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The Melvins

The Melvins are coming! The Melvins are coming! Yes, those Melvins. (To Revolution Hall, in fact, on Saturday.) And their new album A Senile Animal is a brutal, hook-happy, motherfucker of a dust-up that doesn’t stop to smell the roses. We think it may just be one of the Melvins’ best albums ever, and so does Dale Crover. Yes, that Dale Crover. You might know him for some of his extra-Melvinian activities—namely, the time he spent drumming for Nirvana.

We spoke to Crover while he was being driven around Spokane in a minivan. “We’re on the mean streets of Spokane, Washington,” he de-clared. “We had a day off, and I treated everyone to some buffalo steaks!”

“Buffalo steaks?”

“Yah, buffalo is great! You never had buffalo?” Crover replies, happy as a clam. “It’s good. It’s not too much different from cow. It’s a little bit different. We had it with a nice bottle of wine, crème brulee and Marion Barry cobbler for dessert.”

“Mayor Marion Barry cobbler for dessert.” Crover clarifies. “And then we went to the movies. We saw Hollywoodland. It was a real feel-good movie, wasn’t it?” Crover asks his companions in the minivan.

Band frontman Buzz Osbourne (aka King Buzzo) and drummer Crover didn’t go it alone this time. It is their connection to fellow musicians’ connections that landed Crover in Nirvana and Osbourne in Fantomas. And it was their willingness to experiment that Crover says pushed A Senile Animal into full-force mode. “We kicked our bassist out again, as tends to happen, and we didn’t want to deal with someone else’s neurosis, and we were wondering what we should do,” Crover explains.

“We had played with these guys in Big Business. We knew those guys really well. My wife suggested we get the bass player. Buzz said, ‘Why don’t we get both of them?’” So the Melvins got themselves a bassist and a second drummer. Yes, that’s right, the Melvins, who are known if nothing for Crover’s influential skin-rupturing, decided to double the freshness and double the fun.

“We had been talking about (adding a second drummer) for quite a long time. The time was right.” The recorded and live result is akin to Black Sabbath and Black Flag playing together and using Einstürzende Neubauten and Ministry as a rhythm section.

Asked if he thinks, after all these years of being cited as an influence by bands of many genres, that this album may finally get them serious radio airplay, Crover replies, “I think so. I think that about all our records. It’s my opinion that we’re one of the best bands around and everyone should love the Melvins. But I understand that there are more straightforward songs on the record. Sure, I think it should be played on the radio. Everyone should love it!”

Crover says the band will tour hard behind the album. And despite the fact that they’ve been around since the late ’80s, Crover says, “To quote Matthew McConaughey from Dazed and Confused, ‘I keep getting older and they stay the same age.’ We’re out for 76 shows ’til December. The U.S.A. is the best place to tour in the world. There is no place I’d rather tour than here. Well, I’d go to Japan. Japan and Italy and the U.S.A., although Australia is pretty nice, too.”

Crover adds that the band will play smaller cities. He says shows in places like Albany tend to be the best because the city doesn’t get as many acts. But then he comes to his Melvinsy senses and says, “We’re coming there ’cause we’re cool! And . . . we think you guys are cool too!”

The Melvins, with special guests Big Business and Ghostdigital, will play Revolution Hall on Saturday (Oct. 14). Tickets for the 8 PM show are $15. For more information or to buy tickets, call 274-0533 or visit www.revolutionhall.com.

—David King

Mamma Mia!

Seen by over 20 million theatergoers! “More productions playing internationally”—right this minute—than any other musical! This is the juggernaut that is Mamma Mia!

Normally, we don’t endorse this kind of burger- pimping, over-80-million-served promo talk. But Mamma Mia! is the ABBA musical, and, god help us, we love us some ABBA. Sure, there’s a plot: A young woman, on the eve of her wedding, tries to determine which of three guys is her long-lost father. Fine. Whatever. Any excuse to hear these classic ABBA hits is OK with us: “I Do, I Do, I Do, I Do, I Do,” “The Name of the Game,” “Knowing Me, Knowing You,” “Dancing Queen,” “Waterloo,” “Take a Chance on Me,” “S.O.S.” and over 20 more!

Such gooey pop goodness is irresistible, so we won’t even try. (You shouldn’t either.) And we won’t even criticize Benny and Björn for not figuring out a way to work “Fernando” into the story.

Mamma Mia! opens Tuesday (Oct. 17) and continues through Oct. 22 at Proctor’s Theatre (432 State St., Schenectady). There are shows at 8 PM Oct. 17 through 21, and 2 PM on Oct. 19, 21 and 22. Tickets are $64.75 to $19.75. For more info or to order tickets, call the box office at 346-6204.

R.M. Engelhardt

Local writer and poet R.M Engelhardt will celebrate the release of his new book, The Last Cigarette: The New and Collected Poems by R.M. Engelhardt 1989-2006, with a signing and performance tomorrow (Friday) at Lark Street’s Upstate Artists Guild. Engelhardt is known around these parts as the host of the former spoken-word open-mic School of Night and as a huge advocate of the local poetry scene. His work has been published by many journals both in print and online including Retort, Verve, Industrial Nation, Sure!, The Charles Bukowski Newsletter and many others.

During his performance, Engelhardt will be accompanied by Dr. Sax and John Weiler on guitar.

R.M. Engelhardt will perform at the Upstate Artists Guild (247 Lark St., Albany) tomorrow (Friday, Oct. 13) at 7 PM. This event is free. For more information, visit www.myspace.com/thelastcigarette or www.upstateartists guild.org.


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