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Wes Nelson's Belltower Records caters to audiophiles and hosts musical performances.

North Adams' Belltower Records to Host Summer Jam II

By Jack GuerinoiBerkshires Staff
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Belltower bought out the inventory of the former Toonerville Trolley.
NORTH ADAMS, Mass. — Belltower Records has settled into the community as a hub for music fans, musicians, and audiophiles alike.
 
It is easy to lose a few hours on the third floor of the Norad Mill digging through the overflowing record crates at the independent music store.
 
"We have just been longtime collectors, my wife and I, and we have been looking to do something for a while and we basically stumbled upon this," owner Wes Nelson said recently.
 
With news that Hal March, owner of Toonerville Trolley Records in Williamstown, was looking to close and sell his business in 2017, a shockwave rippled through the Northern Berkshire record collecting community.
 
Collectors knew that in the near future they would have to travel farther than Williamstown to satiate their need to fervently dig through crates of records.
 
That day came and a "closed" sign was fixed to March's door.
 
It was over.
 
But in 2018,  Nelson and his wife, Andrea Belair, announced that they had purchased March's inventory and planned to open up their own record store in the Norad Mill in the West End.
 
"We opened this October and business has been steady," Nelson said. "There is still lots to be done in the building but it has been good ... it has been pretty much full steam ahead."
 
So the local record store was saved but collectors were still dealing with another loss: March, their local record store guy — an important relationship in any audiophile's life.
 
But Nelson and Belair seem to be fitting the bill and are able to bring in what the people want.
 
"Our collection is largely our own taste but we do take note of what our customers like," Nelson said. "We try to keep it diverse in that way and cater to peoples' tastes."
 
Beyond selling records, CDs, and even cassette tapes, Belltower looks to be part of the larger music community. 
 
"I wouldn't say that we are the locus of any community here but we are part of it," he said. "We are new here and want to contribute. "
 
Belltower hosts live shows and Nelson said they use their connections to bring in live acts that may be on tour.
 
"If we have friends on tour we hook them up with a little gig," Nelson said. "We try to serve the music community."
 
Typically the shows take place in the store but on Saturday, Aug. 10, Belltower will host a larger show in the mill's reception room on the third floor.
 
There are more than 10 acts included in the lineup for Summer Jam II and Wandering Star Brewery will be selling beverages.
 
More information can be found here.
 
Vinyl has gone through a revival and many would argue that it sounds better than its digital counterpart, with more sonic information packed into the grooves.
 
For others it is about participating in a tradition; an older way of listening to music without an internet connection or a cell phone.
 
Nelson is less concerned with how people listen but rather the fact that people are listening. It is more important to be open to new sounds than it is to be a vinyl purist.
 
Which is what Belltower Records is all about: new sounds from the past, new sounds from the present, and introducing people to new music through live entertainment. 
 
"I don't know if it is about getting into vinyl," he said. "I think it is about getting into music, period. It is about maintaining a curiosity and a willingness to explore."
 
More information on new products and upcoming shows can be found on the store's Facebook page.

Tags: concerts,   music,   musicians,   

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North Adams Happenings: Oct. 23-29

SAVE THE DATE
NOVEMBER 2nd - Masquerade at Greylock WORKS
On November 2nd, three weeks before FESTIVE, come to gWorks to dance in disguise at our MASQUERADE Halloween costume party! Doors open at 8pm !
Celebrate your costume ingenuity with DJ BFG spinning seamless upbeat dance music within immersive theatrical lighting choreographed by LJ McZawa.
Whether you're coming out in a dramatic mask + your favorite party clothes or a full-body transformation, our local friends are joining in on the fun to motivate your creativity with Costume Themes and PRIZES.
https://www.facebook.com/events/406993753316580/
Wednesday 10/23
9:00 A.M. (FREE), SOCIAL, Open Hours UNO Community Center, 157 River Street, (413) 664-4612 More information.

10:00 A.M. (FREE), KIDS, Terrific Tots Playgroup The Family Center, 210 State Street, (413) 664-4821 More information.  


10:30 A.M. (FREE), PARENTING, Parenting Workshop: Surviving your Adolescents nbCC Conference Room, 61 Main Street, Room 213, (413) 663-7588 More information.  


11:30 A.M. (FREE), KIDS, Little Wonders Baby Playgroup The Family Center, 210 State Street, (413) 664-4821 More information. 

4:00 P.M. (FREE), FAMILY, Family Literacy Night Series The Family Center, 210 State Street, (413) 664-4821 More information.  


6:00 P.M. (FREE), WORKSHOP, Educator Open House North Adams Public Library, 64 Church Street, More information.

8:00 P.M. (FREE), GAMES, Trivia Night! Ramunto's, 67 Main Street, (413) 398-5152 More information.

Thursday 10/24
9:00 A.M. (FREE), SOCIAL, Open Hours UNO Community Center, 157 River Street, (413) 664-4612 More information.

