzzer as Captain Corcoran and Kathy Blaisdell as Mrs.Cripps (Buttercup)

Philip Hart Helzzer as Captain Corcoran and Kathy Blaisdell as Mrs. Cripps (Buttercup)

Review and Discussion by Gail M. Burns and Larry Murray

Larry Murray: This is one of my favorite G&S shows, how about you…

Gail M. Burns: One of them, yes. I have a special fondness for H.M.S. Pinafore because it was the first G&S operetta that I directed, but looking at it with an impartial eye, it is just Baby Gilbert & Sullivan. Although it was their fourth collaboration, it was their first mega-hit, and in it you see the solidification of the components that they would later hone to perfection in their mature classics – The Pirates of Penzance, Iolanthe, and The Mikado.

Larry: What could be more British than the nautical themes of Pinafore and Penzance, so I am always willing to sail the ocean blue with W.S. Gilbert and Arthur Sullivan’s first big hit. It’s a big production and there’s room for everyone at the grand Academy of Music in Northampton. The stage is larger than the school halls they have used in the past, and it has the ability to drop set pieces in from the flies, and fit 50 people on stage at the same time if needed.

Gail: I love to see how many people are involved in Valley Light Opera productions year after year – as you said, about 50 on stage, 25 in the orchestra, and countless others behind the scenes. And I love to see Gilbert & Sullivan performed in houses like the 1891 Northampton Academy of Music (Gilbert & Sullivan’s final collaboration opened in 1896) which has probably seen the H.M.S. Pinafore dock in her port a few dozen times over the years.

All that being said, director Graham Christian has made this a MUCH bigger production than it needs to be. Pinafore is a one-set show, but Christian has taken the action ashore and added two unecessary ballroom scenes. I remarked on our way to the show that I hoped this wouldn’t be one of those stuffy preserved-in-mothballs productions, but in hindsight I wish that Christian had reined in his inventiveness considerably.

Click to read the rest at Berkshire on Stage.

Bach “Brandenburgs plus” for New Year’s set for Great Barrington, Troy and Northampton [Berkshire on Stage]

Thursday, December 27th, 2012

The Berkshire Bach Society represents the finest Bach in the Berkshires and boasts one of the greatest ensembles in the country, The Berkshire Bach Ensemble, led by the world-renowned harpsichordist Kenneth Cooper.

This year’s Bach at New Year’s event features nineteen world-class virtuosi in a special concert called Brandenburgs PLUS. On the program will be a delicious Concerto for two horns, two oboes and solo violin by the irrepressible Antonio Vivaldi, the ever-popular Bach Double Concerto for Violin and Oboe in a new reconstruction by Dr. Cooper allowing more of Bach’s original music to be heard than ever before, and the devilish Harpsichord Concerto No. 15 in D minor by Handel (stolen largely from Telemann) with a special cadenza by harpsichordist Kenneth Cooper.

Click to read the rest at Berkshire on Stage.

New Release Rack: Charlie Hunter & Scott Amendola’s “Not Getting Behind Is the New Getting Ahead”

Wednesday, October 10th, 2012

Charlie Hunter & Scott Amendola: Not Getting Behind Is the New Getting AheadGuitar great Charlie Hunter’s performance at the Albany Riverfront Jazz Festival last month was washed out when the mid-afternoon rain storm abruptly cut the festival short.

But Hunter’s fans will have three opportunities to catch him in action during the next week and a half when he teams up with drummer Scott Amendola for a series of performances in support of the duo’s new collaborative album, Not Getting Behind Is the New Getting Ahead, which was released last week.

The duo will step into the spotlight at Red Square in Albany on Thursday (October 11), followed by shows at the Iron Horse Music Hall in Northampton on Wednesday, October 17 and Club Helsinki in Hudson on Friday, October 19.

Hunter’s first album of original material in three years, Not Getting Behind Is the New Getting Ahead is a collection of 10 songs that were recorded with both musicians playing in the same room simultaneously, with no headphones. And there’s no mixing, editing or overdubs on the album, either. The album was recorded straight to two-track analog 1/4-inch tape.

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LIVE: Kelly Joe Phelps @ Iron Horse Music Hall, 9/11/12

Thursday, September 13th, 2012
Kelly Joe Phelps

Kelly Joe Phelps

Review and photograph by M.R. Poulopoulos

The first time I heard Kelly Joe Phelps (KJP), I had to put down my fork and walk over to the computer to find out just what in the hell Pandora Internet Radio was playing. I was literally moved. Had I a fork in front of me during Phelps’ Tuesday night performance at the Iron Horse Music Hall in Northampton, it would have sat still on the table, and the meal gone cold. The man’s solo performance captivated, despite the occasional chatter scattered amongst the 60 or so people in attendance – not nearly a full room for the joint, but pretty good for a Tuesday.

Switching between an open-tuned steel National resonator and a standard-tuned Martin D-35 Johnny Cash Commemorative, Phelps became a river through which flowed blues, spiritual, country and gospel music, all of them caught up in soulful currents; at times a torrent of notes ran across a bluesy minor scale, and at others an inspirational and slow-moving cascade of vocals descended from the source of all major rivers.

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LIVE: Burnt Hills @ the Elevens, Northampton, 10/6/11

Tuesday, October 11th, 2011

Burnt Hills, the flagship sonic explorers of Albany’s Flipped Out Records, headed across state lines to the Elevens last week, and this is what happened. Is this even legal?

Caffe LenaHolly & EvanCartoonist John CaldwellAdvertise on Nippertown!Keep Albany BoringArtist Charles HaymesAlbany PoetsHudson SoundsBerkshire On StageLeave Regular Radio BehindThe LindaDark Wood Design