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Scientific Maps

MARCH OF THE BROKEN CASIO If you know the term “circuit-bent” means, you’re likely aware of Casper Electronics. For about 10 years now, artist-musician Peter Edwards has been going to town on the worky parts of everything from Speak N’ Spells to toy keyboards, from guitar pedals to turntables, modifying the electronics to create outlandish, user-controlled sound effects. That’s the short version.

This June, Edwards and co- curator Kate Sweater opened Casper Land, a “new creative- technology themed workshop,” on Fulton Street in downtown Troy. They intend for this to be a multipurpose space, good for lectures, movies, performances and, most importantly, turning your Tickle Me Elmo doll into a Theremin.

True to their mission, Casper Land will host a performance and discussion with Dewanatron. Leon and Brian Dewan are creators of a unique, hand-built series of electronic instruments (called Dewanatrons) that kind of look like furniture; their music is as unusual and interesting as the instruments they use to make it. The duo are in Troy tomorrow (Friday) for a 7 PM performance; arrive early for “show and tell.”

Check out casperland for more on the venue. They’re looking for local electronic artists to showcase their wares—if you are interested in curating an event, send a pitch to kate@casperelectron or peter@casperelectronics .com.

STANDING BEHIND OUR WORD Just two weeks ago, we named Scientific Maps Best Pop Band in our Best of the Capital Region issue, based on the quirky-confident songs of Aaron Smith and the band’s recent Hold On Whoever You Are. And now we have further proof: Scientific Maps will release a new EP, titled Galvanic Wizardry, this Friday. The seven-song disc is their first official release for the B3nson Recording Company (Hold On was issued as a free download this spring), and will be celebrated with a release party Friday at Valentine’s. More on the show at, and more on the Maps at

Also getting a cut of the cake Friday night will be Salon Style, the new project from former Kamikaze Heart Gaven Richard. There’ll be a new two-song CD available, featuring Richard pretty much singing his own words over some old prog-rock records. Seriously, check it out, it’s a trip.

WALL OF SOUND This is gonna take some mighty big microphones. We reported in last month’s profile of saxophonist-bandleader Keith Pray (“Full House,” Listen Here, June 18) that he and his 17-piece Big Soul Ensemble had been recording their recent performances for a live record they expected to release in August. Looks like they’re looking to squeeze in a few more takes: In addition to the group’s regular first-Tuesday stand at Tess’ Lark Tavern this week, they are on the Lark schedule twice more this month, on Aug. 11 and 18—both Tuesdays, and both free. Check up at to find out more about the release.

EARLY TO RISE Monday morning, before you woke up, a slice of Capital Region music—Adirondack folk, specifically—made the national airwaves. NBC’s Today show kicked off a new vacation series by sending hosts Meredith Viera and Ann Curry to the Sagamore Resort in Bolton Landing. Sure enough, the hosts did a bit of a jig to the music of Lake George’s long-running Stony Creek Band, who were given a nice little spot just after 9 AM.

—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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