Ken Maiuri's Tuned In: Music happening this week in the Valley

  • Home Body

  • Mammal Dap

  • Mark Schwaber

  • Outer Stylie

  • Rubblebucket

  • Bella’s Bartok Courtesy of Bella’s Bartok/Facebook

Published: 12/29/2016 12:30:29 PM

No matter how cold it might get on Saturday night, you’re guaranteed some friendly perspiration at “The Strange Ones’ Ball,” brought to you by Bella’s Bartok, the Valley’s one and only “vaudevillian folk punk” collective. The energetic group turns every show into some kind of spectacle, but for its New Year’s Eve extravaganza, the plan is to kick the circus up a couple notches: “The Strange Ones’ Ball” is slated to include “mayhem, dancing, giant monster people, acrobatics, balloons, costumers, giant hamster balls, and more mind-blowing things you'll just have to see to believe.”

The band’s recent video for the song “The Fiddler and the Devil” gives a good glimpse into the musicians’ wild-eyed world: an old-school oom-pah beat with souped-up 21st-century rock energy, a horn section, accordion, bassist Dan Niederhauser shirtless and sweating, Chris “Fancy” Kerrigan giving his acoustic guitar strings a workout, lead singer Asher Putnam riding the vibe waves and bugging out, and the whole band literally hopping with energy. Bella’s Bartok will be joined by the boisterous, ten-strong Funky Dawgz Brass Band (from Storrs, Connecticut), bluegrass/Americana quartet Damn Tall Buildings (from Boston) and rock band The Snaz (from Brattleboro, Vermont). It all happens at the Pearl Street Ballroom in Northampton Saturday at 7:30 p.m.

Psychedelic hard-rock groove band Outer Stylie teams up with the political and funky Shokazoba at the Arts Block in Greenfield Friday at 8 p.m. Starting off the show is an art opening for Katie Shaw, spotlighting her paintings and drawings.

When Rubblebucket played the area on last New Year’s Eve, the show sold out completely. The in-demand indie dance band returns to the Valley for a two-night stand, playing Friday AND Saturday nights at Gateway City Arts in Holyoke at 9 p.m. Opening the Friday-night show are Parsonsfield and LuxDeluxe; the Saturday show starts with Mal Devisa and Alexander F (the latter a Rubblebucket side project).

The Parlor Room celebrates First Night with a day full of live performances: Colorway at 2 and 3 p.m., The Surly Temple at 4 and 5 p.m., Fancy Trash at 7 and 8 p.m., and Brooks WIlliams at 9:15 and 10:15 p.m. You’ll need the all-important First Night button to get in the door.

Home Body (“electric spirit pop”), Carinae (dark psych rock) and Hot Dirt (“lucid prog dream”) join forces for a colorful, balloon-filled New Year’s Eve bash at The Root Cellar in Greenfield Saturday at 8 p.m. Also happening at the event will be interactive art surprises from Opertura and a late-night dance party until 2 a.m. Say the bands: “Fancy/freaky attire encouraged! Bad Vibes discouraged! Aliens and angels and humans and Muppets all welcome!”

Mammal Dap and Full Spectrum Dominance (with special guest vocalist Kara Rose Wolf) ring in the new year with their NYE Space Colony Launch Party at Bishop's Lounge in Northampton Saturday at 10 p.m. The bands promise “non-stop, space-age, electro-funk music all night.”

The calendar is flipping over into an unpredictable new world, but at least one thing won’t change: the Northampton Jazz Workshop will continue to bring fine jazz players to the area. This week’s special guest is bebop-influenced sax and flute man Greg Abate, making his sixth appearance with the unflappable and fabulous Green Street Trio (pianist Paul Arslanian, bassist George Kaye and drummer Jon Fisher) at the City Sports Grille at Spare Time Northampton Tuesday at 7:30 p.m. Stick around for the Open Jazz Jam (sign up! sit in!) at 8:30 p.m.

Singer/songwriters Mark Schwaber (pictured), Matthew Larsen and Matt Minigell play solo sets at the Luthiers Co-Op in Easthampton Thursday at 7 p.m. Free, but tips are appreciated.


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