June 11, 2013
A huge frustration I've endured as a Western Massachusetts-stranded music junkie over the last few years is that the area's "proper" venue scene, a collective of four spots (five if you count the seasonal outdoor theatre casino placeholder) sprawled across the five college area, has given way to the recent folk pop explosion at the expense of emerging alternative and indie artists. The birth of the Bowery Group and Crossroads Presents out east has also monopolized the Baystate's show market, and when you consider last year's Fiona Apple show had to be demoted to a smaller venue due to low ticket sales, it's completely understandable why the non-DIY acts never get off these parts' Mass Pike exits. In short, I am fucking dying out here in the 413 for a half-decent "proper" show and Northampton's Bunny's A Swine could be the vehicle this scene needs to draw some formidable attention back into these venues' doors. Formed in 2009, the trio of guitarists / vocalists Candace Clement and Emerson Stevens alongside drummer Dustin Ashley Cote write awkwardly slopped indie rock that might be the only local semblance to a Dinosaur Jr. fossil worthy of the stylistic comparison, as well as an an eco-friendly touch of organic rootsiness that preaches to an NPR contingent. They've already a healthy catalog of albums, EPs and singles amassed during their short time together, with their latest effort Calling Out having just been released during this past weekend's Thing In the Spring via Tiny Radars. Liz Pelly's newest literary endeavor, The Media, recently delved into Bunny's a Swine's heads to get the lowdown on the stories behind the music. If you're not one for words, know that it's a mucky pile of off-season guitar-pop foliage produced by Western Mass' go-to guy on perfecting the area's alt-crunch, Justin Pizzoferrato (Speedy Ortiz, Chelsea Light Moving.) The trio's current touring plans in support of Calling Out keeps within Baystate lines for the remainder of the month, which is great news, because that means there's actually something to do on the forgotten half of the state in the coming weeks for once.