Eclectic sextet Bella’s Bartok reports that they drastically changed up their recording style for the new full-length Change Yer Life, the completion of which they will celebrate this Saturday, March 26 at Pearl Street.

They’ve cut out the middle men and, for that matter, cut out the commute to the studio altogether. What’s better than making music you love while simultaneously knocking out a couple loads of laundry?

“Yep, we worked from home on this one,” confirms singer Asher Putnam. “As we were able to record in (guitarist) Chris Kerrigan’s bedroom, there was no time limit to compromise experimentation.”

The resulting effort truly captures the band’s unique amalgam of Bohemian-folk-punk. “It was meant to be heard – the tunes refined to reflect their individual intentions,” says guitarist/accordion/mandolin player Jesse Putnam.

As their release party purposely coincides with the Jewish holiday of Purim – which has historically involved masquerading – Bella’s Bartok welcomes attendees of this weekend’s Pearl Street bash to don the mask of their choice. Burlington-based Rough Francis gets the opening nod on this one. The 21+ show starts at 8:30 p.m.

Similarly celebrating new studio product are Noho’s own masters of prickly chamber pop Winterpills, who will be holding court at The Parlor Room Thursday, March 24 and Friday, March 25.

“At first, the thought of calling [the new disc] Love Songs was intended as a whimsical nod to the other million albums of the same title,” singer/songwriter Philip Price explains of the band’s seventh album, “but then casting that light on the existing songs made them jump into stark relief. They were all love songs after all, though arriving at the place through strange portals and unused backroads.”

While the ticket price will remain the same at a flat $15, it should be noted that Thursday night’s performance will be a seated affair with a 7 p.m. start time, while Friday’s 8 p.m. concert will open up the dance floor. For more info, visit

Last but not least, scene stalwart Henning Ohlenbusch checked in to report that after several years of toiling, his Gentle Hen has hatched a full-fledged full-length album. Titled The Bells on the Boats on the Bay, the disc will mark the debut of the Gentle Hen name – for many years prior, the band went by the handle School for the Dead.

“We plan to have a big release celebration in May at a secret location,” Ohlenbusch says. “It’s secret for now, but the smart thing to do would be to tell everyone where to go, which we will do just as soon as we can.” To stay in the loop or pre-order a copy of the limited release, visit

A fond farewell to one of the truest lovers of music the Crawler has ever unearthed in his two decades on the scene. Brian Anastasi was a longtime supporter of local music on the airwaves and, most recently, in the comprehensive band listing email blasts he would compile and disseminate for nothing more than the unadulterated joy it gave him to turn folks on to new and exciting sounds.

“For all of Brian’s friends, near and far……Brian passed away peaceful on Saturday night, March 12,” his wife Meg Anastasi posted on Facebook. “I was with him and he was relaxed and out of pain. He is now rocking and rolling with all who have gone before. I’m sure he’s catching up (and having a blast) with the likes of Buddy Holly, Jimi Hendrix and BB King.”

Catch the Nightcrawler on Wednesday mornings with Leslie at 6:20 a.m. and 9:20 a.m. on Lazer 99.3 FM. Send correspondence to Nightcrawler, P.O. box 427, Somers, CT 06071; fax to (860) 394-4262 or email