Tuned In by Ken Maiuri

  • Rodrigo y Gabriela Ebru Yildiz Photo

  • Uranium Club

  • Iris DeMent

  • Post Pink

  • Amythyst Kiah

Published: 6/27/2019 12:45:41 PM

“Truly, our generation’s Devo.” 

That’s one fan’s quote about Minneapolis new wave punk band Uranium Club, who’ve clearly been inspired by the tense energy and conceptual bent of the Akron legends and mutated it into their own dystopian rock-and-roll. 

Devo sang of de-evolution, with lyrics about potatoes and spud boys, and the tightly wound Uranium Club could be their art school offspring, another generation closer to oblivion, with a short sharp anthem called “Small Fry,” about a world with “problems for a giant.” 

“I’m a small fry / why should I try?” The words might look apathetic or defeatist on paper, but the agitated and energetic song carrying them actually feels empowering, like a roaring rocket seconds after blast off, all revved up with somewhere to go.  

Uranium Club’s sound has power chords, twangy trebly guitar leads, a tirelessly hard-working drummer, intensity no matter what the tempo, and black humor. (Their song “Opus” has this conversational refrain: “You don’t matter much / we don’t matter much / what’s for lunch?”)

The band, purportedly brought to you by the mysterious Sunbelt Chemicals Corporation, is Harry Wohl and Teen Man on guitars and vocals, Brendan Wells on bass, vocals and iconic sunglasses, and drummer Matt Stagner

Wells once said in an interview that they’re inspired by “the early days of punk music, when bands were playing at art colleges, before a template had been set. We want to be excited. For us, that’s trying new things and doing things differently. We’re not afraid of looking stupid … vulnerability is big.” 

Sharing the bill with Uranium Club is local band Urochromes (with their own brand of punk energy and conceptual world-building), plus New England all-star experimental gang Gloyd (Wendy Eisenberg, Ruth Garbus, Neil Cloaca Young, Donald Shaw, and Andy Allen), DJ Linz, and other special guests. 

The unique show is taking place at a unique venue — Pinz, inside the Hampshire Mall in Hadley, on Saturday, June 29, at 9 p.m. The show is all ages and free, but securing an advance (free!) ticket is highly suggested, and available via the show’s Facebook event page (aka “Uranium Club in the Mall”). Not to be missed!

Ex-Temper (7 p.m.), The Claudia Malibu (8 p.m.) and Beasthampton (9:30 p.m.) make up the strong local rock triple-bill at the Luthier’s Co-op in Easthampton on Friday, June 28.

 

The Johnny Memphis Band appears live in concert with special guest Chris Haynes on accordion at the Luthier’s Co-op on Saturday, June 29, at 9:30 p.m. Also performing that night are the Peter Smolenski Band (8 p.m.) and CT-based underground hip hop artist Fat Meezy (7 p.m.).

  

Matt Hunter & The Dusty Fates play play Progression Brewing Company in Northampton on Saturday, June 29, at 8 p.m. As longtime local music fans know, Hunter was one of the founders of New Radiant Storm King, and his band features current or former members of King Missile and the Glenn Branca Ensemble. Check out his solo album on the Darla label, “New Rotations.”

  

Virtuoso instrumental guitar duo Rodrigo y Gabriela at right take the stage at Tanglewood in Lenox on Sunday, June 30 at 2:30 p.m.

  

Singer/songwriter Iris DeMent, right, appears at Gateway City Arts in Holyoke on Sunday, June 30, at 8 p.m. Pieta Brown opens. 

  

Post Pink, bottom right, (poppy post-punk from Baltimore), Casual Hex (post-punk rock-and-roll from Seattle), Landowner (tense and tight post-punk from Holyoke) and Dump Him (local punk-pop queercore) play Flywheel in Easthampton on Monday, July 1, at 8 p.m.

  Acclaimed Tennessee-based “Southern Gothic” singer and multi-instrumentalist Amythyst Kiah (who’s wowed crowds opening for Indigo Girls, Rhiannon Giddens and others) performs at the Watermelon Wednesdays concert series at the West Whately Chapel on Wednesday, July 3, at 7:30 p.m.




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