LuxDeluxe Delivers with New Album “Let’s Do Lunch”
Apr07

LuxDeluxe Delivers with New Album “Let’s Do Lunch”

LuxDeluxe Let’s Do Lunch (Spirithouse) Release date: 5/5/17 The latest release from these Northampton rockers is a pretty straightforward affair. In fact, the album’s opening track, “Intro,” even welcomes listeners and lists each band member’s name in succession. Ned King, Jacob Rosazza, Gabriel Bernini, Caleb Rosazza and Jake Edwards, have seen their collective profile rise over the past few years playing sold out shows, earning the...

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Say Yes to Expanded Elliott Smith “Either/ Or” Reissue
Mar10

Say Yes to Expanded Elliott Smith “Either/ Or” Reissue

Elliott Smith Either/ Or: Expanded Edition (Kill Rock Stars) Release date: 3/10/17 Either you are an Elliott Smith fan, or you are not. For some, Smith is the singer and songwriter who contributed a handful of heart-rending songs to the soundtrack of the film “Good Will Hunting,” including the Oscar-nominated number “Miss Misery.” For others, he remains a cult-figure, known equally for his delicate artistry and his sudden death in...

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Northeast Underground Turns Six
Jan10

Northeast Underground Turns Six

Another year, another milestone. As of today, this blog is six years old. But what is there to make of this anniversary? Benchmarks of five years or 10 feel more momentous than just another notch added to the belt during the intervening period. And make no mistake this blog has slowed down some over the long haul. For proof, look no further than last year’s birthday post. Longtime readers will even note that last year Northeast...

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Dinosaur Jr. Roars Again on New Album
Aug05

Dinosaur Jr. Roars Again on New Album

Dinosaur Jr. Give A Glimpse Of What Yer Not (Jagjaguwar) Release date: 8/5/16 Break out the ear plugs. Western Massachusetts’ own alt-rock power trio, Dinosaur Jr., is back. New album Give A Glimpse Of What Yer Not marks the fourth release by the band since the acclaimed 2005 reunion of the group’s original line-up – J Mascis (guitar, vocals), Lou Barlow (bass, vocals) and Murph (drums). In fact, this current incarnation of Dinosaur...

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Indian Oven Cooks Up Full-Length Album Full of Surprises
Aug12

Indian Oven Cooks Up Full-Length Album Full of Surprises

Indian Oven Tenderness (Self-release/ DIY) Release date: 8/12/16 In a 2013 interview, the members of the Western Massachusetts indie rock band Indian Oven – Sam Carpenter (vocals, guitar, bass) and Griffin Bazzeghin (drums, percussion, harmonica, backup vocals) – mentioned exciting plans of starting work on a full-length album. Now, three years later, the duo has emerged with the finished product. With a name like Tenderness,...

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And The Kids near indie rock graduation on new album “Friends Share Lovers”
Jun04

And The Kids near indie rock graduation on new album “Friends Share Lovers”

And The Kids Friends Share Lovers (Signature Sounds) Release date: 6/3/16 In the midst of graduation season in Western Mass, it’s easy to forget that graduation itself is about more than caps and gowns. Students, who four years ago were mere freshmen in high school or college, are now readying for their respective commencement days, which will launch them into the next stages of their lives. Many are a bundle of nerves. Others are...

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My Porch or Yours? Montague Music Festival Marks Second Year
May10

My Porch or Yours? Montague Music Festival Marks Second Year

House shows have always been an important part of the DIY music scene. Whether it’s some garage rockers providing the soundtrack to a backyard party, a punk rock band playing a concert in a basement or even some indie folk musicians holding court in a living room, the result is the same – people getting the opportunity to listen to live music in an alternative, sometimes more comfortable setting, rather than in a bar or club. Last...

