ARTICLE: “Of Borscht, Flaubert and Hungarian Mustache Wax” (Bella’s Bartok)
I’m pleased to have the cover story in this week’s Metroland, about the Berkshire/Pioneer Valley band Bella’s Bartok. (Metroland, for ausländers, is the alt-weekly for Albany and the New York Capital Region.) I knew I’d seen them in various situations—playing in the parking lot, at a Halloween party, in a friend’s living room—but didn’t realize I also saw their first-ever gig, at a Summer Solstice Festival (that’s how we do it out here.)
For the interview, I caught up with them backstage at Pittsfield’s Colonial Theatre (after attending a different show, Larry Chernicoff’s Miniature Orchestra, a few minutes away) and then over at Mission Bar and Tapas, on a night where the person in charge of the CD player got a little 80’s-happy.
I reinforced the term “borschtcore” after coining it in a review of Bella’s Bartok in the Berkshire Eagle in December.
“’The best thing about Bella’s Bartok for me is that we’re all the biggest fucking nerds. None of us are too cool for school, none of us are …’ Torres declares, pausing several seconds to find the right word before landing simply on ‘cool.’ Later, as if seeking to prove the point, Putnam notes that he is wearing his green, ‘going-out’ cardigan. ‘I have a brown one for home,’ he clarifies dryly.”