Sounds Local

Big hair, high heels, hot rock

Grab your Spandex & hair extensions, the Glam Rock Ball is Saturday

Wouldn’t it be great to hear David Bowie and Lou Reed perform in Greenfield?

OK, so that’s probably not going to happen, but you can settle for the next best thing if you attend the Velvet Goldmine after-party at the Arts Block, 289 Main St., Greenfield on Saturday, Sept. 28, at 8 p.m.

At the Velvet Goldmine party, you will be able to groove to the music of your favorite glam bands of the 1970s, including Bowie and Reed as performed by a group of talented local musicians.

For those of you not familiar with glam rock, it was a style of pop and rock music that came out of Britain in the early 1970s and is marked by the flamboyant fashions and attitude that the musicians exhibited.

The Glam Rock Ball is part of the fourth annual Greenfield Arts Eclective, an all-day event that is a celebration of eclectic local music, literature, theater, indie-record labels, artists and vendors. Local poet and musician Daniel Hales is acting as the curator of the festival, which will consist of two separate events.

The first part will take place on Saturday afternoon from 2 to 8 p.m. and will held on the Greenfield Court Square/Town Common. Featured will be an array of performances, including the new Renaissance Players presenting scenes from it production of Arthur Miller’s “Death of a Salesman.” The literary portion of day will include readings of poetry and fiction by writers Jedediah Berry, Karen Skolfield, Lisa Beskin, Corwin Ericson and others. Singer-songwriter Sandy Bailey, saw player Vi Walker and indie rockers Fiesta Brava will be on hand to provide the music.

This part of the festival is free thanks to a grant from the Greenfield Local Cultural Council.

Once the sun goes down, it’s time to put on your platform shoes and bell bottoms and head on over to the Arts Block for the Velvet Goldmine after party at the Arts Block.

Performing at this show will be Sandy Bailey and The Spiders from Mars as David Bowie; Daniel Hales and the Frost Heaves as Lou Reed & The Velvet Underground; The Original Cowards as Marc Bolan and T. Rex; Rebel Base as Iggy Pop and The Stooges; Dylan Kingsolver and friends as The New York Dolls; Opel as Roxy Music; and Nott the Hoople as Mott the Hoople.

DJ Glitter will spin glam-rock gold before, after, and between bands.

“I came up with the idea for the Velvet Goldmine show when I attended a Goth Rock party where everyone dressed like Goth kids, smoked clove cigarettes and listened to The Cure, Bauhaus, Siouxsie and the Banshees,” explained Hales. “I thought it would be fun to follow it up with a Glam Rock party and then that idea expanded until I decided it would be most fun if the party culminated in a full-blown glam rock show.”

Hales also liked the idea of having a show in Franklin County with area musicians that would be similar to Transperformance, the yearly summer concert held at Look Park in Florence, during which locals musicians perform the music and take on the look of well-known artists.

“It will be interesting to see how ‘in character’ people decide to be,” said Hales. “Whatever the case, you can count on a lot of glamour, spectacle and lots of spectacular music.”

Hales and his band, The frost heaves, decided to perform the music of Lou Reed and the Velvet Underground.

“The Velvet Underground is my favorite band, and Lou Reed is one of my favorite songwriters — at least his ’60s and early ’70s output,” Hales said. “It would have been a blast to become Bowie, Iggy, Brian Eno, or Marc Bolan of T. Rex, but I think I would have felt disloyal being anyone but Lou.”

Hales added that the Underground was the perfect band for the Frost Heaves as they both have cello players.

There is a charge for Velvet Goldmine After Party. Tickets are $5 in advance and available at Tickets at the door are $8 but anyone who shows up in platform shoes or boots with at least a 4-inch heel will be admitted for free.

In the event of “weather,” the entire event will move indoors, using both The Arts Block upstairs and The Wheelhouse downstairs to accommodate all performers, artists and vendors.

Super 8 Players at the ’Voo

Sometimes, movie themes are more memorable than the movies themselves. I mean who doesn’t know the “Theme from Shaft” with its sizzling high-hat and wah-wah guitar introduction and those sassy background vocals (“Shut yo’ mouth!”)? It’s a classic song that’s had a far longer shelf life than the movie did.

The “Theme from Shaft” is one of many memorable movie theme songs that the Super 8 Players will perform at The Rendezvous in Turners Falls on Friday, Sept. 27, at 9:30 p.m.

The group, which consists of Ken Maiuri, Jason Bourgeois, and Debbie Way, only play movie theme songs — an idea that came together by chance.

“The band formed from the mind of Ken Maiuri,” explained Bourgeois. “I had a solo show booked before a screening of ‘The Third Man’ at Pothole pictures and I had asked Debbie and Ken to back me up. At the time, I was a little out of shape musically and Ken suggested we each sing a few songs from movies. Since there was just three of us performing in an acoustic setting, we were forced to go into busking mode and so the Super 8 Players were born.”

Bourgeois, who also fronts his own band, Bourgeois Heroes, added that the show will consist of the band playing various movie themes in this unplugged, busking style. They will also be screening silent films by artists like Buster Keaton and Harold Lloyd.

The Rendezvous is located at 78 Third St. in Turners Falls. The show is free.

Sheryl Hunter is a music writer who lives in Easthampton. Her work has appeared in various regional and national magazines. You can contact her at

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