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ROUGH MIX

AIRWAVES DREAM Capital Region radio has its share of constants. Three times a year, WAMC will host a fund drive, and you will send them money just to make Alan Chartock stop talking. PYX 106 will play Peter Frampton’s “Do You Feel Like We Do?” in its entirety at least once a day. And the Jim Barrett-hosted Kaleidoscope show will never, ever die. The program, whose programming is essentially free-form with a focus on local music, has bounced between stations in recent years, most recently calling the “New Edge” 104.9 FM its home. Now, 37 years into its existence, Barrett’s old reliable been picked up by Siena College-run WVCR (88.3 FM), where it will air Friday mornings from 9 to 11 AM, beginning tomorrow (July 13). Rocky Velvet will join Barrett and co-host Ann Shaughnessy on the air to help break in the new digs.

In other radio news, you may have noticed that public-radio station 97.7 FM (formerly WBKK) is no longer broadcasting classical music. Last Saturday at noon, the commercial-free station switched to the Adult Alternative Album (AAA) format, dubbing its new incarnation “The Exit” and adopting the call letters WEXT. (We checked: There was a country-music station in Wisconsin with the same call letters, but it is no longer on the air.) On a cursory listen, I heard tunes by Ryan Adams and LCD Soundsystem (good), followed by John Mayer and Trey Anastasio (meh). So, while the free-form-ness of it all may repel those who prefer to “lock it in and break off the dial,” it should be a fine alternative for incessant channel surfers (like me). Check out exit977.com for more on the station.

 

Scientific Maps

BURNING BOOKS The Albany Public Library’s main branch (161 Washington Ave.) will become a music venue for two nights this summer. The Garage Bands in the Garage series will bring four local rock bands into the library’s large garage space (in the rear of the building, facing Elk Street) from 6 to 8 PM on Friday nights. On July 20, catch Scientific Maps and Guiltless Cult; August 17 features the Ben Karis Band and Wait Until Dusk. A selection of music CDs, DVDs, and books will be made available to check out at the shows (remember, the library proper will be closed), and library cards will be issued to those with picture ID and proof of address, for those who do not already have one. For information on the series, contact readers’ services librarian Sarah Clark at 427-4300.

 

WHO ARE YOU? Pete Townshend will unveil his latest stage musical this weekend— right in our backyard. Titled The Boy Who Heard Music, the piece follows the continuing journeys of sulky lead character Ray High, who first appeared in Townshend’s Psychoderelict project, and features some songs that were featured on the Who’s 2006 don’t-call-it-a-comeback (because it wasn’t) album Endless Wire. The musical will have its premiere this Friday and Saturday at the Powerhouse Theater at Vassar College in Poughkeepsie. (Yes, Poughkeepsie.) Tickets are, as of press time, still available for $25 through the Powerhouse box office at (845) 437-5599.

 

IN THE STREET It’s been brought to our attention that Springfield, Mass., has a free summer-concert series going, and it’s a good’un. The shows happen on Thursday nights at 6 PM in Springfield’s Stearns Square, and run through the end of August. Detroit Cobras and Marshall Crenshaw have already taken part; upcoming shows include the Charms (July 19), the Smithereens (July 26), Shadows of the Knight (Aug 9), and Willie Nile (Aug. 16). For more on the series, visit springfielddowntown.com.

 

ENOUGH ABOUT THEM One quick shameless plug, and then I’m out: My band of seven years or so, the Suggestions, are calling it quits. We’ll play one final show this Friday at Tess’ Lark Tavern (453 Madison Ave., Albany), starting around 9:30 PM. My new band, Maggie Mayday, will open. Please, leave the tomatoes at home.

—John Brodeur

Let us know about local-music news and happenings for inclusion in Rough Mix: E-mail John Brodeur at jbrodeur@metro land.net or call 463-2500 ext. 145.



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