Elephant 6 Collective centered loosely in Athens, Ga., has
always been a sprawling, inclusive thing. Bands such as
Neutral Milk Hotel, Elf Power, Apples in Stereo, Olivia
Tremor Control and Of Montreal have shared styles, influences
and members to the extent that it’s tough to know where
one band ends and another begins. And the live experience
of those bands is a virtual potluck for the concertgoer;
you’ve got to expect the unexpected.
So, when Of Montreal’s Kevin Barnes comes to Valentine’s
on Saturday under the moniker A Pollinair Rave, there will
be music—we’re pretty much positive of that. And, actually,
we’ve been given reason to believe that the music will be
Of Montreal’s music, so there’s a good chance you’ll hear
songs from Aldhils Arboretum, Of Montreal’s most
recent collection of psychedelic pop (which critics have
lauded as the band’s most focused and catchy). But there
also will be the performance of short plays written by Barnes’
brother; film and projected images; costumes; and, we’re
told, screaming. That’s just for starters.
Also on the bill: the Kamikaze Hearts’ Gaven Richard, who
will perform songs from his newest solo work, the brilliant
and melancholy Restaurant Island. Press materials
are vague as to whether this is a solo or supported performance—and,
in keeping with a theme, we might not tell you even if we
knew. We all love surprises.
The Stars of Rock will be present as well, and in augmented
form: They’ve swiped Gregory Adams of the Users for the
night, so you may hear both SOR songs and Greg Adams compositions.
You might hear a track or two from Stars frontman Brent
Gorton’s solo record, San Diego. It’s possible that
the hopped-up Stars of Rock will play a Kamikaze Hearts
song. Maybe Kevin Barnes’ brother has written a play about
Kamikaze Heart Troy Pohl. Maybe Troy Pohl will show up to
star in an abridged production of The Rose. There’s
only one way to be absolutely certain.
A Pollinair Rave will play Valentine’s (17 New Scotland
Ave., Albany) on Saturday (Feb. 22), along with the Stars
of Rock and Gaven Richard. Tickets for the 9 PM show are
$8. For more information, call 432-6572.
in the Shadows of Motown
the music fans among you, who have heard of the Funk Brothers?
Raise your hands. Impressive. Now how many of you haven’t?
Interesting. Would you believe that this band of fellas
have been on more No. 1 records than the Beatles, the Rolling
Stones, the Beach Boys and Elvis combined? (You’ve heard
of them, haven’t you.)
Well the Funk Brothers were basically unacknowledged during
their day, although the studio band plucked from Detroit’s
fertile club scene by Motown head Berry Gordy Jr. during
that label’s heyday were the creators of that “Motown sound”
the kids went so wild for—backing such stars of the day
such as the Supremes, the Temptations and Stevie Wonder.
The film Standing in the Shadows of Motown, coming
to TSL Warehouse this weekend and next, intends to bring
to light the pioneering work of these unsung heroes.
in the Shadows of Motown began as a book, a labor of
love by musician Allan Slutsky, which focused on legendary
Funk Brother bassist James Jamerson (whose jazz and blues
background, unique approach and intuition for the bass revolutionized
the playing of the instrument in pop and R&B for years
to come). Slutsky spent 11 years raising money for the filmic
version of his tale, the scope of which was expanded to
include all of the Funk Brothers, and enlisted music-video
and documentary director Paul Justman.
The film, narrated by actor Andre Braugher, is part documentary
and part concert: Interviews with surviving members of the
group, archival footage and re-created scenes are interspersed
with scenes from a 2000 Funk Brothers reunion show featuring
Chaka Khan, Ben Harper, Bootsy Collins, Montell Jordan,
Me’shell Ndegeocello, Joan Osborne and Gerald Levert. The
soundtrack alone is reason enough to attend the screening,
as 20 Motown master tracks are included (which is, apparently,
a difficult score—no pun intended—as Mr. Gordy is reluctant
to lease the tunes out to just anybody).
in the Shadows of Motown will be screened at Time &
Space Limited (434 Columbia St., Hudson) tonight (Thursday,
Feb. 20), tomorrow (Friday, Feb. 21) and Saturday (Feb.
22) at 7 PM; Sunday (Feb. 23) at 4 PM; and next Thursday
(Feb. 27) and Friday (Feb. 28) at 7 PM. Tickets are $7.50.
Call 822-8448 for information.
out your handkerchiefs—Pinkerton’s about to do Cio-Cio-San
wrong again, in Puccini’s lushly romantic opera of passion
and betrayal, Madame Butterfly. The tragedy of the
selfish-but-suave American sailor who marries and abandons
a more-or-less unworldly Japanese girl is one of the best-known
(to non-opera fans) and loved of the Italian master’s many
works. This production, by the London City Opera, has been
praised by critics for the simplicity of its sets, the beauty
of its costumes, and the soft textures of its inspired lighting.
The singing is supposed to be pretty good, too.
Formed seven years ago by its artistic director, Martin
McEvoy, the London City Opera is principally a touring company—meaning
they don’t actually spend too much time in London. What
they have done in their extensive travels, however, is build
a reputation for first-class productions of much-loved opera
and operetta warhorses, including La Boheme, Die
Fledermaus, The Merry Widow, HMS Pinafore
The London City Opera will perform Madame Butterfly
on Tuesday (Feb. 25) at 8 PM at Proctor’s Theatre (432 State
St., Schenectady). The performance will be in Italian with
English supertitles. Tickets are $39, $36, and $34. Call
346-6204 for reservations and information.