Ken Maiuri's Tuned In: Destroyer at the Iron Horse and other musical happenings in the Valley

  • Adrian Legg

  • Big Sandy & His Fly-Rite Boys COURTESY OF IHEG—

  • Destroyer

  • Nate Wooley

  • Show of Cards

  • Treefort

Published: 11/3/2016 3:12:54 PM

“Visualize success but don’t believe your eyes.” Dan Bejar sang that line as a member of The New Pornographers on their totally fantastic debut album back in 2000.

“A Canadian supergroup,” they were called, and though I was already familiar the other vocalists/songwriters in the band, Bejar was new to me.

When I found out he had his own band called Destroyer, I scoured the import-friendly indie shops (the only place you could find his CDs at the time) and have forever since been scratching at the itch of his songwriting, full of playful rhymes, theatrical inflection, allusions to other songs (including his own) and an unending supply of memorable lines (“My aim is only true when I’m aiming at you”; “Stay critical or die”).

Bejar got compared to David Bowie, and while he never created full-on characters to inhabit, each new Destroyer record was a step forward into different territory (the sprawling, reverb-saturated “This Night”; the voice-with-computerized-orchestra “Your Blues”) as his voice became larger than life. Just when one album was hailed as his masterpiece (“Streethawk: A Seduction”), another came along to seemingly steal that top spot (“Destroyer’s Rubies”) ... and then another (“Kaputt”).

I was lucky enough to see Bejar play a rare solo gig in Boston back in May 2001, a setting that really allowed his lyrics and delivery to be front-and-center — and that’s how concertgoers can experience Destroyer when Bejar plays solo at the Iron Horse in Northampton Saturday at 10 p.m.

Opening the show is Toney Sea, aka Easthampton’s own Miranda Brown (who played with the New Pornographers herself for a time).

Show of Cards is planning to release a new album in Spring 2017, and the musicians will debut some of their new material when they open for Opel at the Arts Block in Greenfield Friday at 8 p.m.

Treefort is the playground of singer/songwriter Paul Hansbury (longtime Valley music fans surely have the band’s classic song “Parking Valet” going through their heads right now). The band of good friends plays its only area show of the year at the Luthiers Co-Op in Easthampton Saturday at 8 p.m. And the Neighbors, the local duo of Debra DeMuth and Dave Houghton, starts off the night with a set at 7 p.m.

The Bonds (from the Boston area), Mercy Choir (from New Haven, Connecticut, who just put out the self-explanatory single “I Saw Mark Mulcahy On The Street In Front Of College Street Music Hall”) and locals Beach Honey (fresh-faced pop quartet) and Simple Friend (the harmony-filled partnership of keyboardist/vocalist Brandi Ediss and guitarist/vocalist Frank Padellaro) make up the quadruple bill at the 13th Floor Music Lounge in Florence Saturday at 9 p.m.

Adrian Legg, mild-mannered Londoner with a pristine-sounding electro-acoustic guitar, gets big praise from wild daredevil shredders like Steve Vai and Joe Satriani, and it’s because of his highly original and impeccable technique. Legg creates his own inimitable sound from shimmering effect pedals, chiming harmonics, string bends, focused fingerpicking and even more impressive moves. On “Midwest Sunday,” Legg creates the song’s beautiful melody by constantly turning the guitar’s tuning pegs while he plays the strings. He’s been called a “kind of cross between Robert Fripp and Garrison Keillor,” thanks to his musical discipline and amiable between-song chat. He’s best experienced in a listening room, and lucky for us, Legg will be at the homey and polite Parlor Room Sunday at 7 p.m.

The Pioneer Valley Jazz Shares concert series continues its fifth season with a performance by the Nate Wooley Quintet (an all-star cutting-edge ensemble featuring trumpeter Wooley, bass clarinetist Josh Sinton, vibraphonist Matt Moran, bassist Eivind Opsvik and drummer Harris Eisenstadt) at the Shea Theater in Turners Falls Sunday at 7:30 p.m.

Big Sandy and His Fly-Rite Boys are West Coasters who’ve been bringing their vintage-style rockabilly/country boogie/Western swing tunes and charisma to the Valley for many years now. See why when the snappy and smooth go-cat-go band returns to the Iron Horse Monday at 7 p.m. The Greg Hall Trio opens.




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