Nightcrawler: Holyoke’s Waterfront set for a rebirth?, Sage King’s debut album
Feb24

Nightcrawler: Holyoke’s Waterfront set for a rebirth?, Sage King’s debut album

The future of Holyoke’s Waterfront Tavern seemed murky at best a few months ago. Just when it appeared the historic venue would be pulling the plug altogether, rumors of a strategic alliance began to swirl. Last week, however, Donald Robert of Maximum Capacity notoriety opened the proverbial informational floodgates for the Crawler. Here’s his official statement on the matter. “Okay, what I can tell you is that obviously the...

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Lazer-like Focus: 99.3 FM’s Leslie speaks Stern, sweets, and cheap cologne
Feb08

Lazer-like Focus: 99.3 FM’s Leslie speaks Stern, sweets, and cheap cologne

Between corporate takeovers, format changes and, quite literally, the omnipresent threat of satellites looming overhead, the average life expectancy of local radio stations these days seems to only slightly exceed that of say, a Betta fish. Set that gloomy backdrop to the prospect of a female jock looking to anchor a major rock morning show — sans a sidekick, no less — and now we’re looking at average career lengths rivaling the shelf...

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Nightcrawler: Ashes To Ashes, Dust to (Ziggy Star) dust
Jan18

Nightcrawler: Ashes To Ashes, Dust to (Ziggy Star) dust

As evidenced by the recent, massive outpouring by fans and contemporaries alike, David Robert Jones — better known as David Bowie — touched generations the world over. In fact, some would go so far to say that the Starman may have even possessed intergalactic abilities and a seemingly otherworldly appeal. Closer to home, however, the Crawler recalled at least two Bay State notables whom he remembered were once under the direct employ...

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Nightcrawler: Troubled Water(front)?
Jan04

Nightcrawler: Troubled Water(front)?

With some 30 heavy bands hailing from the world over, Hothfest 2016 organizers decided to jump ship on their originally scheduled venue. At the time, the future of Holyoke’s Waterfront Tavern was just too uncertain. “It’s Jamie Cross’ show, and with the future of the Waterfront in question, I helped him rebook at Maximum Capacity,” recalls Kyle Small of the two-day, decibel-delivering show taking place Jan. 9-10. Tying for longest...

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Nightcrawler: Crushing It
Dec14

Nightcrawler: Crushing It

Lori McKenna hit the musical trifecta earlier this month with a song she penned for the group Little Big Town. “Girl Crush” premiered at number one on Billboard’s Hot Country 100 back in December of 2014. Last month, it won “Song of the Year” at the 49th annual Country Music Awards. Now, McKenna and fellow tune writers Liz Rose and Hillary Lindsey have just received a 2016 Grammy nod as well. “It’s one of those dreams I was almost...

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Nightcrawler: Mass Appeal
Dec07

Nightcrawler: Mass Appeal

Gathering of the Vibes founder Ken Hayes recently announced that after achieving 20 years and record breaking attendance this past summer, he has decided to take 2016 off. “This is not the end my friends,” he wrote in an open, online letter to the Vibe Tribe. “It’s simply a pause. An opportunity for us all to reflect on the memories, explore new and exciting festival initiatives while planning our triumphant return in 2017.” Previous...

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Nightcrawler: Zullo Nation, reggae rockers unite to pay homage to The Alchemystics’ Demse Zullo
Nov30

Nightcrawler: Zullo Nation, reggae rockers unite to pay homage to The Alchemystics’ Demse Zullo

By definition, alchemy is a medieval chemical science and speculative philosophy aiming to achieve the transmutation of base metals into gold. Whether it be with the band the Alchemystics band he co-founded back in 2003, the band Bay Rd he inspired while working at the Berkshire Hills Music Academy in South Hadley or any act that graced his Northfire Recording Studios in Amherst, Todd “Demse” Zullo also had an uncanny knack for...

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Nightcrawler: Fade to Black(out)
Nov23

Nightcrawler: Fade to Black(out)

What was supposed to be a triumphant new chapter in a prolific career turned tragic. Then a tribute. For more than two decades, Keith Hopkinson’s howl could be heard soaring over such circuit regulars as The Smacktones and Black Cat Frenzy. On Friday, Nov. 20, his most recent project — Blackout, playing the music of Sevendust — was supposed to headline at Chicopee’s Maximum Capacity for the first time. “I had been talking to Keith a...

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Nightcrawler: Green for the Blues, a benefit for Ed Vadas, catching up with the Yardbirds
Nov16

Nightcrawler: Green for the Blues, a benefit for Ed Vadas, catching up with the Yardbirds

Myelodysplastic syndrome — commonly referred to as MDS — is literally bad to the bone. It affects bone marrow resulting in an inadequate supply of healthy white and red blood cells in the process. Scene stalwart Ed Vadas is presently combatting said condition. Fortunately for him he also has accumulated a surplus of robust, fiercely loyal friendships in his four decades plus on the circuit. This Sunday, Nov. 22, a good lot of them are...

