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ROUGH MIX
Brian Kaplan Band

WE’D LIKE TO THANK OUR FANS: On May 4, the Brian Kaplan Band won the Roots of Rock Band Battle that took place at Jillian’s in downtown Albany. The band will now advance to the regional finals, which will be held in Manchester, N.H., on Sunday (May 14). The winner of the Manchester competition will then go on to compete at the national finals in Memphis. To thank their fans, the band organized a bus trip to the regional competition. For $25, fans will receive round-trip transportation to Manchester, lunch and snacks provided by Michele’s Deli, on-board acoustic performances by the band and other area musicians, and vouchers toward Brian Kaplan Band merchandise. The bus departs Delmar at 9 AM on Sunday morning and will return by 9 PM Sunday night (the competition will be held from 2 to 5 PM). To RSVP, or for more information, contact Jeff Mirel at 935-4858 or send an email to info@3000revolu tions.com.

LISTEN HERE: There’s a new monthly music series in town (well, Saratoga Springs, specifically) called Open Ears. Kamikaze Hearts’ warm and fuzzy Matthew Loiacono is behind this new creation that takes place at Better Than Toast (Downstreet Marketplace, 454 Broadway, Saratoga Springs), a newly renovated nonprofit record/vintage clothing store and art space. He started the series to feature out-of-town acts who are passing through the Capital Region and are willing to perform for small audiences without microphones and amplifiers. “I’ve been meeting and connecting with tons of amazing acts since I’ve taken over booking for the Kamikaze Hearts this year,” says Loiacono. “I want to offer a nice, relaxing gig for the musicians and offer the community some music they might not have heard yet. Hopefully, folks will be curious enough each month to come and see what is going on.” Sunday, May 22, at 3 PM (with a $3 donation), marks the second performance in this series; the featured artist is Texan Jana Hunter, whose song “Farm, CA” was selected by Devendra Banhart for inclusion on the Golden Apples of the Sun compilation. Keep an eye on our concert calendar for future shows.

SAMPLE THIS: Sara Ayers’ new album, A Million Stories, is almost finished and is expected to be available to the public in June. Ayers, who has been voted Best Electronica in these pages, has had a few moments of fame lately: As we reported previously in this space, a sample from “Everyday We Die a Little” off her album Voices can be heard on the new Chemical Brothers’ album, Push the Button. And a small segment of “Soundtrack to Angel #3” (from Sylvatica) was used on VH1’s Behind The Music: Britney Spears. Ayers describes her new CD as “a cross between ‘Are You Coming Home’ [from her disc Sylvatica] and ‘Interiors’ [the title track of Interiors]—a 38-minute sound collage alternating between despair and exhilaration.” There is a bunch of self-sampling on the album, too—take a listen at www.sara ayers.com, where you can download “Induration” off the new disc.

HERE’S YOUR GREAT DAY FOR UPDATE: Local hard-rocking band Great Day For Up recently have undergone a few lineup changes. The lineup is now Mike Langone on vocals, Mike Vitali on guitar, Brendan Slater on bass and Jared Krak on drums. The group expect to release their debut on Small Stone Records, called Flores de Sangre, in late August or early September. The record was recorded and engineered by Ethan Dussault at New Alliance in Boston, and it’s currently being mixed in New Jersey by Bob Pantella (of Monster Magnet fame). GDFU will embark on a short tour before they head out to Emissions From the Monolith Festival in Youngstown, Ohio, later this month. Visit greatday forup.com for more information and tour dates.

—Kathryn Lurie



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