December 20, 2014

Scrolling Headlines:

BLOG: UMass football recruiting roundup: UMass signs DT, offers two kickers -

Wednesday, December 17, 2014

UMass President Robert Caret resigns to become chancellor of the University of Maryland system -

Wednesday, December 17, 2014

Brandon Montour: ‘It felt great to be out there’ -

Wednesday, December 17, 2014

UMass falls to Northeastern in Brandon Montour’s debut -

Tuesday, December 16, 2014

Cady Lalanne continues to evolve as a potential outside shooting threat -

Tuesday, December 16, 2014

UMass hockey returns to action against Northeastern, Montour to make season debut -

Tuesday, December 16, 2014

Demetrius Dyson remains hopeful despite rocky start to season -

Tuesday, December 16, 2014

Former UMass soccer star Matt Keys aims to continue his career professionally -

Monday, December 15, 2014

Pierre-Louis, Dillard shine in UMass victory over Holy Cross -

Sunday, December 14, 2014

Passing, spacing improved in UMass victory -

Saturday, December 13, 2014

Prolific first half propels UMass past Canisius, 75-58 -

Saturday, December 13, 2014

UMass Faculty Senate hears ad hoc committee’s report on FBS football, shoots down contentious motion -

Thursday, December 11, 2014

Minutemen hope improved spacing will aid struggling half court offense -

Wednesday, December 10, 2014

Divest UMass urges Board of Trustees to split with fossil fuel industry -

Wednesday, December 10, 2014

Cady Lalanne accustomed to dealing with increased attention -

Tuesday, December 9, 2014

Front to Back: Week of Dec. 1, 2014 -

Monday, December 8, 2014

Chiarelli: UMass basketball running out of time to find its identity -

Monday, December 8, 2014

Minutewomen take care of business against American -

Monday, December 8, 2014

UMass women’s basketball handles American, 71-61 -

Sunday, December 7, 2014

UMass basketball downed by Florida Gulf Coast 84-75 -

Sunday, December 7, 2014

UMass DIY showcases local talents

Ellie Rulon Miller/Collegian

This past Friday, Oct. 15, DIY UMass hosted their first show of the semester in room 119 of the Agricultural Engineering Building. Since the group hosted its first event in the fall of 2008, DIY UMass has helped provide the Five College community with a space for student-run shows. In order of appearance, Friday’s lineup featured Tweak, The Legendary Headaches, El Spectre, Lion Cub, and The Deceivers.

First was a solo acoustic performance by Tweak, the alter ego of University of Massachusetts student Adam Goldstein. Tweak’s mixture of wide-eyed earnestness and self-deprecating humor made him a memorable performer. Seeing him play, you really wanted to like him in the same way that you want to like a kindergarten production of “The First Thanksgiving.”

Goldstein is truly well-intentioned, heartfelt and can even carry a tune. However, his guitar playing consisted solely of loudly strumming the most predictable chord changes imaginable. His lyrical themes were loveable at times, with songs about having imaginary friends and a Wikipedia article about the cancerous effects of burnt toast. Lines such as “Momma don’t serve me burnt toast/or I might turn into a ghost,” and, “Who’s your daddy/I’m your daddy?” are enough to make you cringe. At his best, Tweak is UMass’s Daniel Johnston. At his worst, he is Raffi for the mentally ill.

The Legendary Headaches, from Palmer, Mass., are a punk rock band with a uniquely progressive playing style. The band’s arrangements transition like a car doing 100 miles per hour around a hairpin turn on a Western Massachusetts road. At times these transitions were not entirely smooth, but they managed to keep all wheels on the road. Their jaggedly heavy grooves experiment in time signatures uncommon in the genre, such as 9/8 and 7/4.

Guitarist Leon Pierce and the drummer exchanged vocal duties, and Pierce’s melodic singing contrasted nicely with the drummer’s expressive screams. Pierce’s guitar style was also particularly impressive, with an atonal yet skillful quality slightly reminiscent of Black Flag’s Greg Ginn.

The punk rockers also addressed a variety of socio-political issues which Pierce described as, “Observations of being working class.” Though they clearly had something to say, their stage rants were borderline preachy at times, and often longer than the songs themselves. However, overall, The Legendary Headaches are a powerhouse band with an uncommon level of sophistication.

Pittsfield’s El Spectre played next. This band describes themselves as punk and screamo with some experimental leanings. Some of the audience seemed really into them, and the band members themselves got really into the music. At times they had some very pretty instrumental arrangements, but most of their set was a wall of chorded noise. At one point, the vocalist asked the rest of the band what song they were playing next, as if it mattered. Most all their songs sounded the same, and the singer was almost completely inaudible the entire time.

Next was Lion Cub, an electro indie-pop duo that was added to the roster at the last minute. Chad Jewett provided guitar and vocals, and Chelsey Hahn played synth, xylophone, maraca and bells. This past year they released their debut album, “Seneca,” on Northampton-based Top Shelf Records. Their songs consisted of tired chord progressions strummed indiscriminately, with some simple ornamentation provided by Hahn. Jewett failed to project his voice, and as a result his singing was largely indecipherable. They had the intensity of the linens section of your local Bed Bath & Beyond.

Last to play was The Deceivers. Hailing from Northampton, The Deceivers combine the urgency of American hardcore with the spacey solitude of shoegaze.  Fuzzed-out guitars and reverb-laden vocals characterized their introspective jams. There are obvious comparisons to be made with My Bloody Valentine and Husker Du, but these guys have their own unique sound that has generated a buzz in the Western Mass. underground. Jason Vachula does vocals and guitar, Girshwin Chapdelaine plays bass, and Eric Outhuse plays drums.

In the end, it was great that DIY UMass provided a place for local artists to play. This show was the latest in a series of roughly two-dozen shows that DIY UMass has put on over the years. The group has two other events confirmed for this semester; a Halloween show on Oct. 30 and a show with a (loose) Twister theme on Dec. 4.

The group is always looking for more people to get involved. Interested students can visit their website with a calendar of events at www.diyumass.org, and can contact the group at diyumass@gmail.com.

Dean Curran can be reached at dmcurran@student.umass.edu

Comments
7 Responses to “UMass DIY showcases local talents”
  1. something says:

    I’d have to agree with you there.

  2. Margaret Vaughan says:

    Spot on opinion… Lion Club is, unfortunately, reminiscent of the “linens section at Bed Bath and Beyond”.
    Funny and accurate!

  3. Josh says:

    AHAHAHA this author tell no lies.

  4. Ariel Nathanson says:

    This author really knows what hes talking about when it comes to music. Hilarious too

  5. Dean C. says:

    I appreciate the feedback. Yeah, I was harsh on some of these musicians- but I was only being honest. I encourage everyone to listen and decide for themselves, and to support the DIY community.

  6. Gabriel Katz says:

    I think this author provides not mean, but constructive criticism to these acts. clearly an event like this could not have the highest level of performance quality compared to everything else. they should be glad to have been covered.

  7. Owen says:

    As a member of the audience, i must say the author was fair and quite accurate in his review (in some instances, maybe even too generous). Furthermore, I was pretty disappointed in the Deceivers. there was a lot of hype, but I was pretty unimpressed.

    also… the metaphors were kickass.

Leave A Comment