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Tas Cru

MAY FLOWERS You’ve been mighty busy over the winter. Here’s how I can tell: This weekend, the Capital Region music scene celebrates no less than four new releases, from every corner of the rock globe. Throw a stick and you’ll hit an artist releasing a new CD.

The rush begins tomorrow (Friday) night, downstairs at Valentine’s, where Mike Gent will play songs from his new self-titled solo disc. Mike Gent is a sharp little 10-song collection that finds the Figgs singer- guitarist backed by not-un-Figgs-like guitar-bass-drums-and-sometimes-keys arrangements. For Friday’s show, Gent will be joined by backing band the Rapid Shave; local pop wizards Scientific Maps open. Never fear, Figgs fans—word has it Gent and the boys are working on their bajillionth record for later this year, and you can keep tabs at

That’s just the tip of the iceberg; Saturday brings the flood. Rockers Big Nixon are finally set to release their debut EP; they’ll unveil it at Tess’ Lark Tavern Saturday night. And it’s taken quite the path to get here: In 2007 the then-new band went on hiatus when frontman Andrew Elder was diagnosed with stage 3 colon cancer; when Elder returned to performing following treatment, the band went on a tear, landing appearances at LarkFest and Metroland’s Feedback. Get your hands on sixfourfive Saturday night; Big Nixon will play two sets (which is, like, four EPs), and 28N will open. Check out for more on the show.

Revolution Hall will get treated to some Grizzle N’ Bone Saturday when Albany’s Tas Cru and the Slow Happy Boys take the stage. Cru’s last disc, gravi-Tas, received an ovation from the big blues publications; now the renowned guitarist and his band return with Grizzle N’ Bone, which features a rousing cover of Jackie Wilson’s “Higher and Higher,” one of their recent live staples. Saturday’s show also features Joe Lowry and the Second Mile Blues Band and Right Coast Soul; CDs will, of course, be available. Find Tas Cru at

And on the hardcore-punk side, back at Valentine’s on Saturday, it’s a CD release from After the Fall. Fort Orange was recorded at the legendary Blasting Room in idyllic Fort Collins, Colo.—the Blasting Room is the studio SST built, in a sense, where Black Flag, All and the Descendents cut many of their classic records. After the Fall follow neatly in the musical tradition of those bands, and the record sounds like a beast. Savvy fans might already have it, but it’s never too late for a party: Fort Orange will be available Saturday, as will the music of It’s Alive, Legit, Infidels and Foreign Objects. After the Fall is online at /afterthefall518.

And the supply doesn’t dry up there—there’s already one notable release on the books for June. Singer-songwriter Rob Jonas will celebrate his new disc, Take Me Anywhere, with a release show at Valentine’s on June 13. Jonas recorded his earnest, heartlandy (in a good way) rock songs over the last 18 months at Collar City Studios in Troy, and the record features contributions by nearly a dozen area names, including Katie Haverly, Kamikaze Heart Troy Pohl, and Steve Candlen. Catch a preview when Jonas plays solo at Emack and Bolio’s this Friday.

—John Brodeur

Let us know about local-music news and happenings for inclusion in Rough Mix: E-mail tips and information to tigerpop1@ or

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