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The Platters, the Cornell Gunter Coasters

Alive at Five, Thursday

It’s throwback week for Albany’s Alive at Five with Cornell Gunter’s Coasters and the Platters. Both vocal groups are inductees into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and have been groovin’ for a combined total of more than 100 years. The Coasters produced hit singles like “Love Potion Number Nine” and “Yakety-Yak,” which reached No. 1 on Billboard’s Top 100 in July 1958. Not surprisingly, the current Coasters lineup includes none of the original members (although fans insist that it’s hard to tell the difference). Herb Reed is still the frontman for the Platters (as he was at the group’s inception in 1953) and the only original member alive. He is present on every one of the groups nearly 400 recordings, among them hits like “The Pretender” and “Smoke Gets in Your Eyes.” Albany regulars Wylder open tonight’s event. (June 11, 5 PM, free, Albany Riverfront Park, Corning Preserve, Albany, 434-2032)

Biz Markie

Naughty by Nature, Biz Markie

Northern Lights, Friday

We hope the recent rash of throw back hip-hop shows that’s hit the Capital Region doesn’t ebb anytime soon (at least not before we can get some Digital Underground up in here). Tomorrow’s (Friday) show is a real old-school treat, bringing together one of the biggest rap acts of the early ’90s and one of the genre’s great personalities. Naughty by Nature were responsible for a string of massive tunes including “Hip Hop Hooray” (Ho! Hey! Ho!) and “O.P.P.”; their set should be an all-out hit-fest. And you know you have a favorite Biz Markie jam (we dig “Pickin’ Boogers” but you can’t go wrong with “Just a Friend”). Catch the vapors with Biz Friday night. (June 12, 9 PM, $35, 1208 Route 146, Clifton Park, 371-0012)



Ashley Pond Band CD release

Valentine’s, Saturday

We don’t generally like to gloat, but we would like to say “We told you so” with regard to the Ashley Pond Band. Pond stirred up a quick and lively buzz when she started playing solo shows around the area about three years back, and her debut release Dala was one of the local lights of the following year. And then she went and got a band and her whole thing got exponentially better. Bassist Sarah Clark and drummer Scott Smith lock in brilliantly with Pond’s idiosyncratic folk-blues wail, and Pond’s songwriting is reaching critical mass. The Warning, their first band release, captures the trio’s deep chemistry and momentum. We aren’t going to make any big predictions, but just do us a favor and make these guys famous, OK? Space Lounge and Ben Karis-Nix open Saturday’s release show. (June 13, 7:30 PM, $5, 17 New Scotland Ave., Albany, 432-6572)

Sub-Bombin Release Party

Red Square, Saturday

If you (like us) have long wondered where all the local hip-hop is happening (because it’s got to be around here somewhere, right?), it’s been right under our noses all along. Everyone’s starting a recording collective these days (cheers!), but since 2005, Sub-Bombin has been the local label for beatmakers, knob-tweakers, and everyone in between. These guys tend to keep a low profile, but their acts don’t. Maybe you’ve heard of Phantogram? Well, that’s the tip of the iceberg. On Saturday, the label kicks it analog stylee by releasing a labelwide mix tape. Slotted to perform are Pluto, DJ Midas, Pandha Pirhana and M.R. Blackout. (June 13, 8 PM, $10, 388 Broadway, Albany, 465-0444)

Luka Bloom

Caffe Lena, Tuesday

For a while in the early 1990s it seemed like any pseudo-folkie with an acoustic guitar and a few Big Statements (or, a sizeable cache of snark) could land a major-label deal. Of course none of them sold any records to speak of; the majority of vets from the last great singer-songwriter feeding frenzy continue to tour and earn minor acclaim, the stars long gone from their eyes. Irish performer Luka Bloom was part of that group (he recorded two albums for Warner Bros.), but the bright light of optimism has not left him. Produced by the great Frames co-founder David Odlum, Bloom’s new Eleven Songs disc shows remarkable consistency; if not wholly uplifting, it’s certainly heartfelt and energetic. (June 16, 7 PM, $30, 47 Phila St., Saratoga Springs, 583-0022)

Also Noted
Guggenheim Grotto

After you leave the Albany Riverfront this (Thursday) evening, take a walk over to Pearl Street for the Pearl Street Live series; the Brian Tice Band play tonight, and shows will follow every Thursday that Alive At Five is scheduled (8 PM, free). . . . Also tonight, Irish folk-pop duo the Guggenheim Grotto will drop in on the Linda (8 PM, $17, 465-5233 ext. 4). . . . What in the holy living fuck is a Groogrux King? Find out when the Dave Matthews Band play SPAC tomorrow (Friday) and Saturday—both sold out, naturally—with the Hold Steady (7 PM, 476-1000). . . . Maple Ski Ridge in Rotterdam hosts its inaugural Rhythm on the Ridge Acoustic Music Festival (and benefit for the Regional Food Bank) on Saturday; an array of regional acts perform on two stages throughout the day, and you get a few bucks off if you bring a canned good (10 AM, $10, ages 12 and under free, 381-4700). . . . The collaboration of Ben Karis-Nix and Amanda Rogers known as the Kite Room will breeze into Bread and Jam Café on Saturday (8 PM, free, 326-2275). . . . Bluegrass mandolin legend (and Saratoga Springs native) Frank Wakefield will celebrate his 75th birthday Saturday with a performance at the Parting Glass (8 PM, $15, 583-1916). . . . Super 400 will play their first local show of 2009—can you believe it?—Saturday at Revolution Hall; Hamell on Trial is their guest (7:30 PM, $12, 274-0553). . . . That rockin’ emo sound that the kids are all excited about? It’s still happening. Catch one of the genre’s most enduring acts, Bayside, Sunday at Northern Lights, along with I Am the Avalanche, Caleb Lionheart, and California (6:30 PM, $14, 371-0012). . . . The free concert series at Scotia’s Freedom Park opens Wednesday with Rick Rourke and Lost Wages (7 PM, free, 372-5656).

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