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ROUGH MIX

We mourn the loss of another area artist, musician and friend, James Kopta, who died Friday, Aug. 9, in Halfmoon. The 30-year-old Clifton Park native was active in many musical pursuits, and was a songwriter and instrumentalist in area bands Brown Cuts Neighbors, Exploding Corpse Action, Hail Mary and Frank Budgen. He was also a major force behind the Troy-based music and art collective Department of Experimental Services, as well as an accomplished video producer, sculptural welder and author, among other pursuits. Our deepest sympathies go out to his friends and family.

Gotta love a screamer: The Necessary Effect—Screamers Songs Interpreted. .

The Brown Cuts Neighbors, featuring Kopta, Jason Martin, Marc Arsenault and Scott Smallwood, are joined by Tom Burre (of Bone Oil) and Michael Keegan (of Lincoln Money Shot), as contributors to The Necessary Effect—Screamers Songs Interpreted, a two-disc tribute to ’70s L.A. synth-punk pioneers the Screamers—a large feat indeed since the band released nary a record in their own time. The Neighbors recorded a version of the Screamers’ “I’m a Mensch,” joining 28 other bands for the effort. The Necessary Effect, which received four stars from Seattle’s The Stranger and was described by the paper as “Dark, damaged, and totally offbeat. . . a necessary disc for anyone who worships the art of punk noise,” is available in stores or from Seattle’s Xeroid/Extravertigo Records.

IT TAKES 50 MEN TO DO A MAN’S JOB: Collier Hyams’ fusion project 50 Man Machine has a new album out, and the eponymous CD is available at Border’s Books & Music and Barnes & Noble or online at cdbaby.com. What began as a performance art piece about education, identity, hope for the future and freedom, became a unique fusion ensemble featuring Hyams, Scott Smallwood (who also has contributed to Brown Cuts Neighbors, Nyquist and EVIDENCE), former 7 Nations bagpiper Neil Anderson, onetime Patti LaBelle bassist Marvin M. Williams, DJ Bernard Weekes and Mike Young Jr.

Getting their Irish up: the Mckrells.

IRISH I WAS AN OSCAR MEYER WEINER: The McKrells have a new CD out, Hit the Ground Running (Dráguin Records), which was produced by Chris Leske, assistant produced by Scott Petito, and recorded, mixed and mastered at NRS Studios in Catskill. The group’s sixth album features Sara Milonovich on fiddle, vocals, viola and tin whistles, and multi-instrumentalist Leske writing song lyrics. Petito, John Nolan and Steve Belcher also appear.

WE’VE GOT OURSELVES A LITTLE, AHEM, SITUATION HERE: Have you ever been channel surfing at, say, 11 o’clock and come across a show that you simply can’t figure out? It’s low on the dial, on WPIX-TV when they’re blacked out, and the short vignette is a weird cross between performance art and music video. Perhaps you turned to your couch companion to say, “What the hell is the Glenn Slingerland Situation, and what does it have to do with what I’m watching,” as a circular logo rimmed with those words, and filled with a retro radio guy shoving a retro microphone out of it, is occasionally flashed on the screen.

Well, wonder no more. The seven-minute long show, The Glenn Slingerland Situation, premiered March 12 on TimeWarner Cable, using WPIX’s time slot—which is blacked out at 11 PM due to FCC regulations. The Situation, based on Slingerland’s radio show that airs Sunday nights at 8 PM on 97.7 WBKK, aired three times a week, but beginning Monday (Aug. 19) it’s expanding to five.

The Situation has an odd air about it. It’s Slingerland’s way to showcase some of the latest music with some visual stimulation thrown in, in the form of dark-clad women leaning upon walls in alleyways, or upon street signs by the side of a road—reading. They read the paper, magazines, what-have-you, and they look mysterious. Slingerland plans it that way, as he doesn’t want the viewer to be able to place the story in time. So the scenes are somewhat ambiguous (Is it the ’80s or is it last week? I know that storefront—where the hell is it?), as is the plot (What is she reading). And the gals wear these secretly mischievous smiles and high heels. All the while, a new song by the Golden Palominos might be playing; or David Bowie, Weather Report, Sex Mob, Medeski Martin & Wood. According to Slingerland, the actors are merely there to keep the viewer company while they focus on the song.

The Glenn Slingerland Situation’s video production is taken care of by J.J. Faulkner of Ye Olde Digital, and it’s broadcast weeknights at 11 PM, with repeats at 11:10 and 11:20 each night (he’s got the space, he might as well use it). Check out www.gssituation.com for more information.

Singin’ in the Sunshine: Marty Wendell.

SUNSHINE AND LOLLIPOPS: Capital Region singer Marty Wendell recently recorded two songs for his next CD at Memphis’ legendary Sun Studio—which, as you may know, was founded by Sam Phillips in the ’50s, and its doors saw the comings and goings of Elvis, Johnny Cash, Carl Perkins, Jerry Lee Lewis, Roy Orbison, Howlin’ Wolf, Rufus Thomas and B.B. King. The songs from Wendell’s Sun Studio session (produced by James Lott, who worked on Carl Perkins’ last album, Go Cat Go, and Billy Swan’s Like Elvis Used to Do) will appear on the artist’s upcoming release. “Without the Sun Studio I might never have picked up a guitar,” Wendell has said.

IT’S ALL RELATIVE: In the it-doesn’t-have-any-local-connection-other-than-the-tremendous-influence-on-other-artist’s department (yes, we have one of those within the halls of Metroland), tomorrow, Aug. 16, marks the anniversary of Ramones first gig at CBGB’s, back in 1974.

Got Rough Mix items? Contact Kate Sipher at 463-2500, ext. 145 or ksipher@metroland.net.


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