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DEAL, SEALED We didn’t want to say it when we called them Best New Band in our 2008 Best of the Capital Region issue. We bit our tongues a few months later when we featured them on our cover. And in this summer’s Best Of issue, we came this close to naming them Best Band, but we backed away for fear of jinxing their odds. (Also, we gave them a different title.) But now we can stop whispering and start celebrating: This week, Saratoga Springs duo Phantogram officially signed to Seattle-based mega-indie Barsuk Records. They’ve been added to the Barsuk Web site (, where it’s been announced that the band’s full-length debut Eyelid Movies will receive an early 2010 release. Congratulations to Josh and Sarah on all their success! We’ll hear more from the up-and- coming duo in the upcoming Metroland Local Music Issue.

. . . AND THEN THERE WERE SIX For the last several Thursdays, a parade of regional vocalists have brought their A game to the Revolution Hall stage in hopes of taking home a $5,000 prize and the promise of superstardom. This Friday, it’s the final round of the successful Capital Region’s Got Talent competition, with the final six contestants—Courtney Biondo, Danielle Gaudin, Sharon MacPherson, Eric Margan, Danielle Mozeleski, and wild-card pick James Dowen—squaring off for the big prize with performances of their own original material. In addition, all of the top 20 contestants will join together onstage for an American Idol-esque finale. Friday’s show will be televised on Time Warner Cable channel 3; highlights from all of the events are viewable at

BOOK TALK Few jazz critics have as illustrious a resume as author Gary Giddins. The longtime Village Voice critic (his “Weather Bird” column ran weekly from 1974 to 2003) is one of the most rewarded writers in his field, notably having won the National Book Critics Circle Award for his 1998 book Visions of Jazz: The First Century. His writings have appeared in dozens of publications, and his full-length works are often tagged with descriptors like “definitive” and “essential.” Giddins, who currently teaches at the City University of New York’s Graduate Center, will be in the area to discuss his latest “comprehensive” tome, simply titled Jazz, next Thursday, Oct. 22, at 7:30 PM, at the Schenectady County Community College’s Taylor Auditorium. The event, presented by the New York State Writers Institute, is free and open to the public. For more info, call 442-5620.

THE GOOD FIGHT After local singer-songwriter Rob Jonas lost his mother to cancer a few years ago he took up the battle himself, assembling a host of regional musicians for a concert he dubbed the All-Star Acoustic Jam to benefit the American Cancer Society. Now in its third year, the Jam is expanding: This year’s event takes place on Oct. 24, from noon to 11 PM, at both area Emack & Bolio’s locations (Albany and Guilderland). Twenty acts are slated to perform—10 at each store—including solo artists like Jonas, Rob Skane and Maurizio, as well as groups like Big Nixon and Emerald Dawn. The shows are free, with the stores and artists donating a portion of sales to the ACS; donations will be accepted at both locations.

This Saturday, Jonas can be seen playing keyboard with his band, Sumac, as they provide the music for the Albany All-Stars Roller Derby at the Washington Avenue Armory. Find out more at

I PREDICT A RIOT Power-poppers the Charlie Watts Riots have been making noise on the club scene for more than a year. Now the band have announced that they’ve entered the studio to record their first full-length album, which will be produced by Paint Chip Records guru Dominick Campana. A release is expected around the end of the year. Preview a few tracks at, or catch them on your radio: The band’s recent CRUMBS Night Out performance at the Linda will air on WAMC next Wednesday, Oct. 21.

—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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