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ROUGH MIX

SMOKE ON THE WATER For years you’ve been saying “what if” quietly to yourself every time you drive across the Crescent Bridge. When the Station nightclub in Rhode Island burned in 2003, it was probably one of the first things you thought of. And last Thursday morning (April 30) it happened: Saratoga Winners caught fire and burned to the ground. The big wooden roadhouse was built in the 1800s; it had been closed in recent years, and a Saratoga couple who had planned to refurbish and reopen the venue reportedly sold the building last month. The fire is being investigated as possibly suspicious. It’s no major shock that the club is gone; there hasn’t been a big show there in almost 10 years. But in its heyday as a nightclub in the ’90s, Winners hosted dozens of acts on their way to becoming household names: Wilco, Counting Crows, Radiohead, Melissa Etheridge, Live, Ben Folds Five; the list goes on and on. I’m sure many of you have Winners memories—share them at the Metroland blog, metroland.type pad.com.

CHANGING FREQUENCIES It’s been a rough couple weeks behind the area airwaves, as Clear Channel seems to be clear-cutting local radio staff. Among recent departures: WHRL (Channel 103.1 FM) says goodbye to program director Tim Noble; WKKF (Kiss 102.3 FM) loses assistant program director and nighttime jock Corey Kincaid, as well as midday air personality DJ Thomas; the entire air staff at WPYX (Pyx 106.5 FM) is gone, too. Wait—the entire air staff? Who’s running the ship, then? It’s mostly true—three out of four of the station’s regular jocks are out. Gary “Uncle Vito” Locatelli stays, and the Wolf’s high-rated morning show is also safe.

Change is somewhat expected at alternative and hit radio, but this kind of flux at the Capital Region’s classic-rock stalwart is troubling, if not damning. The format is seeing ratings dip nationally; perhaps a programming shakeup is forthcoming at WPYX.

TUNING IN Meanwhile, the folks in Columbia and Greene counties are about to get a shiny, brand-new community radio station. WXGC debuts this Saturday online at wxgc.org, with plans to go terrestrial at 90.7 FM band next year. It’s a full-scale, interactive media project, actually: Through the Web site, they plan to provide media training for members of the community, a local events calendar and more. That’s in addition to the station, which will primarily air locally-produced music and content. The station will launch with live broadcasts from events at the Catskill Community Center and the Germantown Community Farm on Saturday, and there are a number of plans for future live broadcasts, including a performance by the Catskill Community Orchestra on May 16.

—John Brodeur

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



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