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ROUGH MIX

Is this thing on? MotherJudge and Sten Isaschen. Photo by Leif Zurmuhlen

MOTHER OF INVENTION: MotherJudge and posse have been delighting music lovers with a Wednesday-night open mike at the Fuze Box since the warm summer months (mmmmm, summer), when she moved the popular event from the Larkin. On Sunday (Feb. 16) at the Fuze Box, the host and performer will oversee a live-recording session, very open to the public, for an upcoming CD release—“A first of a series of recording tributes to our MotherJudge Open Mic faithful,” she says—featuring a handful of talent that can be found at the event on any given week. Albie and Sten Isachsen will co-host Sunday’s show along with MotherJudge, and the featured performers are musicians Mitch Elrod, Jason Martin, Paddy Kilrain, Bryan Thomas, Troy Pohl and Bob Buckley, No Hellers, and poet Dan Wilcox. Other artists that will appear on the release include Mabel, knotworking, John Brodeur, the Arbor Hillbillies (Lynette and David), Steve Candelin, Laura Boggs, AC Everson, Michael Eck and Mary Panza. The show begins at 8 PM at the Fuze Box (12 Central Ave., Albany, 432-4472). You’ve heard about her open mikes; find out why.

Workin’ it: Wetwerks.

 

INDUSTRIAL REVOLUTION: Local electronic outfit Wetwerks, who won Best Band in our most recent Best Of issue, have been busy as of late. The band went to their manager’s stomping grounds, L.A., twice this past summer—once in May to record, once in September to showcase for some record labels. And despite the fact that their Viper Room show had a handful of interested labels—“They’re all huge labels, so it was a little bit intimidating,” the band’s vocalist-guitarist Seth Warden says of the situation—they came home unsigned. “Our mission, basically, when we got home was to record as much material as we can, because the record labels just say ‘Please give us more stuff,’ ” Warden explains. So record stuff they did, in their newly constructed mega-square-feet high-ceilinged Troy rehearsal space/studio, Hydrostatic Studios. There the band can set up a full live show, lights and all, as well as record in their multitrack digital studio.

The band’s sound is evolving, says Warden, who also states that cash is slowly trickling in for radio play on Channel 103.1 last year (which is also how their manager noticed them). “We got about 300 spins in all, which we just got our first royalty check from,” Warden says. It’ll be kind of hard to catch Wetwerks around here for some time, as they are loath to saturate the market. They’ve played the Chance recently, and will travel to Vermont and beyond to reach an audience. “We played the Chance the day after Christmas to about 400 kids, and we got all these e-mails saying, ‘We can’t wait to come to Albany to be with a crowd that supports you,’ ” Warden explains, laughing. “We’re lucky to get 150 people, you know.” Although it’s a consistent 150 for Wetwerks, which ain’t all that bad.

VIDEO WORLD: Bruise Bros. are really busy at the moment as well. They’ve been recording at Cotton Hill Studios under the production of Nashvillian Bart Walsh—aka one of David Lee Roth’s lead guitar players. “He is doing a great job,” claims the band’s vocalist Vegas. “It’s a three-song demo that will accompany the video we just shot over a two-week span.” The video for their single “Prove You Wrong” was shot by Billy Idol videographer Spencer Lasky, and all of it will be included on a DVD slated to be released this spring.

WHAT A TANGLED WEB WE WEAVE: More Web talk: Noreasterzine (www. noreasterzine.com) is a cool music site for reviews of the live and recorded variety, interviews, editors’ rants and the like. Speaking of editors, Matthew Heuston and John Dudley created the site in November 2001, “with the purpose of focusing attention on independent-underground artists that caught our fancy,” says Heuston, who is the local half of the pair (Dudley mans the Virginia headquarters). “We have grown in just four issues to include 11 contributors (from NYC to LA), with 19 interviews and 273 live and record reviews under our belts,” says Heuston. He and Dudley handle the marketing—including hitting festivals such as SXSW and Macrock as they did this year—as well as the editing and site maintenance. “Both of us work day jobs, so the rigors of putting together each issue take up most of our evening and weekends,” Heuston notes. But their hard work has paid off, as many in the independent industry take them seriously, and they get new releases sent to them “regardless of whether or not we’ve trashed their previous records,” Heuston says. The site content is thoughtful and provocative (they ask the tough questions, according to Heuston, steering clear “of any of the fanzine star worship or scenester lingo prevalent in most other rock publications”), and they get heaps of praise on their message board and from many an e-mail. “We see some angry responses too, but not enough to satisfy our appetites,” Heuston states. “We love negative mail. More hate mail please.”

The current issue of Noreasterzine features interviews with Les Savy Fav, the Fucking Champs, Bellini, the Cancer Conspiracy and Blake Fleming as well as reviews—and they have a killer links section. An offshoot of the zine is the record label Noreaster Failed Industries, which just released Southkill’s eponymous disc (which was reviewed this issue—see the Recordings page), and is also touting the compilation Songs for Failed Industry Vol. 1, featuring tracks from ex-Swirlies and ex-Tuscadero artists, New Zealand’s High Dependency Unit, Toronto’s Picastro, and our very own Glitter of Cohoes.

Check them out on the Web, and you can send ’em stuff to: 175 Jay St., #2F, Albany, NY 12210 or 6423 Richmond Highway #3205, Alexandria, VA 22306. And don’t forget the hate mail.

—Kate Sipher


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