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Nightcrawler: You Might Have Heard of Him
Nov09

Nightcrawler: You Might Have Heard of Him

Oklahoma-based singer-songwriter John Moreland stops by Noho’s Parlor Room this Friday, Nov. 13, in support of his latest sonic labor of love. The new disc is called High on Tulsa Heat, and its arrival earlier this year was eagerly anticipated thanks in great part to a previous high-profile small screen affiliation and at least one hell of a shoutout. “If the American music business made any sense, guys like John Moreland would be...

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Nightcrawler: Out of the Shadows
Nov03

Nightcrawler: Out of the Shadows

Springfield-based metal-meisters Shadows Fall have had the hardcore community scratching its collective, shoulder-length locks-laden heads in recent months. Shortly after announcing an “indefinite hiatus,” frontman Brian Fair clarified that the sonic suspension may not pertain to new studio stuff. Then, what appeared to be a rare, one-off headlining appearance at Rhode Island’s Big Kahuna Festival blossomed into additional August...

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Jones strips down; Pomeroy and Laine; Halloween shows

While new wave icon Howard Jones’ Nov. 4 Iron Horse show will be engaging, it will not be Engage, the crowd-funded multimedia project he recently performed in London, LA, and New York that includes interactive smartphone apps for audience members, specially commissioned visuals and full-band renderings of many works. In fact, it couldn’t be further from such a spectacle. Rather, as the title implies, it is a celebration of simplicity...

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Live Hive: Christine Ohlman’s in town
Oct19

Live Hive: Christine Ohlman’s in town

She’s spent many a Saturday night in New York City. Kinda comes with the turf when you sing lead vocals in the Saturday Night Live Band as Christine Ohlman did in the ’90s — an honor that literally gave her a front row seat to Sinead O’Connor’s papal paper rip and Ashley Simpson’s meltdown, not to mention an invite to the recent 40th anniversary party. This Sunday, Oct. 25, however, the woman affectionately known as the “Beehive...

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Nightcrawler: Are You Lonesome Tonight?
Oct13

Nightcrawler: Are You Lonesome Tonight?

Were it not for the marking of a certain sonic milestone, The Lonesome Brothers’ appearance at the Iron Horse this weekend couldn’t be more business as usual. Another weekend, some original tunes from their catalog of more than 100, another venue. “Basically, the gist of this band is going out every week and playing our songs the best we can with no bullshit or gimmicks,” Lonesome Brothers’ bassist Ray Mason explains. “So this...

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Nightcrawler: Don’t Worry; Be Hoppy, band brewfests, Frehley manages to one-up the blood moon
Oct06

Nightcrawler: Don’t Worry; Be Hoppy, band brewfests, Frehley manages to one-up the blood moon

Fans of suds ’n’ sounds will find no shortage of occurrences in which to quench their multi-sensory cravings this weekend. On Saturday, Oct. 10, at the King Phillips Stockade at 1200 West Columbus Ave., in Springfield, Log Cabin/Delaney House and Samuel Adams will roll out an authentic Octoberfest Stein Hoisting Festival — live music, food, and a German fedora all included with the $35 admission price. This event runs 1-6 p.m. and has...

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Nightcrawler: Media Darlings, Darlingside celebrates latest sonic labor of love; Gates open for Holyoke performers
Sep29

Nightcrawler: Media Darlings, Darlingside celebrates latest sonic labor of love; Gates open for Holyoke performers

Bay State quartet Darlingside have become veritable media darlings in their just over half a decade of existence. Their lush, harmony-laden amalgam of indie folk rock garners kudos as steadily and readily as “Dump Trump’’ petition signatures at a Cinco De Mayo party. On Sept. 18, they released a new full length album, Birds Say. And here’s what critics are already saying about it. “(We) couldn’t recommend listening to it highly...

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Nightcrawler: Getting Benched, rockers unite for rail trail and Alzheimer’s benefit, Kansas’ David Ragsdale
Sep22

Nightcrawler: Getting Benched, rockers unite for rail trail and Alzheimer’s benefit, Kansas’ David Ragsdale

Most folks remember Gary Biardi as a man whose love of the outdoors was rivaled only by his passion for music. This Sunday, Sept. 27, no less than two dozen of the Valley’s most local notables — including Mark Schwaber, Alex Meisner, J.J. O’Connell, and Jeff Turcotte — will assemble at Easthampton’s Millside Park to crank out an afternoon of tuneage in Biardi’s honor. The fruits of their sonic labor — or more precisely, proceeds...

