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Tuned In by Ken Maiuri

  • Photo by Ron Sleznak

  • Photo Shervin Lainez

  • Photo by Joe Mabel

  • LACEphotography


Friday, November 09, 2018

“Well I guess music isn't dead after all.” That was one listener’s joyous conclusion after hearing The Lemon Twigs for the first time, and you’re sure to agree if you love smart, lovingly arranged pop (The Beatles, The Kinks, The Beach Boys, Todd Rundgren) and the ‘70s swagger of Bowie, Queen, Sparks and the Stones.

Fronted by brothers Brian and Michael D’Addario, the flamboyant and accomplished Lemon Twigs will play upstairs at Pearl Street in Northampton on Saturday at 8 p.m. Also on the bill are fellow wigged-out pop bands Jungle Green (Chicago) and Rubber Band Gun (New Jersey).

The offspring of supportive artistic parents, Long Island siblings Brian (21) and Michael (19) have been working on music in a house full of instruments since they were old enough to sit up — with home videos to prove it. (For evidence of their early love of pop, definitely check out YouTube videos of the brothers doing the original rap song “Livin Large,” or performing the Beach Boys’ “Wild Honey.”)

“Do Hollywood,” their debut album for 4AD, was a sparklingly recorded studio album, and their newest work is an hour-long musical recorded in their parents’ basement, just like the old days. 

Called “Go To School,” it’s the tale of Shane, a teenage chimpanzee raised as a human boy, dealing with the pitfalls of school, love and life. The emotional arc of the theatrical story includes a Big Star power-pop pastiche (“Queen of My School”), an epic mood-changing rocker (“The Fire”), and a catchy boogie that’s part ABBA, part 10cc (“This Is My Tree”) — plus bossa nova, Kinks-y music hall merriment, beautifully sung ballads, melodramatic Broadway interludes and sonic colors not often heard in current pop music (as another fan said, “nice to see the diminished chord is making a comeback”). Highly recommended!

 

David Bromberg and his Big Band are joined by special guest Loudon Wainwright III for a gig at the Calvin Theatre in Northampton on Friday at 8 p.m.

 Bad Larrys (right) (pop and punk from Salem) and Scare City (from Worcester) are on tour, teaming up with locals Sam Gas Can and Feminine Aggression for a show at Flywheel in Easthampton on Friday at 8 p.m.

Jazz guitarist (middle right) Stanley Jordan, the fretboard-tapping legend, plays the Iron Horse in Northampton on Saturday at 7 p.m.

Singer/songwriter Lady Lamb (bottom right)(aka the Brunswick, ME-born Aly Spaltro) returns to the area to play Gateway City Arts in Holyoke on Saturday at 8 p.m.

Multi-instrumental musician and teacher Nathan Bowles has packed up his banjo and left his Durham, North Carolina home for a two-day residency at the Root Cellar in Greenfield on Saturday (at 8 p.m.) and Sunday (at 7 p.m.) Bill Callahan is a fan of Bowles, whose music explores Appalachian old-time tradition and minimalist drone.

Turners Falls singer/songwriter Corey Laitman (top left) has a new record (“Sea Foam”) and celebrates with a show at The Parlor Room in Northampton on Sunday at 7 p.m. Northampton folk singer/songwriter Izzy Heltai is the opening act.

The Tallest Man On Earth (Swedish singer/songwriter Kristian Matsson) takes the stage at the Academy of Music in Northampton on Monday at 8 p.m.

Richard Thompson (bottom left)has been wowing Valley halls for decades with his passionate singing and guitar work. He and his Electric Trio play the Academy of Music on Tuesday at 7:30 p.m. Starting off the night are the Sisters of Slide (Rory Block & Cindy Cashdollar).

It’s a show four years in the making: NYC saxophonist/clarinetist/flutist Marty Ehrlich (who teaches weekly at Hampshire College) is finally the featured guest with the Green Street Trio at this week’s Northampton Jazz Workshop at City Sports Grille inside Spare Time Northampton on Tuesday at 7:30 p.m. The open jazz jam session follows at 8:30 p.m.

Big Sandy (bottom right) and His Fly-Rite Boys bring their fun country boogie and western swing thing back to the Iron Horse on Wednesday at 7 p.m. Local outfit Flathead Rodeo tears it up first.