Basemental: Talking Rock and Net Neutrality with Candace Clement
Aug22

Basemental: Talking Rock and Net Neutrality with Candace Clement

We Buffer, We Suffer Candace Clement has been a been a member of the Northampton band Bunny’s A Swine for eight years. On songs like “Greetings from the Bottom,” her Strat intertwines with Emerson Stevens’ 3-string guitar contraption like a ball of twine, which gets tangled and balled up against a backbeat by drummer Dustin Ashley Cote. When she isn’t singing, she does advocacy work on media equity, most recently championing “net...

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Basemental: New Music from MalYMarco, Dirt Devil, ShowHorses, and Carinae
Aug08

Basemental: New Music from MalYMarco, Dirt Devil, ShowHorses, and Carinae

One of the pitfalls of writing a bi-monthly column is the fact that I can barely scratch the surface of all of the cool stuff that’s happening around the Pioneer Valley. There is so much! This week’s column will serve as an informal catch-up on some new(ish) releases. All four bands are local and currently unsigned.  MalYMarco  malymarco.bandcamp.com  Hip-hop duo MalYMarco, composed of Mal Devisa (Deja Carr) and Marco (Marc Friedman),...

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Basemental Music Review: The Lentils
Jul25

Basemental Music Review: The Lentils

Mental for Lentils The first time I heard The Lentils was live in my basement in Hadley two years ago. I was completely blown away not only by the wacky and wiry guitar solos, but by the pop melodies buried beneath layers of sand. It was as if strange debris – or legumes, rather – had washed up on the beach all deformed and colored by a lifetime of surf. (After writing this paragraph, I realized one of the Bandcamp tags for the...

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Basemental: Straight to Video, bassist Sam Hadge’s wild concert footage
Jun20

Basemental: Straight to Video, bassist Sam Hadge’s wild concert footage

The magic of live music stems from the intimacy of being in the same room as the performer, but Sam Hadge’s talent is capturing that intimacy for the online world who couldn’t make it to the show. Since I started going to DIY shows with regularity about a year and a half ago, Hadge has been a fixture. It seems he’s at nearly every single show in Western Mass with his video camera in hand, recording each set in its entirety, then...

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Punk Local
May31

Punk Local

  It is worth noting the congruity between the Western Mass underground 30 years ago and the scene now.    Take the power duo Wydyde. In the Bandcamp tags for their recently released debut EP Hadley Fire, Wydyde claim Dinosaur Jr. as a reference point. And there are some obvious parallels. Tubecats, Wydyde’s Hadley showhouse, is six miles from J Mascis’ Amherst. Dinosaur Jr. made their mark in the indie canon by bridging the space...

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The Band Whisperer
May16

The Band Whisperer

  When I reached out to Lynne Bertrand of Signature Sounds and The Parlor Room for an interview, she made one thing clear: she doesn’t sleep much. She was lobbying me to call her any time before 2 in the morning. When we did finally sit down to talk, it was after 11, approaching midnight. The back of the cozy downtown Northampton venue The Parlor Room was bustling with cheerful goodbyes as a concert was just letting out. I had the...

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Basemental: DIY Music, welcome to Basemental, a new column about the Valley’s underground music scene
Apr18

Basemental: DIY Music, welcome to Basemental, a new column about the Valley’s underground music scene

As a 24-year-old musician in the Valley, my world centers around Hadley basements and Easthampton community centers — the places where you can catch the best of the area’s DIY music scene. The what scene? Exhausted by the exploitative pay-to-play model often used by established venues — in which up-and-coming bands have to sell a certain amount of tickets to make any money — my musical peers and I continually choose to build...

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