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Nightcrawler: ‘Color’ By Numbers
Sep14

Nightcrawler: ‘Color’ By Numbers

There may be record sunshine outside this September, but inside the area music circuit, the forecast is for winds of change. Not the least of which can be found in Colorway, a fairly new vehicle for the words and music of scene stalwart Alex Johnson. The band will be changing out — and debuting — two of its three members this weekend. “Definitely came as a bit of a surprise to me as we just released our second album,” Johnson admits....

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Nightcrawler: Gathering Steam, Steampunk-fueled festivities and Salloom’s streak of no-dough shows
Sep08

Nightcrawler: Gathering Steam, Steampunk-fueled festivities and Salloom’s streak of no-dough shows

Dennis Miller has a great line concerning the masses and social media: “Never have lives so less lived been so well chronicled.” While that idea is equal parts funny and true, the first annual Springfield Steampunk Festival was conceived in precisely the inverse fashion. According to organizers, Springfield, Vermont’s local affinity for the sci-fi subgenre actually began with like-minded Facebook users who formed a group to share...

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Nightcralwer: Pamper the Band
Sep01

Nightcralwer: Pamper the Band

Bands and eight balls. How cliche can you get? But egg ball? Do tell, Rubblebucket! “It’s basically a combination of dodgeball and volleyball,” the band explains of their favorite downtime game in the premiere webisode of Pamper The Band. And that’s exactly the type of rare, unique tangents that SpiritHouse Productions’ Danny Bernini hoped to capture after plying interviewees with good food, spa treatments, hot tubs and more. “The...

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Nightcralwer: King for a Day
Aug25

Nightcralwer: King for a Day

Since he’s a lifelong Valley resident — not to mention a veritable scene stalwart — one would think Jeff King would know his way around the area by now. The Crawler caught up with the journeyman musician to inquire about his recent radio appearance, however, and it appears he actually arrived at Springfield’s Rock 102 studio by way of Denver. “We get requests for John Denver quite a bit through the years, and somewhere along the way,...

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Nightcrawler: Apple Jame pairs a picnic with high-caliber acts; MTrain tour permanents derailed
Aug19

Nightcrawler: Apple Jame pairs a picnic with high-caliber acts; MTrain tour permanents derailed

The Apple Jam Roots Music Festival stems from what was once little more than a backyard picnic on a family property. On the back of the sonic spread that accompanied the annual Russell-based shindig, however, Apple has blossomed into a coveted festival stop for many a roots-music notable. “Our goal was to create a music event where all ages could have an equal amount of fun,” explains organizer Caitlin Phelps as the 2015 installment —...

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Nightcrawler: Giving Them the Slip
Aug12

Nightcrawler: Giving Them the Slip

Several songs into their Aug. 2 Hartford, Connecticut concert, the nu-metal shock rockers of Slipknot had a choice to make. Their bassist, Alessandro “Vman” Venturella, had just collapsed due to an “unknown medical emergency” (later to be diagnosed as severe dehydration). And they had been given the green light from promoters to pull the plugs and reschedule. Twenty minutes into an impromptu backstage meeting, singer Corey Taylor...

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Nightcrawler: Springfield Jazz & Roots Festival; rockers support ‘Nellie’s Knockers’
Aug04

Nightcrawler: Springfield Jazz & Roots Festival; rockers support ‘Nellie’s Knockers’

She married into the first family of jazz, forever linking her to the Big Easy. In recent years, however, Kristin Neville says that she has reconnected with Basketball City U.S.A. And when community leader Evan Plotkin informed her that Springfield’s Hoop City Festival was folding its tent, she knew it was the perfect opportunity to address a distressing climate she had recently identified. “There is this economic disparity in...

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Nightcrawler: Dog Day Afternoon, Lord Russ Brooks juggles pooches and music
Jul28

Nightcrawler: Dog Day Afternoon, Lord Russ Brooks juggles pooches and music

From “Knights In White Satin” to Pomeranians with problem foot pads: welcome to a day in the life of Russell Brooks. “I just opened my own dog grooming salon in Northampton,” the music scene stalwart explains, “and I’ve been busier than ever with my life and work. And up to my knees in fur.” When not catering to canines at his Green Groomer Salon on Hawley Street, Brooks can often be found fronting his Moody Blues tribute band Voices...

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Nightcrawler: A Leprechaun Looks Back, Lazer’s Rob “The Leprechaun” reflects on a decade at the mic
Jul22

Nightcrawler: A Leprechaun Looks Back, Lazer’s Rob “The Leprechaun” reflects on a decade at the mic

In an industry in more upheaval than the Athens Stock Exchange, Rob “The Leprechaun” Allen’s aluminum anniversary at Lazer 99.3 FM would probably be more accurately accounted for utilizing dog-year calculations. The Crawler recently checked in with the veteran jock. Crawler: I imagine you have quite a few career highlights, and possibly some lows. Rob Allen: I was working a meet-and-greet for Trapt and 30 Seconds To Mars one time, and...

