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Matthew Loiacono

WE PUT OUT There is without a doubt no busier local record label this month than Collar City Records. Not to slight the valiant efforts of all the other Capital Region-based imprints (there are more than you might think), but the Collar City gang are doing something perhaps unprecedented in the month of June: One new release per week. Some might call it a stunt, but when there’s so much great music involved there’s really no need for name-calling. Here’s the scoop: June 3 saw the physical release of Kentucky, the brilliant second solo disc from Kamikaze Hearts multi-instrumentalist (and label head) Matthew Loiacono; this Tuesday (June 10) brought Reshaping a Dream, the first solo recording from Small Axe mastermind D.J. Miller, under the pseudonym Ike Snopes; this coming Tuesday, the 17th, Collar City unveils the long-labored-over (and blink-and-you’ll-miss-it brief) second disc from Princess Mabel, titled Listen Quick (‘Cause I Don’t Know Much); and on the 24th, you can get your hands on the rerelease of Ben Karis-Nix’s We Are Giants Now EP, which Karis-Nix released in a limited edition early in 2008.

And of course there’s a release party: On June 20, three-quarters of the aforementioned talent will file into the cozy Amrose Sable Gallery in Albany’s Center Square neighborhood for an evening of unamplified live performance. Loiacono won’t take part this time—he celebrated his release back in April—but he will team up with a group he’s dubbed the Upstate Kentucky Choir (featuring members of some of the aforementioned acts) the following Friday, June 27, at Caffe Lena.

All the discs are available for purchase through, and for a limited time you can pick up all four for $20. Also check the Web site for further information on the aforementioned shows.

WHAT DO YOU WANT FOR NOTHIN’ With this week’s most heinous of heat waves fresh on your mind, it might be hard to think about spending any time at all outdoors. But if nothing else, the high temps are proof that summer is here like a mother-effer—as are the free concerts that come with it. With all the usual freebies out there for the taking, including Troy’s Collar City Live series and the Empire State Plaza’s always eclectic lineup (Arrested Development?!), there’s really music everywhere you look—and some places you may not have looked.

The Tang Museum at Skidmore College already has begun its Upbeat on the Roof series. The free concerts start at 7 PM every Friday (through Aug. 29), and they take place on—that’s right—the roof of the Tang. This Friday, catch the Sarah Pedinotti Band; check for the remainder of the schedule.

Summer Sounds of Salem kicks off its second year on Saturday, June 21, with Cambridge-based jazzers the Rachel Cuite Trio. Presented by the Salem Area Chamber of Commerce, the free concerts run from 11 AM to 1 PM every Saturday at the Gazebo on Salem’s Main Street. Call 935-3297 for more information on the series.

There’s not a ton of stuff to do in Scotia, but you can make a pretty solid evening out of the following: Glom down a Jack Burger at Jumpin’ Jack’s, then head over to the adjacent Freedom Park for one of their free shows. Their 2008 entertainment series is packed with 30 concerts between now and the end of August, with everything from jazz to modern dance to children’s programming to a Billy Joel cover band. The kickoff weekend features the Hamilton Hill Steel Drum Band on June 21, and blues elder statesman Ernie Williams on June 22; the rest of the dates are listed at

—John Brodeur

Let us know about local-music news and happenings for inclusion in Rough Mix: E-mail John Brodeur at jbrodeur@metro or call (518) 463-2500 ext. 145.

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