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For years Flywheel in Easthampton has been offering unique shows for adventurous music fans — like tonight’s triple bill of classically trained experimental guitarist Janet Feder, local vocalist/multi-instrumentalist Tim Eriksen and ex-Deerhoof/Cryptacize/Curtains member Chris Cohen. The show starts at 8 p.m.
Feder plays specially prepared guitars, outfitting normal strings with things like alligator clips, beads and rings. “She makes the guitar sound like a small ensemble that includes steel drum, marimba, fretless bass and percussion,” said one music magazine. Feder has spoken of a “state of glad curiosity” that led her to experiment with new sounds, reinvigorating her interest in the instrument. “It’s like it was when I first picked up the guitar as a kid,” she said.
Eriksen has been a local musical force for decades with diverse bands like the passionate traditional-inspired rock/folk trio Cordelia’s Dad, the Bosnian groove-group Zabe i Babe and the shape-note singing quartet, Northampton Harmony. He acted as a consultant and sang for the epic 2003 film “Cold Mountain” (its soundtrack producer T-Bone Burnett said Eriksen had “one of the best voices in music”). His latest solo CD is “Banjo, Fiddle and Voice.”
Mere days ago Cohen released his first solo record, “Overgrown Path” — a true solo album, since he recorded all the instruments and sang everything by himself in rural Vermont, his current home. His highly melodic stamp has been an audible part of every great band he’s been in; hearing 100-percent Cohen on the new record is as vibrant and unique as one could hope for, and the advance singles (“Caller No. 99” and “Optimist High”) have a warm and sweet side.
Bunny’s a Swine, ZEBU! and Fat Creeps appear at the Basement in Northampton tonight at 8 p.m.
The Sun Parade is a popular local band led by Chris Jennings and Jefferson Lewis, two friends who love music so much they’ll use a free afternoon to wander into town and busk on the sidewalk. They draw a crowd whether on the corner or the stage, which is where they’ll be at the Iron Horse in Northampton tonight at 10 p.m. Opening the show will be Boston band and clean-energy activists Melodeego, who regularly put on concerts using a unique bike-powered sound system (with fans doing the pedaling).
The Garlic and Arts Festival takes place at Forster’s Farm in Orange Saturday and Sunday from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m., rain or shine. The event will feature two stages full of music, including performances by Wishbone Zoe, Rob Skelton and Pitchfork, Carrie Ferguson, the Dave Dersham Band, Empty Banks, The Gaslight Tankers, Fenibo, Mother Turtle, Peter Siegel and Jay Mankita, Gaia Roots and many more. Schedule details at http://garlicandarts.org.
Sax and Samba, a duo of saxophonist Ray Suzor and guitarist Sam Carlson, takes inspiration from folks like Paul Desmond, Wes Montgomery and Antonio Carlos Jobim and will perform at the Loft Lounge at the Clarion Hotel in Northampton Saturday at 7 p.m.
Lloyd Cole, Brothers Born (the duo of Joel Stroetzel (Killswitch Engage) and Mike Wyzik (Red Door Exchange and others)), and J. Johnson (National Carpet) perform at Flying Object in Hadley Saturday at 8 p.m.
Trailer Park will entice you to the dance floor with its groovy-bluesy-New Orleansy-pop — aka barbecue music, or “rock and roll with saxophones” — at the Basement Saturday at 8 p.m.
Bill Payne, co-founder of Little Feat, photographer and in-demand session keyboardist who’s played with the Doobie Brothers, Emmylou Harris, Bonnie Raitt and many more joins forces with Dennis McNally, freelance journalist and Grateful Dead publicist from 1984-1995, for a show at the Iron Horse Wednesday at 7 p.m. Expect live music, photography and commentary from Payne, stories from McNally and a question-and-answer segment at the end of the evening.