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ROUGH MIX

FEBRUARY 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.

AND 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.

IN 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.

HORSE 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 858-1595.

INS 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. Bondy.

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. 23).

All in all, it’s looking like a strong fall season. Watch for more dates in next week’s Metroland Fall Arts Preview.

—John Brodeur

Let us know about local-music news and happenings for inclusion in Rough Mix: E-mail tips and information to tigerpop1@ yahoo.com or metroland@metroland.net.



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