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"The Big Fame" live radio noir from The Grimm Generation

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Radio has always been about nostalgia, even in its infancy as a new medium of mass communication, its programs of dramas, comedies and music tended to look back in time. An enduring medium to this very day in the age of television and the Internet, radio has an almost magical quality to it — you can hear it, but you can’t see it, thus, requiring the use of one’s imagination. So it ought to be a hoot to “see” and hear the equally nostalgic sounds of The Grimm Generation’s high concept, The Big Fame: A Night of Old Radio & New Songs, at the Vintage Radio and Communications Museum of Connecticut in Windsor this Saturday evening.

The Windsor-based band has made a cottage industry of turning their shows into conceptual dramadies of sorts. Not content to just show up at gigs, the core duo of Jason P. Krug (guitar/vocals) and Carmen Champagne (vocals), along with the expanded band lineup of Lys Guillorn (banjo/lap steel/guitar), Eric Bloomquist (bass), Julie Dreschler (cello) and Kerry Miller (drums) choreograph their shows thematically depending upon the venue. Against the backdrop of the museum’s artifacts, Saturday’s multimedia show will marry the band’s blend of musical and lyrical noir into a perfect union.

Krug and Champagne conceived of the radio revue idea after scouting locations literally in their backyard (of Windsor) for a video shoot at the museum and serendipitously learning of its plans for a live music series. Krug largely wrote the script, based on their song, “Blink, I’m Gone,” (from their recent EP, Coming Home) while Champagne wrote its introduction.

Singer-songwriter Julie Beman’s new musical vehicle, Girfriend Project, opens the night’s program with sort of a Andrews Sisters type set, followed by an intermission complete with live commercials from the show’s sponsors, Get Baked and Goldburgers (who naturally will be providing the grub), and Ginger Miller narrates the epic and sprawling set which weaves new and old music by The Grimm Generation into the plotline. The museum will broadcast the show live even though their signal extends only as far as the train tracks in front of the building! Park outside the museum and tune in for the full radio vibe if so inclined. Proceeds from the event benefit the museum.

Depending upon the show’s reception, the band is hoping to stage The Big Fame in other unconventional venues for folks who might not want to go to a bar to hear live music but who want to be entertained nonetheless.

The Big Fame: A Night of Old Radio & New Songs

Girlfriend Project and The Grimm Generation, March 23, 7 PM, $10, Vintage Radio and Communication Museum of Connecticut, 115 Pierson Lane, Windsor, CT (860) 673-0518

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