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PHOTO BY TOD SEELIE
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Mass MoCA in North Adams is a worthy destination on any day (and check out the breathtaking Natural Bridge, also in North Adams, while you’re out that way), but the museum also regularly showcases performers who don’t always make a stop in the Valley. Like the harmony-happy Bandana Splits.
The Brooklyn-based trio of Lauren Balthrop, Annie Nero and Dawn Landes makes highly melodic songs — on recordings, they can sound like the Andrews Sisters or The Ronettes mixed with beach-blanket pop (full of that Phil Spector reverb that people can’t get enough of these days).
At live shows, the three friends accompany themselves on stand-up drums, bass and guitar, or on gentle maracas and ukulele, or just sing a cappella.
The group’s 2011 debut album, “Mr. Sam Presents The Bandana Splits,” was produced by Sam Cohen, co-founder of the band Apollo Sunshine (which at one point was based in Leverett). Ultra-catchy songs abound, like the playful ’60s-girl-group-influenced “Ricky Dee” and the cute, swingy miniature “Stay If You Wanna” (with the cavity-creating lyric “sugar drops and candy canes and lemon pie / when we’re together you’re my guy”).
See The Bandana Splits at Mass MoCA’s intimate Club B-10 in North Adams Saturday at 8 p.m.
Jazz keyboardist Robert Glasper came to town with his acoustic trio last fall and put on a playful show, one of this writer’s favorites of the year. The Blue Note recording artist returns tonight, but this time it’s with his aptly named ensemble, The Robert Glasper Experiment. The group’s sci-fi-space-funk-jazz version of Nirvana’s “Smells Like Teen Spirit” and cutting-edge take on R&B are just two examples of the diverse territory they cover. See Glasper and company at the Iron Horse in Northampton tonight at 7 p.m.
Dead Dog is a punky Athens, Ga.-based indie-pop band, headlining a quadruple bill at Flywheel in Easthampton tonight at 8 p.m. Also performing are locals Whirl, Derive and Sweat Enzo.
The Lonesome Brothers (Jim Armenti, Ray Mason and Tom Shea) play multiple sets at the scenic Hyland Orchard and Brewery in Sturbridge Saturday from 2 to 6 p.m. A perfect fall destination — bands play in a covered, open-air, large pavilion, with plenty of room for dancing or just dreamily looking at the apple trees and rolling hills. The show is free and the band will be joined by special guest keyboardist Scott Hall (from the Drunk Stuntmen).
The Mike Hooker Experience, local classic rock band, throws its Fall Dance Party at the World War II Club in Northampton (aka “The Deuce”) Saturday at 8:30 p.m. The band says, “Bring your dancin’ shoes and rock out!”
The Pines Theater HarvestFest features NRBQ, Jamie Kent & the Options, The Northstar Session, The Raft and Woodford Way at Look Park’s Pines Theater in Florence Sunday at 4 p.m. Children under 12 get in free.
Jason Collett, Toronto-based singer-songwriter and member of the sprawling collective Broken Social Scene, plays the Iron Horse Monday at 7 p.m. Local duo Brothers Born will open.
Onetime local Matt Hebert returns to the area with a new CD (“Tomorrow In the Sun”). See him open for singer/songwriter Gretchen Peters at the Iron Horse Wednesday at 7 p.m.
Dark Dark Dark, a Minneapolis quintet led by singer/songwriter/pianist Nona Marie Invie, just released its new album, “Who Needs Who.” The band’s tour takes it to the Iron Horse Thursday at 8:30 p.m. Emily Wells opens.