Music

Nightcrawler: Skills that Pay the Bills

Western Mass Performs offers $1,500 to area entertainers; Odds-on favorites for a great night of rock.

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Thursday, January 19, 2012
Photo Courtesy of IHEG
Big Head Todd and The Monsters bring genre-defying rock sounds to the Calvin Theater Jan. 20.

Western Mass Performs... and the Monson Arts Council pays.

For this, the fourth installment of the popular talent show, council member Peter Barnett says that some $1,500 in prize money is up for grabs.

"We've had everything from dancers, singers and bands to world class yo-yoists, ventriloquist and a mindreader place in previous years," Barnett declares. "But more importantly than the money we give out is that the proceeds from the event go to a great cause—a scholarship for a Monson senior with an interest in the arts."

While the curtain for the show itself will not rise until Feb. 11, applications for entry are currently being accepted through January 25. The first audition will follow shortly thereafter (January 28 at the Granite Valley Middle School Auditorium on Thompson St. in Monson), then give way to a couple of rehearsals. All performances must be under five minutes in length. A total of 24 acts will be selected for the show.

"The event is also a blast for the performers, who mix and meet over the course of the rehearsals and show," Barnett adds.

For more information on entering, attending and more, kindly point your browser to monsonartscouncil.com.

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In other news, Southampton rockers Odds of Eden are closing in on an anniversary. While the band itself was formed in February of 2011, its members—Jay Tarrant on lead vocals/guitar, Joe Walsh on drums, Tom Hamel on lead six-string and Mike Clune on bass—are seasoned veterans of the Western Mass. scene. This Saturday, Jan. 21, the audio wizards of Odds bring their patented alterna-punk amalgam to The Still in Agawam. Doors open at 6 p.m., and the band takes the stage at 9:30 p.m.

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Meanwhile, Valley boys All That Remains and Killswitch Engage have been tapped as special guest headliners for the 14th annual New England Metal and Hardcore Festival (metalandhardcorefestival.com). The three-day eardrum-punishing affair kicks off on April 20 at the Worcester Palladium.

On the national scene—and hot off the release of their new video, "Tattoo"—veteran rockers Van Halen have inked a March 3 Mohegan Sun date for their impending national tour. The trek comes in support of A Different Kind of Truth. It's the band's first studio effort with founding member David Lee Roth since 1984. Other new tracks include "She's The Woman" (which the band debuted during an intimate, impromptu show at Greenwich Village's iconic Cafe Wa?), "You and Your Blues" and "Bullethead"—a chestnut that dates back to the band's salad days but has never before made it on to an official release.

Tickets for Van Halen at the Mohegan Sun are $140 and $110—depending on your proximity to Eddie and company—and available now at mohegansun.com.

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Last but not least,the songs will remain the same when the premiere Led Zep replicators—Get The Led Out—come to the historic Calvin Theater Saturday, Jan. 21. But even if you stuck this band in the mistiest of mountains, it wouldn't take long to realize that they look nothing like the original wielders of the Hammer of the Gods.

"I know what you're thinking," frontman Paul Sinclair called out during last year's visit. "This is a Led Zeppelin tribute, but the singer looks like Joey Ramone."

The Crawler was actually thinking Howard Stern, but as the band, with roots back to Philadelphia, went on to illustrate with spot-on renditions of Zeppelin classics and deep tracks alike, their mission is a sonic experience much more rooted in substance than hairstyles. Tix for this show are $25 and $35 and available at iheg.com. Doors open at 8 p.m.

Send correspondence to Nightcrawler, P.O. Box 427, Somers, CT 06071; fax to (860) 394-4262 or email: garycarra@aol.com.

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