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Rough Mix

by Ali Hibbs on September 20, 2012

Running on Empty

Laura Carrozza’s occasional flute parts might be the only element remaining from Aficionado’s original guitar-horn-synth prog-army sound the band used to march through the Albany scene and onto the national stage. Since being signed to No Sleep Records, the band have slimmed down their lineup as well as their songcraft. Scrapping most of the horns and theatrics for their 2011 eponymous record, the band have clearly found more success the closer they hew to concise post-hardcore instrumentation and sensibilities. Their new 7-inch Empty, due out on Tuesday, is further evidence.


Before Aficionado head out for a national run this fall alongside Mixtapes and Citizen, they’ll debut the 7-inch at the Fuze Box this Saturday. There’s even a hint of grunge in the guitar work and Nick Warchol’s lyrical sentiment: “I’ve yet to find the joy in anything/Trading in meaning for meaninglessness.” The tune’s actually rather chipper, though, as is B-side “The Slack,” for which Carrozza takes lead and doubled guitar leads errupt.

Even though the band’s days of strobe lights and confetti cannons seem to be behind them, the release party promises to be a banger. Babe City, Lysergic Shores and Bad Local, a Warchol side-project, will open. If you see one of the 7-inch flyers around town, grab it. If you turn it in at the door, you’ll get a real vinyl copy in exchange. The first band will play at 8 PM, and it’s $7 at the door. Added perk: there will be vegan food courtesy of chef Michael Tash.


SPAC Attack

So, with Florence + the Machine, SPAC’s season of LiveNation concerts has come to a close. The Spa Little Theater, however, has one final rock show in store tomorrow (Friday, Sept. 21): the SPAC Battle of the Bands, an event that has emerged in recent years as a relatively faithful arbiter of local talent.

After 2,300 online ballots were cast, the field was narrowed down to nine finalists: CRUSH, the Dependents, Folding Sky, Hard Soul, Jocamo, the Margo Macero Project, the Mysteios, Next Station and VONTUS. The judges will include Greg Haymes (Nippertown), Joel Marshall (WEQX) and Vinnie Amico (moe.), with prizes including 25 hours of recording time and a gig at Putnam Den.

The battle gets underway at 6 PM and tickets are $15.


You’ll Laugh, Cry . . . Uke

Last week, the Restoration Festival officially heralded in the autoharp as the new arcane folk instrument of our cultural moment. You saw it here first. Someone update Wikipedia.

This doesn’t mean the world has lost all love for the ukulele, though. In fact, the former arcane folk instrument of our cultural moment is still rising in popularity, after having been revived by the likes of Beirut, tUnE-yArDs, Eddie Vedder, Jake Shimabukuro and all those kids on YouTube. To wit, the 8th Step at Proctors is throwing the first annual Electric City UkeFest this Saturday.

Billed as a “Fleabag” (because ukulele means “jumping fleas” in Hawaiian), the event will feature workshops, vendors and a performance by uke-ers such as Ron Gordon, Jumpin Jim and Paula Beloff, Moonshire Holler, Ukulele Mike Eck, Terri Roben and the Vovodeeyos. Tickets are $25, $15 if you’re only interested in the concert.


You Don’t Have to Be Quiet

If you needed further proof that librarians are among the coolest members of our fair civilization, why not go see a rock show in their garage?

On Friday (Sept. 21), the Main Branch of the Albany Public Library (161 Washington Ave., Albany) will throw its final Garage Bands in the Garage show of the season. Alta Mira will be sharing the loading dock with Giles Bennett and the Petrified Woods. There will be books, bass and bolo ties, to be sure—not to mention $1 “garage-sale” deals on used CDs and DVDs. The show starts at 6 PM in the garage around back of the library, and admission is free. For more info, call Sarah at 427-4349.


Choose Your Own Adventure

The Heavy

You—yes, you—can go see the Heavy at the Palace Theatre next week for the price of your good looks alone. But you’re going to have to do a little work first.

For those of you who are familiar with the British soul-rockers, skip to paragraph three. If you’re not familiar, it’s probably a matter of mistaken identity. That funk track “How You Like Me Now” that WEQX plays on the regular is not built from a James Brown sample, but I understand how you could think so. That’s the Heavy, and they’re playing the Palace for free.

Here’s what you have to do. Either listen to WEQX for giveaways, or attend one of the remaining promotional events. This Saturday (Sept. 22), go to either the Lark Tavern (453 Madison Ave., Albany) between 10 and 11 PM, or Stout (904 Broadway, Albany) between 11:30 PM and 12:30 AM, and await further instruction. I’m not actually sure what you have to do at that point, but it probably involves drinking a Miller Lite.

Stay tuned for more info regarding the show at the Palace in next week’s issue.