BLOOMS Saratoga Springs
singer-songwriter Mike Grutka has been
a fixture on the Capital Region music scene for
some years now, but he’s been keeping a low profile
on the live calendar since releasing his fourth
album, Ria, last October. That all changes
this Friday when Grutka plays his first full-band
hometown show in three years at Putnam Den. And
he’s rolling out another new disc for the show,
making this a “kind of double release.” February
Sessions, written and recorded for this year’s
RPM challenge, which finds the one-man band in
a loose, live mode (Out of Time-era R.E.M.
and the Gin Blossoms come to mind) in comparison
to Ria’s electronica textures. Friday,
Grutka will be joined onstage by Brian Kaplan,
Brad Clossen and Mike O’Donnell; admission to
the show includes a copy of the new record. Check
out music from both albums at mikegrutka.com.
ON THE THIRD DAY? Ever the hard-working rockers,
Albany band the Erotics are back with a
new album, Today the Devil, Tomorrow the World,
and are preparing to head out on another U.K.
tour—their fifth—starting in London on Sept. 16.
But just because they’re touring on the other
side of the Atlantic doesn’t mean they forgot
about their loyal locals: tomorrow (Friday), Valentine’s
will host a release party for Today the Devil
where, as ever, admission ($6.66, naturally) includes
a copy of the disc. To commemorate the event,
CDs at this show will have only the date and venue
printed on the cover. It’s like a rock version
of the giant foam finger. More on the band’s fall
plans at erotic rocknroll.net.
THE SPIRIT The duo of Michael Eck and Tom
Lindsay, collectively Lost Radio Rounders,
are launching the Third Thursday Charity Concert
Series, three fall concerts that explore a “wide
variety of historic American spiritual music in
a vibrant acoustic setting.” They’ll be joined
by a heap of great guests on these dates: Jim
Gaudet, Bob Ristau and Ryan Dunham are on board
for the Sept. 16 event, subtitled “Mountain Gospel:
The Sacred Roots of Country Music.” The residency
is in association with the McKownville United
Methodist Church (concerts will take place in
their performance space) and proceeds from each
event will go to an organization selected by the
church. (The first show is a benefit for Habitat
for Humanity.) Information on all three concerts
is available at lost radiorounders.com.
PLAY It’s an upstate New York fact that when
the racing season is over, nobody thinks about
horses again until the following July. But Chatham-based
nonprofit Equine Advocates are all about horses,
year-round—the organization’s sanctuary is home
to 79 rescued horses and other equines. On Sept.
19, the Parting Glass will host Rockin’ Horses,
an all-day benefit concert for Equine Advocates,
featuring music from a mighty stable of local
acts. (See what I did there?) On the bill are
Bicycle Mary, Gracie’s Paris, Dave
Graham of the Blisterz, Matt Mirabile,
Zombie Bomb, Bayou-funk fixtures Jocamo,
and a headline set from everywhere-all-the-time
duo Sirsy. Learn more about the event and
the organization at equine advocates.org or call
AND OUTS We’re still a little bummed by last
week’s sudden news that Bread and Jam Cafe
was closing up shop, as the venue had been extremely
supportive of local and independent artists. (Congrats,
though, to owner Sal Prizio on his new gig as
director of programming at St. Rose’s Massry Center!)
In the wake of that, two slightly larger venues
are flying the indie flag with new fall series.
Woodstock’s Bearsville Theater kicks off
a series this week to celebrate artists they believe
“are exceptional, but they are not widely known
here.” Sunday’s show features the Barr Brothers
(members of the Slip); coming shows include Brazilian
percussionist Cyro Baptista and troubadour A.A.
Meanwhile, Indie 8th Step introduces some
young blood into the mix of Eighth Step at
Proctor’s shows. The series aims to highlight
artists including North Carolina chamber-folk
group Lost in the Trees (Sept. 24) and a sweet
double bill of Railbird and Cuddle Magic (Oct.
All in all, it’s looking like a strong fall season.
Watch for more dates in next week’s Metroland
Fall Arts Preview.
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