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Ken Mauri’s Tuned In

  • Bim Skala Bim
  • Brooke Saracino
  • Rubblebucket
  • PHOTO COURTESY OF IHEG<br/>Sarah Jarosz

Summer’s the season for outdoor concerts, and one of the area’s biggest is the Green River Festival. This year the multi-day live music event begins with a separate show, a Kick Off Party featuring Rubblebucket and opening act And The Kids at the Shea Theatre in Turners Falls, Friday at 8 p.m.

Rubblebucket basically stole the show at last year’s festival, playing on the main stage to a large crowd of concertgoers who left their lawn chairs and blankets behind to jump up and dance. The theatrical-minded band had friends dressed up in 12-foot robot costumes; they lumbered out into the throng and made the performance a surreal, whimsical afternoon to remember.

Not that they need robots to whip up a crowd. The great live band is fronted by kinetic vocalist Kalmia Traver (who also makes up part of the group’s horn section) and they’ve made a splash on the Jimmy Kimmel show and elsewhere. Rubblebucket has been described as “post-genre” and their upbeat music — kind of new-wave, kind of groove-band-ish — can’t really be pinned down.

The main festival itself takes place Saturday and Sunday at Greenfield Community College, beginning at 12:30 p.m., and features more than 30 acts, including such local and national favorites as Lux Deluxe, The Skatalites, Gogol Bordello, Lake Street Dive, JD McPherson, The Bernie Worrell Orchestra, Brandi Carlile and many more. More information is available at www.greenriverfestival.com.

Local singer/songwriters Brooke Saracino, Russell O’Rourke, Max Kennedy and Mike Gundlach band together for a show at the Montague Bookmill Friday at 8 p.m.

Bella’s Bartok and Gnarlemagne play a free concert at the Rendezvous in Turners Falls Friday at 9:30 p.m.

Americana singer/songwriter Marcia Hendrick (7 p.m.), longtime local blues favorites Ed Vadas Trio (8 p.m.) and Boys By the Door (9:30 p.m.) will be at the Luthiers Co-Op in Easthampton on Saturday.

San Cisco is an Australian indie-pop band, whose lead vocalist, Jordi Davieson, has definitely studied at the Vampire Weekend Institute (just check out their chipper song “Fred Astaire”). They headline at Pearl Street in Northampton Saturday at 8:30 p.m. Smallpools and locals The True Jacqueline start off the night.

The Mark Nomad Band plays “blues, funk and beyond” at Snowzee’s in Sunderland Saturday at 9 p.m.

Peter Blanchette, with his 11-string archguitar, plays a program of music from the late 15th to 18th centuries (including pieces by John Dowland, Anthony Holborne and Pierre Attaignant) in the open air tabernacle at Laurel Park in Northampton Sunday at 2 p.m.

Bim Skala Bim (Boston “third wave” ska group of the e_SSRq80s/e_SSRq90s back in action), Beige (Steve Westfield’s brand-new ska/dance band) and The Royal Swindle (ska/reggae/soul from southern CT) take over Flywheel in Easthampton Sunday at 8 p.m.

Dick Dale, “King of the Surf Guitar” since the early ’60s, returns to the Iron Horse in Northampton Tuesday at 7 p.m. Boston surf band Trabants opens.

Texas-based singer/songwriter/multi-instrumentalist Sarah Jarosz has bluegrass roots and a third album, “Build Me Up From Bones,” on the Sugar Hill label, due this fall. She appears at the Iron Horse Thursday at 7 p.m.

Pale Cowboy (top-notch local indie-pop quintet), The Boy Who Found Fear (acoustic duo from East Longmeadow) and Philip St. Ours & Hannah Pocock (from Charlottesville, Va.) perform at the Sierra Grille in Northampton Thursday at 10 p.m.

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