Where some may find a house in the middle of the woods equal parts eerie and isolated, Dan Moriarty says that he heard a call to get wild.
"To me, no neighbors means no one to bother, and all that is more reason to start having bands over!" the A Troop Of Echoes drummer says of the origins of an in-house, impromptu concert series he started last summer known as the Experimental Music Palace. "So we started getting bands in and had a great time, averaging 150-200 people per show without even the slightest incident, fight or broken piece of furniture."
Before long, Moriarty says that news of his well-attended DIY affair made its way to a handful of DJs at WMUA in Amherst. And what they had in mind was enough to make Moriarty realize it was time to literally come out of the Belchertown woodwork.
"They approached us about putting on a show with one of our good friends, Hadoken, and a big deal band out of Boston named Caspian," he recalls. "So we were naturally thrilled, but the logistics behind hosting an internationally touring band at our humble abode quickly fell through."
Undeterred, Moriarty says he began to scour the club circuit in hopes of securing a venue proper. And in checking venues against his personal prerequisites (must be a cool place that will host a national band with local acts and allow access to fans under 21), one facility in particular quickly pulled away from the pack.
"The Iron Horse was just the dream place to have this for all those reasons and more," he says. "So I took matters into my own hands and approached, and luckily, they said yes."
A Troop of Echoes and Hadoken open for Caspian at the famed Noho venue this Friday, March 27. For tickets and more information, kindly point your browser to iheg.com.
In other news, Western Mass. heavy heroes Shadows Fall may have stopped short of ordering capes and spandex, but when it comes to the band's newly announced record label, singer Brian Fair couldn't help but tout what he views as a super affiliation.
"The music industry is changing drastically," Fair says, "and to stay one step ahead, we needed to create a new business model and perspective. By combining with Warner Music Group's Independent Label Group, Ferret Music and Channel Zero, we have created the Justice League of metal!"
As for the Fall guys themselves, look for a scant selection of live dates, including an April 11 engagement at Farmingdale, New York's Crazy Donkey, and the official release of their studio album in autumn.
Similarly anticipating new product this fall is Group Deville, a local quartet that will also celebrate a decade of peddling its patented blend of original bluesy pop-rock this September.
While the band's live calendar has been understandably sparse as recording resumes, the Group troupe is slated to perform at The Rendezvous in Turners Falls (with Ameri-MF-cana in support) this Saturday, March 28, and will pull out "all the greatest hits," according to singer/guitarist Rick Murnane. For more info on the show, call the club at (413) 863-2866.
Lastly, the powers that be at the MassMutual Center are hoping to capitalize on the fact that R&B music is all the rage. Er, make that all the Ray J. The artist/VH1 reality star of same name leads an all-star cast that also includes Bobby Valentino, Slim of 112, Pleasure B. and Sammie for a May 9 engagement they call R&B Jam '09. Tickets range from $37-$72 depending on proximity to the festivities, and are available now by phone (787-6600) or online (ticketmaster.com).
Send correspondence to Nightcrawler, P.O. Box 427, Somers, CT 06071; fax to (860) 698-9373 or email Garycarra@aol.com.