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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Brent Amaker Reveals Robot Tendencies on New Project, Android Amaker

Brent Amaker Reveals Robot Tendencies on New Project, Android Amaker

Photo by Frank Correa

Photo by Frank Correa

There was always a chance Brent Amaker was an android: that rumbling baritone, the stylized western-style songs, the aura of pure badassness, all of it seemed somehow extra-human. (more…)

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Western Massachusetts Bands Head to Austin for SXSW

Western Massachusetts Bands Head to Austin for SXSW

Jamie Kent

Jamie Kent

It will be a strong showing for the Pioneer Valley next week at this year’s South by Southwest festival in Austin, Texas, with Speedy Ortiz, Potty Mouth, Gone by Daylight and Jamie Kent, who’s back with the second incarnation of his Rockin’ Riverboat showcase.

Last year Northampton troubadour Kent made a, um, splash by renting a riverboat, loading it up with artists including Erin…

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Ladyhips Tap Into Sleek Funk on ‘In the Ballroom’: Song Premiere

Ladyhips Tap Into Sleek Funk on ‘In the Ballroom’: Song Premiere

Photo by Ty Morin.

Photo by Ty Morin.

Modern indie-rock has kept busy mining all sorts of sounds from the 1970s, so why not sleek, jazzy funk? (more…)

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Surfer Blood Warms Iron Horse on Cold Winter Night

Was Surfer Blood always so Smiths-y?

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