Monday, August 4, 2008

The first weekend in August is a wrap

Northampton proved yet again that it is a fertile oasis of culture as the weekend wrapped up with Sam Phillips at the Iron Horse who, with the Section Quartet, performed some old faves (some by request)along with some deep and steamy versions of the songs from the new one "Don't Do Anything," her first completely self-penned, self-produced album ever. Alison said it was reminiscent of Elvis Costello with the Brodsky quartet. Wyle Smith, former For The Record guru (pictured above with your blogger) who always speaks candidly, said he would have preferred to see Sam with a rock band rather than a string quartet, and before you dismiss this as an unsophisticated response, please bear in mind that Wylie knows more about classical music than God and also went to see the Electric Prunes recently. Sam, like Elvis , is transfixed by romantic literacy and stears clear of the cliches that eat a majority of singer/songwriters for breakfast, lunch, dinner, and a midnight snack. From delicacy to indulgence we crossed town to see a bit of Dweezil Zappa (Zappa Plays Zappa) at the Calvin with his diligent ensemble doing a solid job of celebrating some of his dad's more recogizable "hits." "Broken Hearts Are For Assholes" got straight to the point that Sam Phillips was hinting at all night. Some like their epiphanies put a bit more directly I suppose.

How does a town this small consistently draw enough groovers to make this all possible? I didn't shoot any pix at the shows but look at these images from Angry Johnny's annual window of madness at Faces on Main Street. Faces has been around since the 70's and has always been the edgiest and most relevantly irreverent store in the valley.

Above is the original Angry Johnny painting that became the cover of the album "Where You Been" by local rock legends Dinosaur (Jr.)

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