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Five Years Gone – Knock on Wood
Jan10

Five Years Gone – Knock on Wood

It’s been written before that five years is a long time. And after five years of Northeast Underground blog posts (over 200 articles and counting!), few could imagine just how much has been covered, discussed and critiqued on this little slice of the Internet. So on the occasion of the Northeast Underground’s fifth birthday, as a friendly reminder, let’s take a trip down memory lane. In 2011 Northeast Underground… Posted...

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Album Superlatives 2015
Dec15

Album Superlatives 2015

This isn’t your parents’ best of list. To paraphrase Jimmy Fallon, “You know those awards they give out in high school yearbooks? Awards like Most Likely to Succeed, Class Clown, stuff like that?” Well, Northeast Underground is handing out its own superlatives this year to deserving albums released in 2015. Enjoy the list below, and feel free to contribute some of your own album superlatives in the comment section. Most Obvious Smash:...

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Blue Jean Committee Sails Again with Catalina Breeze
Nov20

Blue Jean Committee Sails Again with Catalina Breeze

Blue Jean Committee Catalina Breeze (Drag City) Release date: 11/20/15 In November of 2011, the national entertainment spotlight turned its eyes towards Northampton, Mass. The reason for the attention was a sketch on Saturday Night Live. Featuring actor Jason Segel and then cast member Fred Armisen, the bit was a send-up of a “local” band called the Blue Jean Committee. All long hair and denim attire, the group got some laughs in the...

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Game for a Throne: Northampton’s Jesse French Dreams Big as King of Nowhere

Jesse French is not your average gardener. Though by day, the Hampshire College graduate works for the Trustees of Reservations in Holyoke, Mass. doing landscaping and maintenance, by night the musician inside French comes out to play. From jobs doing live sound at local clubs to his membership in Pioneer Valley bands like Young Tricksters, Ex Temper and The Hampshire College Grateful Dead Historical Society, French has found no...

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Three for Crowds: Trio of Music Festivals Bringing Family Atmosphere to Western Mass

The music festival, once a haven for the young, rebellious and sometimes nude, has become a family affair. Forget Coachella, forget Bonnaroo, and forget Lollapalooza. This summer Western Massachusetts plays host to three different music festivals, all billed as prime destinations for the traveling music fan, and all organized to be as family friendly as possible. Wilco’s Solid Sound Festival sets up shop at Mass MoCA in North Adams...

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Lady Lamb’s “After” has cinematic roots

Lady Lamb After (Mom + Pop) Release date: 3/3/15 It’s part of pop culture lore that Quentin Tarantino got his start working in a video store. Turns out, that watching innumerable films and critiquing customer choices was all the training he needed to become a famous director. You can see the results in his movies too. Each finished product is a cinematic vista with scope, detail, and enough humor to sometimes distract from all the...

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Iron and Wine Opens the Vaults for “Archive Series Volume No. 1”

Iron & Wine Archive Series Volume No. 1 (Black Cricket Recording Co.) Release date: 2/24/15 Dubbed as “the first in a series of releases pulled from tapes found in the back corners of closets and dusty shoe boxes – long neglected, but never forgotten,” the newest release from indie folk artist Iron & Wine (aka Sam Beam) is an engaging look at the early output of a musician who has never had a problem displaying intimacy. Like...

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Band Under the Stairs – The Ambiguities Return with Basement Suite

In 1976, the Ramones charged out of New York City proclaiming, “I Don’t Wanna Go Down to the Basement.” “There’s something down there,” sang lead singer Joey, with a delivery that illustrated his reluctance and dread. Now almost 40 years later, Greenfield band The Ambiguities, founded by local artist and musician Daniel Hales, is asking listeners to bottle up their fears and follow as the group opens up some cellar doors and...

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Four More Years! Four More Years!

Four years – the space between Olympic Games, the duration of the average college career, or the amount of time some bands take to record and release a new album. If you, dear reader, told me four years ago that I would still be writing this blog in 2015, I would’ve labeled you a nutter. No way could I come up with four year’s worth of material. I’m not that inspired, and maybe that’s true, we could argue that point over a drink...

