Alvvays Vents Chaotic Impulses on Catchy ‘Archie, Marry Me’

Alvvays Vents Chaotic Impulses on Catchy ‘Archie, Marry Me’

Alvvays

There’s far too much new music to keep track of every album and single that comes out, but sometimes a song pops up after the fact and just latches on. “Archie, Marry Me” by Alvvays is one of those songs. (more…)

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Polaris Books First-Ever Tour, Including Northampton Date

Polaris Books First-Ever Tour, Including Northampton Date

Polaris

It’s no surprise that Polaris never went on tour (more…)

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Marvin Gaye, Woody Guthrie and the Myth of American Exceptionalism

Marvin Gaye, Woody Guthrie and the Myth of American Exceptionalism

Woody-Guthrie

A friend with a tangential connection to the protests in Ferguson, Mo., marveled on Twitter the other day that Marvin Gaye’s song “What’s Going On” remains relevant 40 years later. She’s right, of course. But why stop there?

(more…)

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Hawks Do Not Share Deal With the Devil in ‘Break Even’

Hawks Do Not Share Deal With the Devil in ‘Break Even’

HDNS

Radical interpretation: The mysterious stranger in Hawks Do Not Share’s new video for “Break Even” is the Devil. (more…)

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Beck Plays Career-Spanning Show at Mass MoCA

Beck Plays Career-Spanning Show at Mass MoCA

Photo by Peter Hapak

Photo by Peter Hapak

Beck doesn’t often perform in western Massachusetts. In fact, the last time he played a show around here was in May 2003, when he squeezed into the Iron Horse in Northampton (more…)

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James Apollo on ‘Angelorum,’ Studio Fires and Going Incognito

James Apollo on ‘Angelorum,’ Studio Fires and Going Incognito

James-Apollo

James Apollo had intended to make his new album “Angelorum” just once. Then the studio where he was recording burned down. (more…)

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Blue Skies for Black Hearts Premiere Video for ‘It’s Gone on Too Long’

Blue Skies for Black Hearts Premiere Video for ‘It’s Gone on Too Long’

Photo by Justin Dylan Renney.

Photo by Justin Dylan Renney.

Home improvement work goes awry in Blue Skies for Black Hearts’ new video for “It’s Gone on Too Long,” premiering today on Listen, Dammit.

In the clip, a successful songwriter hires a crew of musicians moonlighting as painters to freshen up his house, but when the producer leaves for a meeting, they get distracted by all the gear and start jamming instead of…

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Debbie Neigher Embraces Vulnerability on ‘I Am Ready’

Debbie Neigher Embraces Vulnerability on ‘I Am Ready’

Photo by Kim Ky.

Photo by Kim Ky.

There’s no shortage of artists with compelling backstories and interesting songs — artists like Debbie Neigher. The San Francisco singer and songwriter (and one time study-abroad student in Ghana) released her second album, “Unravel,” last fall, after giving up her job working with at-risk teens to focus full-time on music.

Like her self-titled first album, Neigher recorded…

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Jay Farrar Spans Career in Acoustic Iron Horse Show

Jay Farrar Spans Career in Acoustic Iron Horse Show

Photo by Spring Waugh

Photo by Spring Waugh

Such is Jay Farrar’s preference for opacity that the veteran singer and songwriter makes a subtle lyric change in concert to his most revealing song — on the rare occasions when he performs it.

One of those occasions was Wednesday night at the Iron Horse Music Hall in Northampton, where Farrar performed with backing from Gary Hunt on, alternately, guitar, mandolin, fiddle…

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Mountain Goats Mix Humor and Catharsis at Pearl Street

Mountain Goats Mix Humor and Catharsis at Pearl Street

Photo by DL Anderson

Photo by DL Anderson

John Darnielle’s Mountain Goats fanbase is so devoted that when he said something onstage Tuesday at Pearl Street in Northampton about having recently written a bunch of Mountain Goats songs that will never get released, there were people in the crowd who wanted to hear them — allof them. Darnielle wisely kept to just one, voicing his suspicion that others who had paid for…

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