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From Autumn to Ashes

It may prove that we’ve got to lay the blame at the feet of musicians whom we actually like—early Alice Cooper, maybe, or Bowie—but the once-innovative high-camp theatrical element of rock & roll has been taken too far. Maybe it is the phenomenally successful and overtly, crassly commercial Kiss who should bear responsibility, but in certain types of heavy music, when the ideas run thin, the make-up bills run high. Props, pancake and pro forma aggression take the place of skill and sincere sentiment. (Insane Clown Posse, anyone?)

Fortunately, this is not the case with From Autumn to Ashes.

The band, who typify themselves as “ahead-of-the-curve hardcore,” don’t resort to the showboaty spectacle of some of their contemporaries—but this is not to say that they’re a run-of-the-mill headbanging operation. To distinguish themselves, From Autumn to Ashes simply do what feels right, and in so doing break some basic rules of the hard-rock genre. For example, FATA (as they are known to their fans) have not only two vocalists, but two lyricists. Drummer-vocalist Fran Mark and vocalist Ben Perri share lyric-writing responsibilities within songs, often writing from completely differently narratological perspectives. “Sure, it can throw you,” Mark has said. “But you can get a two for one, [and] pull so much more meaning out of the songs.”

This dramatic, almost dialectical, approach to songwriting allows the band to better flesh out some of their “high-concept” themes—this isn’t boy-girl, call-and-response “Paradise By the Dashboard Light” style banter. The “Autumn” of the band’s name is a reference to a character in an as-yet-unwritten book, not the season, and the storyline is one that is regularly alluded to in the band’s compositions. And in keeping with a quasi-literary experience, From Autumn to Ashes seek to provide a range of emotional response for their audiences, shifting from the headcrushing to the thought-provoking, alternating “raging storms with respites of gorgeous, lush, calm instrumentation.”

Look, ma, no mascara!

From Autumn to Ashes will perform at Saratoga Winners (Route 9, Latham) on Sunday (Sept. 7). Tickets for the 7:30 PM show are $12 in advance, $14 on the day of the show. Also on the bill are Cave In, Every Time I Die and Funeral for a Friend. For more information, call 783-1010.

Woodstock Tattoo and Body Arts Festival

Where can you take your 12-year-old daughter to witness a real-life person getting a tattoo, in order to deter her urge to partake in the ink? The Woodstock Tattoo and Body Arts Festival! This weekend, tattoo artists and piercers galore will take over Woodstock to share their art and show off their wares. The festival’s abundance includes on-site tattooing in seven different venues; live bands all weekend; tattoo artists’ paintings for sale; tattoo workshops and seminars; a special Sept. 11 memorial exhibit by artist Spider Webb; and many, many other things. This event claims to be a celebration of all the arts, with tattooing as the common thread linking music, film, painting, sculpture, photography and fashion. There will be book signings, guest speakers and lecturers, and of course, merchandise, arts, crafts and food vendors.

The Woodstock Tattoo and Body Arts Festival will be held in Woodstock this weekend (Sept. 5-7). Shuttles and busses will be provided to make parking easier. For more information, including an event schedule, a list of featured artists, lodging, contests, and more, go to

Form(ation): Modern & Contemporary Works From the Feibes & Schmitt Collection

Hyde House may be closed for renovations, but the rest of the Hyde’s galleries are still open for business. If you’re feeling nostalgic for the last century already, then the Hyde will indulge your passion with a modernist trip down memory lane.

Opening this Sunday is an exhibition that amounts to a kind of 20th-Century Western Art’s Greatest Hits, with a selection of 55 works by 35 American and European 20th-century artists. The will be a variety of works, including sculpture, paintings, collage and drawings. The period covered spans the years from 1914 to 2000, and features pieces by Louise Nevelson, Man Ray, Wassily Kandinsky, Robert Motherwell, Grace Hartigan, Isamu Noguchi, Keith Haring, Andy Warhol, Jean Arp, Giacomo Balla and 25 more hitmakers, er, artists.

These works are all from the private collect-ion of Werner Feibes and Jim Schmitt; the fully illustrated catalogue features an essay by New York Times art critic Ken Johnson.

Form(ation): Modern & Contemporary Works From the Feibes & Schmitt Collection opens Sunday (Sept. 7) and runs through Dec. 7 in the Charles R. Wood Gallery at the Hyde Collection (161 Warren St., Glens Falls). Gallery hours are Tuesday through Saturday from 10 AM to 5 PM (open until 7 PM on Thursday), and noon to 5 PM on Sunday. Admission is free. For more information, call 792-1761.

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