Buckner, the Kamikaze Hearts
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
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
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.
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
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
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.
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,