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Sly Fox and the Hustlers

Rough Mix

DO THE HUSTLE You gotta like a band who deliver the goods right out of the gate, and Sly Fox and the Hustlers do just that on their debut EP, The Low-Life. From the start of “Back in Funk” they bring pretty much what their bio promises: “Heavy Voodoo Blues over Sweaty Funky Grooves.” The six-piece band recorded the disc at percussionist Carl Blackwood’s Warming Room Studios, and it’s a solid, professional set of high-energy barroom- and party-rock. Sly and the rest will celebrate The Low-Life with a release party at Red Square on Saturday; Sean Rowe, who co-wrote two of the disc’s seven tracks (and who, we hear, has a pretty special new release of his own on the way) opens. More info at

SUCKING IN SYNCHRONICITY The Figgs were, as expected, the most-named band in last week’s Local Music Issue survey (“New No. 1,” Nov. 4). So the timing ain’t bad for a 10th-anniversary reissue of the 2000 Figgs classic Sucking in Stereo. Sucking was the band’s first as a trio, a tight-wound, punk-charged 31 minutes of precision pop (and easily one of my personal favorite Figgs records). Matto LaQue’s Peterwalkee Records will release the vinyl-only reissue in December, with a 10-day presale deal (and “lots of bonus materials”) available at beginning Nov. 18. And the band will perform the entire album live at their annual holiday shows: Dec. 10 at Valentine’s, and Dec. 11 at Putnam Den.

NEVER DRONE ALONE If you tuned into this summer’s Best of the Capital Region issue (July 29) you might have paused and wondered, just who is Holland Hopson and what exactly makes him the Best Retro-Futurist? Since we invented the category, you’ll just have to trust us. Or you can make up your own name for what Hopson does when he hosts the “Drone-A-Long” at the Arts Center of the Capital Region in Troy this evening (Thursday, 7 PM). The event invites anyone—“an experienced sound artist or an open-minded newbie”—to bring an instrument along and join in the minimalism. It’s free to listen or participate, and it seems like a pretty surefire way to get on the spaceship.

Not to be out-droned, the Hindu Temple Cultural Center in Loudonville will host an evening of Kirtan singing with Wah! this Saturday, presented by Amma Albany Satsang. Though the higher plane at this event may not be reached through peaceful reflection: “It’s not a sit-down concert,” says the press release. “People dance . . . sing . . . meditate.” More information and tickets for the 7 PM concert are available at

DIFFERENT NAMES FOR THE SAME THING A few structural and official changes in Capital Region bandland. First, Mirk and the New Familiars, Metroland’’s 2010 pick for Best R&B Band (New School), have announced that they are streamlining their moniker, and will heretofore be known as simply Mirk. Rolls off the tongue, don’t it?

Also, if you caught the from-out-of-nowhere Phantogram concert at Skidmore College last weekend, you may have noticed that the duo brought not only more gear than usual, but more members. It was the final date of the group’s first headlining tour, on which they performed as a trio with drummer Tim Oakley. (Area music fans might know Oakley better as Albert Gorithm IV of the Mathematicians.) With just a few live dates scheduled through the end of the year, they’re expected to begin work on the follow up to their Barsuk Records debut, Eyelid Movies. As Josh Carter told Ethos magazine in September, “We had no intentions with [Movies] other than making it accessible to the Capital District of New York. Now that we have a fan base and the ball is rolling for us professionally, I’m really excited about putting out more music.”

—John Brodeur

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