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Alex Torres and His Latin Orchestra

TOO MUCH INFORMATION The B3nson Recording Company has been crazy productive these last few years. And if this Friday’s event is any indication, they’re not about to slow down heading into the next decade—no less than three new B3nson releases will be celebrated at Valentine’s tomorrow (Friday). The three acts are, of course, all part of the extended family: the Boston Celtics pair two members of B3nson band Beware! The Other Head of Science; that band’s drummer, Seth Tillinghast, performs solo as Littlefoot; and the Hoborchestra are a mixed bag of B3nson family members and friends led by Tim Koch of Sgt. Dunbar and the Hobo Banned. Those acts will perform, and new CDs from all three will be available—individually, or as a package deal—at Friday’s show; read a review of Littlefoot’s If You Give a Grouch a Guitar in this week’s Recordings section (page 26).

LICENSE TO SALSA The sounds of Amsterdam heat up the big screen this holiday season thanks to two prominent film placements for the Capital Region’s own Alex Torres and His Latin Orchestra. The Orchestra’s 2002 song “Con Mi Ritmo” was heard in the Disney film Old Dogs, which hit theaters just before Thanksgiving. And, on Dec. 11, their “La Ropa Esta En El Baul” will be featured in The Slammin’ Salmon, a new picture from Super Troopers filmmakers Broken Lizard. If you’re not the moviegoing type, hang tight until March 2010, when the group’s new album Anejo is due for release.

MAXIMUM VISIBILITY Windows 7 wasn’t my idea, but this is a good one. Albany band Ten Year Vamp, who released their mostly-fan-funded Don’t Act Like You Know Me album in September, are getting a major circulation boost this week thanks to Microsoft. The band’s song “Another Try” is available for free download through Sunday at as part of a promotion for Playlist 7, a feature included in Microsoft’s new Windows PC operating system. If it racks up enough downloads, Ten Year Vamp could become a Playlist 7 featured artist. Go forth and right-click.

THE DEVIL WENT DOWN TO PEARL STREET Regular listeners of WQBK (103.5 and 103.9 FM), you are familiar with Mrozek, the DJ and guitarist who hosts the “Mrozek’s Mystery Riff” contest weekday afternoons. Mrozek and WQBK have taken to the clubs, with help from Yuengling brewery and Martin guitars, to find the Capital Region’s best guitarist. Following an online registration period, semifinal events were held last week at Tess’ Lark Tavern, and over the last two evenings at Savannah’s and the Bayou Cafe in Albany. And while word reached us too late to get our readers in on the competition, you can still be a part of the grand finale: The Guitar Wars finals take place on Friday, Dec. 10, with a slate of nine finalists set to battle it out on the big stage at Revolution Hall. The winner picks up a limited edition Yuengling/Martin guitar. Check for more details.

MORE NAPTIME Remember that Billy Joel and Elton John concert that was originally supposed to happen in July? And Joel got sick, and it took months to announce a new date, and the new date was supposed to be this Tuesday? Remember all that? Then this should be no surprise: After trading illnesses for the last few months, Joel is sick again, and the Face 2 Face Tour is now scheduled for March 11, 2010. Original tickets will again be valid for the new date—if they don’t disintegrate by then! Am I right, people? Face 2 Face tour? More like Gurney 2 Gurney! Hey-ooo!

—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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