Local Rhythms – All Hallows’ Breaks Loose

Just because adults can’t trick or treat doesn’t mean they get over Halloween.  If anything, the costumes get better – and more expensive.

So it’s not surprising that so many area clubs are holding masquerade balls this year.

For starters, the big night’s on a Friday.

Plus, with the news of the world getting worse by the minute, anyone would welcome the chance to pretend they’re someone else?

Like, say, Batman, Madonna or Marx (Groucho, not Karl).

So, while you check the attic for your old axe-in-the-forehead rubber mask, I’ll run down the list of local parties.

The entire building is in costume for the Freakers Ball in Rutland, which brings back the heyday of Winterland and Fillmore East & West. The show features a psychedelic light shows and music from Duane Carleton, Jim Gilmour, the Bonafide Dregs and Crazyhearse.

Salt hill Pub in Lebanon tries a blue Halloween with the All-Star Voodoo Blues Band (a/k/a Blue Monday), while their Newport branch features Dog Dayz.

Two heavy metal galas compete for the painted and pierced crowd.  Hexerei headlines a six-band “Haunted Halloween” at the Claremont Moose Lodge (a busy venue of late).

Electra’s fete features  Anger Rising, Till We Die and three others (the West Lebanon club also hosts a costume ball Saturday, with DJ Eric G).

Country fans can get their fill at Shenanigans, where the New Hampshire Rock Bottom Band will perform.

The Foresters Club in Newport welcomes hard rockers Transcent, Shatter This World and Mother Virus.

There’s a pair of cool shows in Springfield, Vermont.  KJ’s Place has the Vibratones, while the VFW Club presents garage rock survivors the Illusion, in a show sponsored by the Chamber of Commerce.

Springfield favorite Jesse Peters heads over to J.D. Climents in Putney, where he fronts a new band called GMP (for Grieco, Morton, Peters).

Further up the road in Saxtons River, the newly opened Pleasant Valley Brewing joins with Harvest Moon and The Inn at Saxtons River for a pub-crawl, with Matt McGrail performing later.

Finally, for something interesting and new, head over to the Henniker Junction Restaurant, where the Ghost Dinner Band will host a costume party.

This band sounds like Pink Floyd meets Tom Waits on their way to an Electric Prunes concert.

For those with tamer instincts, here’s the rest of the week:

Thursday: The Adam McMahon Trio, Windsor Station – Formerly of the Larry Dougher Band, this blues guitarist has an interesting biography.  While serving in the Middle East, he started an open mike night.  Very cool, I’d like to know more about that.  Windsor Station recently changed owners and menus.  It’s nice that they’ve also added live music to the mix.  Tonight’s a Halloween buffet, with $10 off for costumed patrons, and scary HD movies on a 50 inch TV.

Friday: Who Are The Brain Police, Seven Barrel Brewery – This band has a great name (borrowed from a Frank Zappa song), they cover everyone from Spinal Tap to the Dead Milkmen, and their MySpace features this Hunter S. Thompson quote: “The music business is a cruel and shallow money trench, a long plastic hallway where thieves and pimps run free, and good men die like dogs… there’s also a negative side.” I love it.

Saturday: Fencing Club Benefit, Claremont JSL – Hexerei headlines this show, which includes Bad Reception, the Undecided and newcomers Dude Stew.  Hexerei leader Travis Pfenning posted a “future of music” item on the band’s MySpace blog recently, and I found the responses to his thoughts more than disturbing.  The local music scene, particularly the hardcore/metal portion, is fragile enough without infighting among area musicians.  That’s my view; I encourage other fans to weigh in.

Sunday: Great Big Sea, Lebanon Opera House – This Newfoundland-based band takes traditional music and reinvents it, with a nod to influences as diverse as Bob Marley, the Clash and Johnny Cash.  They’re positively huge in Canada, where they’ve been nominated for several Juno awards.  They wrote most of their new album, Fortune’s Favor, in the studio.  But it’s GBS’s on stage work drives the band’s popularity and keeps the  on the road much of the year.

Tuesday: Irish Sessions, Salt hill – Thursday night blues went out with a bang last week, so much so that ShP plans to move the party to Newport next month, with Arthur James hosting.  Meanwhile, the weekly Irish sessions are a mainstay, with a changing cast of musicians sharing a circle in the center of the room, playing whatever feels natural.  It’s a perfect after work destination, with an early (6:30) start.

Wednesday: Amy Ray, Higher Ground – The Indigo Girls are on hiatus until next February, when their new album is due.  Amy Ray did punk with the Butchies a while back, but this time around is heading out solo behind the recently released “Didn’t It Feel Kinder.”

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