Tuned In: The Valley Music Showcase

  • Flathead Radio

  • Heather Maloney. Photo by Eladi

  • Fat Bradley

  • Larry Campbell and Teresa Williams

  • Delicate Steve. Photo by Taylor Bonin

Friday, December 01, 2017


“See them BEFORE they BECOME FAMOUS!!” So says Mark Sherry, producer of the Valley Music Showcase, a good-natured battle of the local bands. The contest’s five finalists — Joon, Shokazoba, Afterlife Garage, Flathead Rodeo, and One Time Weekend — will perform for judges and hopefully win grand prizes at New City Brewery in Easthampton, tonight, Friday, at 8 p.m.

Each of the five contestants will play a 25-minute set. Opening and closing the show are special guests Trailer Park, a veteran Valley band that’s been raising roofs with their dance-friendly, twin-sax-powered “barbecue music” since the early-‘90s.

The five competing bands have each won one of 2017’s bi-monthly Valley Music Showcase live events, and this is the final battle of the year, with such grand prizes as 20 hours of recording time at Northfire Studios in Amherst, filming of a music video at GCTV, a consulting package courtesy of PRIA Music Marketing, a merchandise package from Mantis Graphics, and more.

Joon is a rock band with funk/jam vibes from Enfield, Connecticut. The award-winning Shokazoba is Northampton’s own long-running political and progressive dance band that hopes to inspire positive social change. Afterlife Garage, from North Oxford (south of Worcester), play rock music with some psychedelic touches. Northampton band Flathead Rodeo is a spirited rockabilly outfit fronted by Mistress Miriam. One Time Weekend is a funky rock band from Collinsville, Connecticut.

Who will win? It’s up to the competition's guest judges: State Senator Don Humason, State Rep. Aaron Vega, Peter Newland from local legend band FAT, multimedia journalist Shaina Mishkin from MassLive, writer Jennifer Levesque from the Valley Advocate, Garrett Sawyer and Jason Metcalf from Northfire Studios, deejay Ed Malachowski from Valley Free Radio, and Sherry himself. 


The colorful compositions of Claude Debussy will be performed by Amherst College student musicians at Mead Art Museum in Amherst on Friday at 7 p.m. Free and open to all.


Heather Maloney (at right) has a new EP called “Just Enough Sun” due out on January 19, and she’ll play two nights at The Parlor Room in Northampton, Friday and Saturday at 7 p.m.


Fat Bradley, (below right) the Northampton funk ensemble, celebrate the release of their new album with a show at the Hawks and Reed Performing Arts Center in Greenfield on Friday at 8 p.m. Sodada opens.


Local arts magazine Meat for Tea presents “Le Cirque de Crudités” — celebrating the release of its new “Kid” issue — at Sonelab in Easthampton on Saturday at 7 p.m. The new issue will be on sale at a special price, and the show features live music from locals Carinae and Brooklyn-based Tin Vulva, art on exhibit by Eric Gaffney and Maggie Nowinski, spoken word, a magic show by punk prestidigitator Scotty Swan, and films (featuring Eat by Russell Calabrese). Free event.


Kung Fu is a band with a mission: “Making fusion music ‘cool’ again.” The Connecticut band, inspired by Weather Report, The Headhunters, Mahavishnu Orchestra and Zappa, blends electro-jazz-funk with EDM and asks curious music fans to imagine “’70s funk-fusion meets a modern dance party.” At Hawks and Reed in Greenfield on Saturday at 8:30 p.m. The opening act is Keepers of the Vibe.


Singer/songwriter/multi-instrumentalist Larry Campbell and vocalist/guitarist Teresa Williams are known for their years spent in Levon Helm’s close-knit band, but also for their own heartfelt harmonizing and rootsy music. Their latest album is “Contraband Love” and they’ll play Gateway City Arts in Holyoke on Wednesday at 7 p.m.


Delicate Steve — aka multi-instrumentalist Steve Marion — made fans happy with a new album this year, “This Is Steve,” an instrumental mix of hooks and playful arrangements. Like the aptly named “Cartoon Rock,” which Marion once described as “cartoon music, if ZZ Top were the genre's founding fathers.” See the Delicate one at Gateway City Arts in Holyoke on Thursday at 7:30 p.m. Locals Hammydown open the show.