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Richard Buckner, the Kamikaze Hearts

Richard Buckner has been touted as one of the finest examples of what the No Depression genre has to offer, but that assessment actually misrepresents his appeal: In fact, some of the real dyed-in-the-dungaree-style fans of old-school-country revivalism shy away from the deeply personal, highly poetic approach Buckner takes to songwriting. So, though he displays some sonic affinity for the dusty troubadour tradition, Buckner ain’t just honky-tonkin’ and hell-raisin’.

Thematically and lyrically, Buckner (who will play WAMC’s Performing Arts Studio on Saturday) reads more like John Berryman or another of the confessional poets, a sensitive soul wracked and scraped raw by a heightened sensitivity for both elation and pain. His syntax is more often allusive than explicit, and recognizable details like talismans of lost lives—a wallet photo, a jackknife, a flimsy dress, a bathroom mirror—accumulate in symbolic configurations to establish moods more convincing and affecting than can be found in 20 of your favorite my-woman-done-left-me story-songs. He’s been singled out by sources such as the New York Times and The Village Voice for his ability to conjure the tug and tang of heartbreak, and Spin magazine said that each of his songs captures “the instant when love or trust, like the memory-heavy light of afternoon slips away.”

And then there’s the man’s voice: It’s a great wheezingly melodic rumble of a thing, like the hold music on hell’s hotline. It’s a gospel voice for the emotion-addled and agnostic. Or, as typified succinctly by the Voice: “He sings the way heartbreak feels.”

Opening the show will be Albany’s Kamikaze Hearts, whose approach to traditional American acoustic music is a kind of high-lonesome indie-rock, combining elements of bluegrass, folk and emo in songs of plaintive emotionality and incisive narrative force.

Richard Buckner and the Kamikaze Hearts will play WAMC’s Performing Arts Studio (339 Central Ave.) on Saturday (Oct. 19). Tickets for the 8 PM show are $12, $10 WAMC members. For more information, (800) 323-9262 ext. 169.


Joe Putrock

Discard Avant Garb

What can a bridal gown made of bubble wrap inspire? The answer is Discard Avant Garb, the fashion show featuring designs from local artists made entirely of recycled materials. Now in its third year, Discard Avant Garb will feature 22 artists this year, including 10 new ones. Also new this year is the inclusion of male artists. The brainchild of organizers Val P. Funk, Helen Martin, Roxanne Storms and Molly Suwara, Discard Avant Garb previously featured only female artists.

The first Discard Avant Garb event raised $1,500 for Equinox Domestic Violence Shelter, and last year $2,500 was raised for the Youth Advancement Through Music and Art program at Parson’s Child and Family Center of Albany. This year’s recipient will again be YATMA. The show will take place Sunday at the Power Company, and will be emceed by local poet Mary Panza. The doors open at 5 PM with music from MotherJudge beginning at 6 PM. The fashions will be shown at 7 PM, followed by music from Thee Ummmm to round out the evening. All attending will be able to sample treats from local restaurants and will have the opportunity to walk away with one of the many door prizes donated by area merchants.

Discard Avant Garb will be presented at the Power Company (238 Washington Ave., Albany) on Sunday (Oct. 20), with doors at 5 PM. Tickets are $12 in advance and $15 at the door. For more information, call 449-2505 or 462-1771.

Albany Symphony Orchestra

This weekend, the Albany Symphony Orchestra will host its gala in an unusual, even spectacular venue: the Cathedral of the Immaculate Conception in Albany. The 150-year-old Roman Catholic landmark was chosen on relatively short notice, when the city of Albany announced that the original site—the Palace Theatre—would be closed for renovations. (Ironically, the Cathedral is undergoing major renovations, too—those renovations are strictly external, however.) The symphony, under the baton of conductor David Alan Miller, will be joined by Albany Pro Musica on both Friday and Saturday nights to perform Beethoven’s epic of vocal and orchestral thunder, the 9th Symphony, or Choral Symphony.

Many believe ol’ Ludwig’s 9th to be the summit of musical expression—remember the Ode to Joy? It has been appropriated for events ranging from Hitler’s birthday to the fall of the Berlin Wall. No matter its uses and misuses, Beethoven intended it as a celebration of God and man.

The originally scheduled Saturday (Oct. 19) performance is nearly sold out, so the symphony has opened Friday’s dress rehearsal to the public. Tickets for the Friday (Oct. 18) performance at the Cathedral of the Immaculate Conception (Madison Avenue and Eagle Street, Albany) are $10. For reservations, call 465-4755.


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