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Nightcrawler: Rock ’n’ Remember, Northampton’s summer series and Living Colour at Mohegan Sun
Jul14

Nightcrawler: Rock ’n’ Remember, Northampton’s summer series and Living Colour at Mohegan Sun

The Northampton Summer Concert Series kicks off its freebie Friday shows July 17. And while event producer Jamie Kent notes that he and his Collective Music Group are certainly looking to uphold the established tradition of offering fresh, new acts, he is quick to note that this year’s installment also gives a solemn nod to series past. “We are dedicating the season to Dan Yacuzzo, who passed away earlier this year and was absolutely...

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Nightcrawler: Tor-id Affair, Rev. Tor Band’s audio/visual onslaught, free concerts in Holyoke and Enfield
Jul08

Nightcrawler: Tor-id Affair, Rev. Tor Band’s audio/visual onslaught, free concerts in Holyoke and Enfield

You name it, The Reverend Tor Band is celebrating it this weekend — s seventh CD, a first DVD, and then there’s the 20-year milestone of cranking out some of the most consistent groove-oriented rock in the area. “It’s been an amazing journey, and I’m really happy about the new tunes and can’t wait for everyone to hear them,” band mouthpiece/namesake Tor Krautter says of Live At The Unicorn, the disc and companion DVD recorded in March...

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Nightcrawler: KISS and Tell
Jun30

Nightcrawler: KISS and Tell

Others can light up the skies this Independence Day weekend. Big E Talent Buyer John Juliano says he’s hoping to light up the ticket purchase phone lines when he announces a “major country act” who will join his 2015 roster “on or around” July 4. In the meantime, Juliano was willing to speak Frehley — as in recently confirmed act Ace Frehley of KISS infamy. “Ace is a guy I have been looking at for the past few years, and with his...

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Nightcrawler: For Penniless Parrotheads
Jun23

Nightcrawler: For Penniless Parrotheads

From country to crooners, Wilbraham’s free Fountain Park concert series springs nocturnal, offering all of this and more on Thursdays 6:30-8 p.m. Kicking things off June 25 are Margaritaville-inspired Buffett mimics Changes In Latitudes. Country rockers Whiskey & Rye (July 2), hip-hop’s West End Blend (July 9) and the Valley’s own Jimmy Mazz (July 16) carry the torch throughout the month. Circuit veterans The Cartells (July 23)...

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Nightcrawler: Presto-Chango, magicians come to CT
Jun16

Nightcrawler: Presto-Chango, magicians come to CT

Magician Criss Angel recently appeared at a special press conference at Connecticut’s Foxwoods casino to reveal his latest trick. “My goal is to redefine magic touring like Cirque du Soleil did for the circus,” Angel said of his upcoming Supernaturalist show, an ensemble effort with a cast hand-picked by Angel that will premiere at Foxwoods June 25 and hold residency at the Connecticut casino five times weekly through July 23. “I’ve...

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Nightcrawler: Kiddin’ Around and Getting Phishy
Jun10

Nightcrawler: Kiddin’ Around and Getting Phishy

Noho’s And The Kids are more than allright. In fact, they’ve been called everything from “fearless and entertaining” to one of “Western Massachusetts’ indie scene’s brightest creative lights,” depending on whom you ask. The observations cited just happened to come from NPR Music and Pitchfork Media, incidentally. Advocate readers also deemed the “apocaylptic pop rockers” best local band in 2015. “I feel like we hadn’t hit the nail on...

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The Arts: Nominations for the Advocate Grand Band Slam are Open
Jun09
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Nightcrawler: Cropping Up All Over
Jun02

Nightcrawler: Cropping Up All Over

Two celebrations of area agriculture and audio sprout up on the local landscape this week. The first, Watermelon Wednesdays in Whately (watermelonwednesdays.com), began its 16th season May 28 with singer/songwriters Pat Alger, Jim Rooney, and Chris Brashear. Watermelon Wednesdays guests are treated to an intimate evening of music and melons at West Whately’s historic chapel. Peter Blanchette, inventor of the 11-string “arch guitar,”...

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Nightcrawler: Blocked In, Janet Monheit, Tom Keifer, and FAT join the 2015 Cityblock Series; Mason and friends peddle their musical wares
May27

Nightcrawler: Blocked In, Janet Monheit, Tom Keifer, and FAT join the 2015 Cityblock Series; Mason and friends peddle their musical wares

We knew that the powers that be were reverting back to the old name. Then we found out that they were getting a new logo. In fact, until recently, the only thing we didn’t know about Springfield’s Cityblock-turned-Bike Nite-back-to-Cityblock was who would be gracing the Stearns Square Stage this summer. But that’s all changed due to one long-awaited post at springfielddowntown.com by the sponsors of said annual event, The Springfield...

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