Once upon a time in the early ‘90s, the western Mass. indie music scene was a vibrant, buzzing place to be. Rumors floated through the air (and in the “industry” thanks to a Billboard article in 1992) constantly that the next big scene after Seattle was Northampton.
In 1984, a Hampshire College student on the seven-year plan, formed a garage-rock band heavily steeped in the music of The Seeds, The Sonics, DMZ, Lyres, and Roky Erickson, that decades later would be influential on a whole new generation of like-minded musicians. The band was The Malarians, and that guy was the snappily-monikered Mal Thursday. In 1986, the group released its seminal recording In the Cool Room (Chunk Records) and the rest as they say, is history.
Some tracks to encourage you to stop listening to Chicago, Paula Abdul, Melissa Etheridge, or whatever crap you currently listen to by default. “Hear’s” some stuff by Asylum Street Spankers, Britta Phillips and Dean Wareham and Broken Social Scene, for starters.
If you’re wondering if you might be able to hear him live anytime soon, Pepek has one gig planned for this month. On Thursday, Pepek opens for Julia Nunes at the Iron Horse. Nunes, a YouTube phenom who’s attracted industry stalwart Ben Folds’ eye and backing, is a ukulele prodigy whose clever amateur videos and gift for verse has made her a coffee-house circuit favorite throughout the country.