probably safe to say that “indie rock” wouldn’t be the big,
hairy deal it is today had a bunch of folks not grown tired
of the status quo, a couple decades back, and forged some
“alternative.” Twenty-five years ago, a few of these very
folks decided to start an independent radio station in Manchester,
Vt., and WEQX began broadcasting the “real alternative”
rock all across the Hudson Valley. On Sunday, the station
celebrates its birthday with a show featuring indie-buzz
band Silversun Pickups, who, no doubt, owe a debt of gratitude
to those alt-rock pioneers.
soon as their debut Carnavas dropped in 2006, people
started comparing Silversun Pickups to the Smashing Pumpkins,
so, by now, they might be getting a little wary of the analogy
(not that it’s unflattering). With this year’s follow-up,
Swoon, they made a strong case that My Bloody Valentine
have been at least as influential.
Helping hang streamers and blow up balloons will be rising
garage rockers Cage the Elephant and Australian indie-pop
duo An Horse.
Silversun Pickups play Northern Lights (1208 Route 146,
Clifton Park) on Sunday (Oct. 18) at 7 PM. Tickets are $25.
Call 371-0012 for more info.
Teige and Volkmar Klien
EMPAC first opened its doors last fall, The New York
Times declared the venue a “technological pleasure dome
for the mind and senses . . . dedicated to the marriage
of art and science.” Within that pleasure dome, the intimate
Studio 1 provides an acoustically honed, 360-degree “aural
environment” featuring 36 loudspeakers surrounding the listening
One would imagine it, perhaps, as the perfect sonic playground
for cutting-edge European sound designers with names like
Volkmar. And one would be right.
This weekend, German sonic artist Daniel Teige and Austrian
composer Volkmar Klien will conclude their EMPAC residencies
with two performances of works created or adapted specifically
for Studio 1. No doubt these multichannel sound collages
defy description, so head to EMPAC and experience them for
Daniel Teige and Volkmar Klien will perform their exclusive
works at the area’s favorite state-of-the-art Experimental
Media and Performing Arts Center (Studio 1, 110 8th St.,
Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute, Troy) tomorrow (Friday)
and Saturday (Oct. 16-17) at 8 PM. Tickets are $15, $10
for seniors, students, RPI faculty and staff and $5 for
RPI students. For more info, call the EMPAC box office at
Steve Martin and the Steep Canyon Rangers
know the iconic funnyman as so many things: actor, author,
playwright, producer, comedian, composer, serial Saturday
Night Live host, even juggler.
But in the world of bluegrass, Steve Martin is renowned
for something else entirely. He is a self-taught banjo-pluckin’
master of clawhammer. It might sound like the start of a
standup bit, but clawhammer is a tricky five-finger picking
technique, and Martin’s nimble fingers have earned him the
respect (and opportunity to record with) the likes of bluegrass
legend Earl Scruggs, Vince Gill and Dolly Parton.
His new album, The Crow: New Songs for the Five-String
Banjo topped Billboard’s bluegrass charts for
months this year; The New York Times called it “a
charming and accomplished effort.”
So, when Martin comes to Troy this week, expect banjo, not
bunny ears. And while you’re guaranteed at least a bit of
absurdist banter, Martin takes his music very seriously.
In fact, the liner notes to The Crow find the man
who declared on the stand-up stage that “you can’t play
a sad song on the banjo” waxing poetic about the instrument’s
capacity for expressing “inexplicable sadness.”
Steve Martin and the Steep Canyon Rangers bring their twang,
melody and melancholy to the Troy Savings Bank Music Hall
(2nd and State streets, Troy) on Tuesday (Oct. 20) at 8
PM. Tickets range from $65 to $110. For more info, or to
purchase tickets, call 273-0038.