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Homeless metalheads living in limestone caves in the Helderbergs notwithstanding, word has reached most that Anthrax’s classic ’85-’91 lineup recently reunited to celebrate their 20th anniversary with veritable slew of releases. While the band remained more than capable in later years with John Bush assuming vocal duties, old and new fans alike heralded the return of singer Joey Belladonna (a Capital Region native) and guitarist Dan Spitz (who left music altogether for a career as—get this—a Swiss watchmaker) this spring as they rejoined guitarist Scott Ian, drummer Charlie Benante and bassist Frank Bello for an extensive world tour. Metroland caught up with (by telephone) an excited Bello after sound check in Cleveland to see what’s up with New York’s favorite soldiers of metal, who visit the Capital Region Tuesday (Oct. 4) for a headliner at Northern Lights between shows with the also-re-formed Judas Priest.

“So far the fans have been nothing short of crazy,” Bello says of the band’s six-week overseas run with the reunited outfit, which began with a jaunt in Australia and ended with European open-air festivals. “The reaction has been just incredible. We’re really excited about it because we didn’t expect it to be like this. We weren’t really sure how people were gonna react, but it’s been above and beyond what we wanted.”

So much so, that the band haven’t placed any real time limit on the project. “Right now . . . we’re just doing it day to day and seeing what happens,” Bello explains. “We don’t want to put any expectation on it. When we got back together, we agreed to that, and we also agreed that all decisions were going to made equally by all five guys, so from this you’re getting a package that all [of us] put a lot of thought into and worked really hard on.”

The result of that hard work is a whopping three releases. Anthology: No Hit Wonders is a remastered two-disc “best of” set spanning the band’s classics from 1985-1991 with an accompanying DVD collection of their Island Records-era videos. Alive 2 (the CD) offers a 2005 performance at New Jersey’s Starland Ballroom while Alive 2 (the DVD) features complete video footage of that show as well as a documentary chronicling the entire reunion. Bello feels the entire package is not only great as a handpicked blast from the past; it also exposes younger fans to the what all the buzz was about.

“I love the fact that guys are bringing their younger brothers, and fathers are bringing their kids to these shows,” he explains. “Just to see what this thing was all about. I love it. We’re finding a whole new turnover through that too, so obviously that’s pretty cool for us.”

“The whole thing is like a marathon,” Bello continues, when asked about the secret to Anthrax’s staying power. “Sometimes it’s not how fast you run as long as you keep going. Hey, 22 years later and still strong! We’re pretty happy about it, dude.”

Anthrax will appear at Northern Lights (Route 146, Clifton Park) this Tuesday (Oct. 4) at 7:30 PM along with local hardcore favorites Last Call and Brick by Brick. Tickets are $16 in advance and $18 the day of the show. For more info, call the club at 371-0012 or visit

—Bill Ketzer

Charlie Murphy

You finally found a steady gig, at one of the hottest shows on cable to boot. You’re finally starting to step outside the shadow of your famous sibling. After years of taking bit parts wherever they came, your star is on the rise. And then, in the blink of an eye, it’s over.

Over. Let it sink in. So what comes next?

This is the question facing Charlie Murphy. As a writer and actor on Comedy Central’s Chappelle’s Show, Murphy had a hand in some of the series’ most popular and hysterical moments, including “True Hollywood Stories,” in which he recounted his hazy, crazy ’80s days hanging out (via little brother Eddie) with celebrity acquaintances like Prince and Rick James. The show was a runaway success, pulling in huge ratings and selling like it was free on DVD. Everything seemed peachy until Dave Chappelle took his little, shall we say, sabbatical in May, halting the show’s production indefinitely, likely permanently.

Obviously, the guy won’t be out of work for long; in fact, he’s got a bit part in the roller-disco flick Roll Bounce that opened last weekend. But really, doesn’t that seem like a regression?

So, Charlie Murphy, we offer the following message of self-affirmation, lest you despair the end of the glory days. Gaze deep into the mirror and say it out loud: “I’m Charlie Murphy, bitch.”

Charlie Murphy will perform at the Egg (Empire State Plaza, Albany) this Saturday (Oct. 1). He’ll be joined by cast members from Chappelle’s Show, plus guest comics Marina Franklin and Greg Aidala. Tickets for the 8:30 PM performance are $26, and can be purchased at the Egg box office or by calling 473-1845.

Five Streams

Religious, spiritual and philosophical texts are, of course, open to interpretation. Sectarianism, factionalism, schism—these all bear that out easily enough. On Saturday, however, MASS MoCA presents an interpretive work-in-progress that should challenge in a more enjoyable way than, say, a jihad.

Ibrahim Quraishi’s work Five Streams seeks to reexamine the Islam of five South Asian nations (India, Pakistan, Bangladesh, Nepal and Sri Lanka) by interpreting three foundational texts via a variety of media. Quraishi takes on Anarkali, an Indian court romance; the Bhagavad-Gita, the concluding portion of the Mahabarata; and Who Knoweth Thyself, a sufi treatise. His hermeneutic tools? Live and prerecorded music, dance, 3-D animation and interactive sound installations.

Five Streams will be presented at MASS MoCA (1040 MASS MoCA Way, North Adams, Mass.) on Saturday, Oct. 1, at 7:30 PM and Sunday, Oct. 2, at 4 PM. Tickets are $14. For more information, call (413) 662-2111.

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