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Achtung readers

Welcome to the underground, the Northeast Underground that is, and yes, I just started my first blog post with a “Beverly Hillbillies” reference. And, much like a hidden cache of “Texas tea” I am here to bubble up from the depths from time to time in order to bring readers a glimpse of what is going on beneath the surface. What this endeavor means to you dear audience member is a mix of album reviews, artist...

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Mascis tapped for appearance at Neil Young tribute concert

Amherst, Mass. native and Dinosaur Jr frontman J Mascis (see photo at right) has labored for years under the comparisons made between his voice and that of the legendary singer/ songwriter Neil Young. Now, according to an announcement made by the website americansongwriter.com, it appears J will get the chance to put his pipes to the test as part of a concert to honor the enigmatic Canadian himself. The event, to be held at Carnegie...

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Hail Odin! British Sea Power set sail for “Valhalla” on new release

Fresh on the heels of their likewise mythological-titled record “Zeus,” the indie rocker lads who make up British Sea Power appear ready to chart a course for musical nirvana on their latest release, “Valhalla Dancehall.” While I admit I was not too blown away by the group’s earlier efforts (a captivating appearance on Letterman in 2008 notwithstanding), this time around the band appears to have finally...

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Local idol hopeful dreams on

As a music writer, it is often hard enough to ignore the behemoth that is Fox’s American Idol. Now entering its 10th season, the popular reality show has had an incalculable impact on the popular music landscape and given careers to such stars as Kelly Clarkson, Carrie Underwood, and David Cook. However, pushing aside the program’s media blitzkrieg is a task made even more difficult when the show’s impact extends all...

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Ultimate-Guitar writer Nolan Whyte surprises fans with latest story's conclusion

Do you know who the Clutch Dogs are? What about the group Hellakill? Can you name the bassist for Riot Band? If you are able to answer any of these questions, then you must know Nolan Whyte. As a part-time writer for the popular website Ultimate-Guitar.com, Whyte has spent the last couple of years crafting several series worth of hard rock fiction for music nerds and novice guitarists alike. Published chapter by chapter on a...

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Music in the movies: to razz or not to razz

The nominees for the 83rd annual Academy Awards were announced Tuesday with popular stars like Natalie Portman, Christian Bale, and James Franco all receiving recognition for their work on the big screen. While much of the focus of Hollywood’s biggest night typically falls on such high-profile actors and actresses, room is also made for the contributions that musicians make to the movies. This year’s nominees for Best...

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Garagre rockers the White Stripes surprise fans with news of break-up

In a move that came as a surprise to music fans around the world, the American rock duo the White Stripes officially announced their break-up today via a post on frontman Jack White’s Third Man Records website. The statement reads: “The White Stripes would like to announce that today, February 2nd, 2011, their band has officially ended and will make no further new recordings or perform live. The reason is not due to...

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Sonya Kitchell returns to Northampton for homecoming gig at the Iron Horse Music Hall

The world of art has made a lengthy history out of delivering gifts of beauty from moments of pure tragedy. In the case of Sonya Kitchell, that gift has always been music. Kitchell first came to the attention of valley residents after her pre-teen reactions to 9/11 were converted from journal entries to song on the touching “If I Cried.” And since then, the gifted vocalist has continued to take audiences by storm with her...

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Thurston Moore unleashes softer side on new solo release Demolished Thoughts

Thurston Moore Demolished Thoughts (Matador) Release date: 5/24/11 As recently detailed in the pages of the Valley Advocate, on his latest solo release and first since 2007’s Trees Outside the Academy, Sonic Youth co-founder and alternative rock icon Moore looks to take a break from the noise and distortion that has defined many of his previous efforts and is instead set to release a record that stuns with its beauty and...

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Lost in the Trees bring 'orchestral pop' to Calvin Theatre concert in Northampton, Mass.

Shortly after 8 p.m. Friday, a giant horse introduced itself to the audience at the Calvin Theatre in Northampton. Consisting mainly of a large white sheet and faux skull suspended by separate wooden poles, the creature crept out from behind the curtains and wound its way carefully around the numerous instruments on stage before taking up residence near the drum set. While a bit of a surprise to those in the crowd, the appearance of...

