Willimantic Records 4th anniversary show Saturday, February 13th: BECKY KESSLER (Violent Mae solo) 3pm, LANDING 4pm, MAJOR STARS 5pm, MOUNTAIN MOVERS 6pm

MAJOR STARS: Back 25 years or so, Wayne Rogers and Kate Biggar operated the Twisted Village record label and recording studio out of a kitty cat packed little trailer home just outside of town on Route 14. Psych and garage rock record collectors in scattered, far-off parts of the world were on the prowl for Twisted Village releases, but locals took little to no notice while Wayne & Kate's band Crystalized Movements put out some of the best rock music ever recorded in Connecticut (or pretty much anywhere). Wayne & Kate moved to the Boston area in 1992, formed the band Magic Hour with Damon & Naomi from Galaxie 500, and later the  Major Stars. Currently the Major Stars are Wayne & Kate (guitars), Tom Leonard (guitar), Dave Dougan (bass), Casey Keenan (drums), and Hayley Thompson-King (vocals). Please don't miss this opportunity to see the critically acclaimed Major Stars right here in Willimantic.

BECKY KESSLER (solo) - "Becky Kessler, singer and guitarist for the Connecticut duo Violent Mae—Floyd Kellogg plays the other instruments—has a voice deserving of your undivided attention. Like a more excitable version of The Mynabirds' Laura Burhenn, with hints of Dusty Springfield's soul and Bjork's lunacy, she projects a brooding unease that implies looming storms of emotion, edging ever closer to a full-fledged outburst, yet never losing control. From the bluesy slow-burn of 'IOU,' where she proclaims herself a 'bad actress,' to the thrilling jitters of 'In the Sun,' to the footstomping 'Murdered Bird,' the twosome's second album is a sizzling triumph." - Mother Jones

LANDING - "Given the number of times Landing has tweaked and shifted its sound, the Connecticut-based band somehow manages to bring its brand of blissed out space-pop and droning etherealisms into better focus with each release. The band, which recently expanded to a quartet again with the inclusion of full-time drummer/multi-instrumentalist John Miller, now returns with a new, self-released EP, looking back to the layered, droning rock modes of its impeccable Gravitational IV and Brocade LPs. The EP’s title track unfurls its delayed meandering across an entire side of the tape, sprawling and filling every crevice of its 10-minute run in a slow burn of patient epiphanies. Directed by vocalist and guitarist Aaron Snow, the song’s video perpetuates Landing’s homemade vibes, having been recorded during the song’s recording sessions at the band’s home studio. Daron Gardner’s bass churns through air, providing the perfect compliment to Miller’s cymbal ride and Adrienne Snow’s celestial melody and levitating synth chords. It’s both classic and future Landing at the same time, and couldn’t sound better." -Bobby Power, Decoder Magazine

MOUNTAIN MOVERS - "The Mountain Movers make venues theirs completely for the night, filling them to the brim with exquisite, rock-channeling sound that rises up from the floor, reaches out from the walls, and grabs the whole of a human body. The group’s synchronicity is to thank for this: they play as one jamming, rocking, loud-but-not-too-loud organ, delighting with smart instrumentals and even smarter lyrics.  The group’s newest LP, Death Magic, revels in that factor. Beautifully packaged in Greene’s cover art and not without Omonte’s retro sensibilities, it feels both homespun and indulgent (in a good way) before you start to play it (there are also downloads available here if that’s how you roll). The music, recorded in former band member John Miller’s basement, shows why. It’s what the band classifies as deliberately “low-fi,” moving into deliciously unvarnished territory. Songs like 'Before I Get Out of Bed' and 'Nightsong of the Sea' mark a rhapsodic, radical departure from the group’s polished (though equally powerful) Let’s Open Up the Chest (2008), and they are stronger for it.   Turn on. Tune in. But don’t drop out. It seems, in many ways, that this storied group is just getting started on something exciting and new." - New Haven Independent

A free show with donations to the bands welcomed and encouraged. 

Becky Kessler, The Mountain Movers, and Landing have put on amazing shows here in the shop. I'm grateful to have them back and to get Wayne & Kate down here for their first show in Willimantic since Crystalized Movements opened for the Laughing Hyenas at the Populous Pudding in 1989.