10:00 A.M. (FREE), PARENTING, Kids Safety of America: Child Abuse and Neglect nbCC’s Conference Room, 61 Main Street, Room 213 More information.

4:00 P.M. (FREE), TUTORING, After School Program UNO Community Center, 157 River Street, (413) 664-4612 More information.

4:30 P.M. (FREE), CONVERSATION, Spaghetti Supper with Tom Bernard North Adams American Legion, 91 American Legion Drive More information.

4:30 P.M. (FREE), FAMILY, Dad and Family Time- Bowling and Pizza Night Valley Park Bowling, Curran Highway More information.

5:00 P.M. (FREE), SOCIAL, Octoberfest in The Airport Rooms TOURISTS Welcome, 915 State Road More information.

5:00 P.M. (FREE), BIKING, Halloween West End Bike Around Greylock School, 100 Phelps Ave More information.

6:00 P.M. (FREE), OPEN MIC, OPEN MIC The Parlor Cafe, 303 Ashland Street More information.

6:00 P.M. (FREE), INFORMATIONAL, Milton Hershey School Family Event: North Adams, MA Freight Yard Pub & Restaurant, 1 Furnace Street More information.

7:30 P.M. (FREE), WRITING, Fiction Writing Workshop [open house] Common Folk, 85 Main Street More information.

7:30 P.M. (FREE), BINGO, Musical Bingo at Mingo's Sports Bar and Grill 41 Roberts Drive More information.

8:00 P.M. ($15), COMEDY, Comedy Night w/ Andy Sandford HiLo North Adams, 55 Union Street More information.
Friday 10/25
10:30 A.M. (FREE), CONVERSATION, Coffee with a Cop MCLA Campus Center, 375 Church Street More information.

10:30 A.M. (FREE), PARENTING, Ages and Stages The Family Center, 210 State Street, (413) 664-4821 More information.

10:00 A.M. (FREE), KIDS, Drop-In Playgroup The Family Center, 210 State Street, (413) 664-4821 More information.

12:00 P.M. (FREE), SOCIAL, Open Hours UNO Community Center, 157 River Street, (413) 664-4612 More information.

7:00 P.M. (FREE), MOVIES, Halloween cartoon movie night MCLA Freel Library, Blackinton Street More information.

7:00 P.M. (By Donation), CRAFTING, Knitting Nights with Common Folk Common Folk, 73 Main Street More information.

7:00 P.M. ($1 and up), GAMES, BINGO! North Adams Elks 487 Lodge, 100 Eagle Street, (413) 664-9039 More information.

7:00 P.M. ($12 adv, $15 at the door), CONCERT, Gregory Douglass LIVE at HiLo North Adams HiLo North Adams, 55 Union Street More information.

8:00 P.M. (Prices vary, click link for details), THEATER, Miss Julie MCLA Theatre, 375 Church Street More information.

9:00 P.M. (FREE), MUSIC, Karaoke Friday! State Street Tavern, 167 State Street, (413) 664-9152 More information.
Saturday 10/26
9:00 A.M. (FREE), CLOTHING DRIVE, Winter Clothing Drive First Baptist Church of North Adams, 131 Main Street More information.

10:00 A.M. (FREE), GARDENING, Gardening Program UNO Community Center, 157 River Street, (413) 664-4612 More information.

12:30 P.M. (Child $5, Adults $8, Family $25), FUNDRAISER, AYJ Fund Children's Princess Concert MCLA Church St Center, 375 Church Street More information.

3:00 P.M. (Cost of Admission), ART, Opening Reception: Sarah Oppenheimer, Jenny Holzer, and ERRE MASS MoCA, 1040 MASS MoCA Way More information.

6:00 P.M. (FREE), CONCERT, Fall Foliage Sunset Serenade - Jessica Gregory Wilson Wigwam Western Summit, 2350 Mohawk Trail More information.

8:00 P.M. (Prices vary, click link for details), THEATER, Miss Julie MCLA Theatre, 375 Church Street More information.

8:00 P.M. ($12 adv, $15 at the door), CONCERT, Misty Blues HiLo North Adams, 55 Union Street More information.

8:00 P.M. (Prices Vary, see link for details), CONCERT, Jenny Scheinman & Allison Miller’s Parlour Game MASS MoCA, 1040 MASS MoCA Way More information.
Sunday 10/27
2:00 P.M. (Prices vary, click link for details), THEATER, Miss Julie MCLA Theatre, 375 Church Street More information.

7:00 P.M. ($20 adv, $25 day of), CONCERT, Jeffrey Foucault HiLo North Adams, 55 Union Street More information.
Monday 10/28
5:00 P.M. (FREE), WORKSHOP, ROOTS Volunteer Training ROOTS Teen Center, 43 Eagle Street More information.

5:00 P.M. (FREE), BIKING, nbCC Bike Collective The Armory, 206 Ashland Street More information.

6:00 P.M. (FREE), WORKSHOP, Communications Career Panel Bowman Hall - MCLA, 375 Church Street More information.
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