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Beady Eye rises from ashes of Brit-rockers Oasis with debut release

Beady Eye Different Gear, Still Speeding (Dangerbird Records) By opening their debut album with the hard rocking track “Four Letter Word,” the band formerly known as Oasis makes no bones about drawing a firm line between the past and the future. “Nothing ever lasts forever,” sings frontman Liam Gallagher and it’s not hard to guess who or what he is talking about. After parting ways with principle...

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Cure for the common Grammys

There’s nothing like the Grammys to make one feel out of touch with popular music. After spending a relaxing few days near the cape, I arrived back home Sunday night just in time to catch the latter half of the music industry’s biggest awards show of the year. Promptly, I became ill. Maybe the cause was Lady Gaga’s fashion sense. Maybe the cause was Jeff Beck, Tom Petty, Neil Young and Pearl Jam all simultaneously...

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They're back…Beavis and Butthead prep return to MTV

It’s official. Two of the rudest boys to ever grace music television are back in business. A mere 14 years after the airing of their series finale, Beavis and Butthead are making their long-awaited return to the airwaves with a new season of their cartoon misadventures set to debut on MTV later this year. According to a recent Rolling Stone article, MTV president Van Toffler was inspired to bring the dynamic duo back after...

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Same old song: Dropkick Murphys remain tried and true on new album Going Out in Style

Dropkick Murphys Going Out in Style (Born and Bred) Upon hearing that Boston’s own punk rock heroes the Dropkick Murphys were releasing a concept album, many fans’ feelings (this writer’s included) were decidedly mixed. For those not up on their musical nomenclature or for that matter the word nomenclature itself (hint: it has to do with the process of naming things), a concept album is a record that is connected...

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Indie-rapper Eprhyme expands horizons on new record Dopestylevsky

Eprhyme Dopestylevsky (K Records) On the first hip-hop album to be released under the indie-minded K banner in over 10 years, Eden Pearlstein (aka Eprhyme) appears ready to bring his unique style of rap up from the underground despite somewhat uneven results. Described in press materials as “an uncanny mix of live/ acoustic instrumentation, heavily processed digital madness, and earthbound-cosmic lyricism that once again...

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Smashing Pumpkins discover unlikely cover girl

In perhaps one of the weirder coincidences to crop up in music news recently, the Smashing Pumpkins have announced that the band’s newest bassist and former Ludlow, Mass. native Nicole Fiorentino also appeared on the cover of the group’s 1993 album “Siamese Dream.” Pumpkin’s leader Billy Corgan tweeted the news on Thursday saying that Fioentino waited until now to spill the beans because, “She...

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Has the end finally come for garage-rock heroes the Libertines?

Though having balanced for years on the fine line between greatness and disaster, the sun appears to have finally set on the careers of popular British rockers the Libertines. According to a recent interview with noted rock magazine the New Musical Express, group co-founder Carl Barat said, “There is no future,” for his old band and that “Right now is not the right time for the Libertines.” While not entirely...

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Northampton's Sun Parade marches forward on debut EP

The weather in the Pioneer Valley hasn’t been especially sunny of late, but a whole different brand of solar power has managed to peak out from behind the clouds to share its warmth with the Paradise City and lucky listeners alike. I speak of course of Northampton’s own Sun Parade. Several weeks back, I caught this group in action at the Iron Horse Music Hall as openers for Sonya Kitchell and her trio. While initially...

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Made this way? – Lady Gaga's new album leaks online

Can’t wait to listen to pop diva Lady Gaga’s hotly-anticipated new album Born This Way? Well, thanks to the wonders of digital piracy your wait has just gotten a little shorter. According to an article in the online edition of Rolling Stone Magazine, one of the most highly-hyped record releases in years leaked online late Wednesday night (a mere six days before its official release date) and has caused a flurry of newfound...

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