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Memphis-based hard-rockers Saliva have returned with their fifth album, Blood Stained Love Story, which enjoyed a No. 19 debut on the Billboard album-sales chart. This is news, apparently, because while the band have had a handful of singles make the radio-airplay charts, they haven’t managed a hit album. Of course in this day and age, anyone can make a big splash on the charts without actually constituting a “hit”—hell, Bloc Party almost cracked the Top 10 a few weeks back. But Saliva seem to have a nice working relationship with their fan base, which explains how they’ve managed to have a hit with another song with “boom” in the chorus. (Their latest single, “Ladies and Gentlemen,” recently topped the Mainstream Rock chart.) Saliva will roll into town this week with the consistently unremarkable Crossfade in tow; Nashville’s Ligion will open.

Saliva, plus special guests Crossfade and Ligion, will perform tomorrow (Friday, March 2) at Northern Lights (1208 Route 146, Clifton Park). Tickets for the 7 PM show are $15. For more information, call the box office at 371-0012.

A Soldier’s Tale

This is Igor Stravinsky’s A Soldier’s Tale, a universal story of war, a parable of good and evil. This unique collaboration, which director Barbara Gulan describes as combining “the best in music, dance and theater,” brings together local and national artists, including the Saratoga Chamber Players, Round Arts Theatre Company, the New York City-based SITI Company and the Albany Symphony’s David Alan Miller, who will conduct (and who is very busy this week, as Key’s American Music Festival gets under way).

In addition to this theater-music-dance piece, the Saratoga Chamber Players will perform works by Poulenc (Sonata for Clarinet and Bassoon), Weill (The Threepenny Opera Suite) and Joplin (Cascade).

A Soldier’s Tale will be presented tomorrow (Friday, March 2) at 7:30 PM at the Spa Little Theater (Saratoga Spa State Park, Saratoga Springs). Tickets are $25, $22 seniors, $15 students, and kids free—call for details. For reservations and information, call 584-6523.

The Extensible Toy Piano Festival

It’s all John Cage’s fault. In 1960, Cage premiered Music for Amplified Toy Pianos, turning the cute little guys (the pianos) into superstars. Hoo-ray. The guy also wrote an entire piece that requires the performer to not do shit for four-and-a-half minutes. Whatever.

But the toy-piano thing, that was inspirational, at least for Matt Malsky and the team of music dorks who put together the Extensible Toy Piano Project two years ago. Founded as an international competition and festival, the project solicits new compositions from around the globe, and challenges the obvious limitations of the toy piano by matching it with modern technology. For Sunday’s concert, University at Albany faculty will join with members of the namesake project to perform a number of these modern works, plus the Cage piece that started it all.

A concert of music from the Extensible Toy Piano Festival will take place at the Recital Hall of the Performing Arts Center on the University at Albany’s uptown campus (1400 Washington Ave., Albany) on Sunday (March 4) at 3 PM. Tickets are $8, $4 for students. For more information, contact the box office at 442-3997.

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