question for all you guitar-heroes out there: How many strings
you got on that there ax? Well, Charlie Hunter’s got seven.
Hold the pshaw, though. This dude’s got three bass strings
he plays with his thumb, and four of the standard sort that
he will use to shred your face. But, then again, you’ve
probably already read about this in the countless guitar magazines
where he’s been featured over the years. Funny thing, too—the
guy can’t get enough of Red Square. Tonight’s will be the
last of his August residency shows; catch him now before he
disappears to Turkey. Really. (Aug. 28, 8:15 PM, call for
price, 388 Broadway, Albany, 465-0444)
If Taking Back Sunday’s rise to superstardom was a rallying
cry for emo-rockers to scrap the eyeliner, grow a pair of
nuts and venture forth from their mothers’ basements, then
the bands on this evening’s bill are the first wave of the
movement. You better believe the freshman hordes will be prowling
for this one. The term “trash-pop” has never been so aptly
and affectionately used than in its application to Gay Blades.
Their live show is, evidently, a cross between T-Rex and Bill
Murray. We’re not sure what that means exactly, but it should
feature some rocking dudeness. Also on tonight’s bill: the
Sleeping, Envy on the Coast, and the Secret Lives of the Freemasons.
(Aug. 28, 7:30 PM, $12, 17 New Scotland Ave., Albany, 432-6572)
The good folks at local-music web site crumbs.net have been
putting on these little get-togethers for a while now, and
tonight’s lineup is one of the best they’ve presented yet.
The Crayons recently released their second full-length, What’s
Wrong With You? Smartly produced by the Churchills, it’s
a polished-perfect piece of alt-pop candy. Venomentality,
led by singer-songwriter Valerie Webb, are the rare high-school
band to transcend their relative youth; who knows how big
they’ll be by the time they graduate. And Two Gun Man, our
pick for Best Americana Band in this year’s Best of the Capital
Region issue, are a party on wheels—the wheels of a double-wide
trailer home. Get out tonight and enjoy some fine local tunes.
(Aug. 28, 7 PM, $5, 339 Central Ave., Albany, 465-5233
Ridge Ski Area, Friday-Sunday
It’s Labor Day weekend, which means it’s a great time to get
out of the city. Might we suggest a vacation to moe.down?
Now in its ninth year, moe.down predates most of the bigger
camp-and-rock outings that have sprung up in recent years.
Plus you get to take in a total of six sets over three days
from festival namesake moe., the long-running act that, believe
it or not, spent a few fruitful years right here in Albany.
If that doesn’t do it for you, other acts include the Levon
Helm Band, the Presidents of the United States of America,
Fishbone, Sparrow Quartet, Benevento-Russo Duo, and bunches
more. It’s a smaller and more manageable event than, say,
Bonnaroo—at no point during the weekend do bands overlap—plus,
you already have Monday off of work. Need we say more? (Aug.
29-31, 5 PM Fri, noon Sat-Sun, $130, 4173 West Road, Turin,
Joe McDonald’s Tribute to Woody Guthrie
The fish are staying home this weekend. Folk singer and Woodstock
hero Country Joe McDonald was asked in 1975 by Harold Leventhal,
then-manager of the Woody Guthrie archives, to put music to
some of Guthrie’s unfinished song lyrics. McDonald went on
to develop a one-man spoken-word-and-song performance saluting
the life and legacy of Woody Guthrie, which he’ll perform
this weekend at, naturally, the Guthrie Center. No greater
authority than Billy Bragg, who was given unprecedented access
to the archives in the mid-’90s by Nora Guthrie and penned
two albums worth of music for her dad’s unrecorded lyrics,
has said that McDonald “carries on the mission” of Woody Guthrie
“like no one of his generation.” (Aug. 30-31, 8 PM, call
for prices, 4 Van Deusenville Road, Great Barrington, Mass.,