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Twang and Bang European Tour Send-off for Slick Fitty

Slick Fitty are set to rock the downstairs stage at Valentine’s this Sunday to celebrate a pretty damn big event in their lives: They’re about to take off for their first European tour! The guys have landed themselves a six-week tour of cities in Germany, Sweden, and possibly Denmark.

The band, who formed in the mid-’90s, have gone through a couple of incarnations. The lineup now includes original members Mickey King on drums, Justin Birk on sax and Bryce Johnson on vocals and guitar; the newcomers are Brian Springfield (of F-Timmi) on bass and locally renowned guitarist Scotty Mac.

Scotty, who joined the band on lead guitar after a yearlong hiatus during which he recovered from arm surgery, says the guys are very excited. “None of us have toured overseas on such a large-scale operation,” he says.

On Jan. 6, Slick Fitty will fly into Amsterdam, where they will hang out until they leave for their first gig in Berlin on Jan. 8. They’ll return home on Feb. 17, unless they’re kidnapped by raving fans, of course. They’ll have a little downtime during the tour to do some sightseeing—Scotty says that since a couple guys in the band are World War II buffs, they’ll explore the historic sights associated with that part of history. Also, they’re going to make it a point to see Kaiserkeller in Hamburg (one of the famed clubs where the Beatles played in the early ’60s, just before they became a sensation).

The band are eager to discover the opportunities that this tour could possibly present to them. “We feel that this is definitely a step in the right direction. . . . Remember that Europeans have a much greater appreciation for American music than Americans do,” Scotty says. “We’re hoping to make as many friends and contacts as we can so, provided we are not a flop, we can go over again and make it a regular thing. And considering nobody knows us there yet, we have no where else to go but up!”

To say “Bon voyage,” join Slick Fitty for the Twang and Bang European Tour Send-off at Valentine’s (17 New Scotland Ave., Albany) on Sunday (Jan. 4) at 8 PM. Cover is $5; for more information, call the club at 432-6572.

—Kathryn Lurie

Berkshire Bach Ensemble

So you can’t get to Austria tomorrow for the Vienna Philharmonic’s annual New Year’s concert of Strauss waltzes. Big deal. There’s an equally fine annual tradition right here in the Capital Region: the Berkshire Bach Ensemble’s annual performance of J.S. Bach’s Six Brandenburg Concerti.

As you probably have heard, the concerti, now considered among Bach’s most compelling works—and that’s saying something—were composed on a commission from the Margrave Christian Ludwig of Brandenburg. (You know, the youngest son of the Elector of Hamburg.) Bach sent the elaborately orchestrated manuscript to the Margrave, who promptly tossed it up on the shelf where it remained, untouched and ignored. Don’t follow the example of the Margrave and ignore this great music.

The Berkshire Bach Ensemble will perform the Six Brandenburg Concerti on New Year’s Day (Thursday, Jan. 1) at 3 PM at the Troy Savings Bank Music Hall (State and 2nd streets, Troy). Tickets are $30 and $20. For reservations and information, do not call the music hall ticket office. Call (866) 296-4194.

Shout! The Art of Protest

If you perused last week’s Metroland Year in Pictures issue, you might have acquired the impression that 2003 was the year of the protester. And you just might be right: Add a major hegemonic war to the usual political and social injustice, and there was plenty to squawk about. In this spirit, Hudson’s Time & Space Limited is hosting an exhibition dedicated to the art of protest.

This idea for this celebration of activism began with TSL founder Linda Mussmann: “Generally people don’t know enough about antiwar, political poster art. The concept of manifesto making was part of me becoming an artist. . . . I thought it was time to bring the manifestos back. To be bold.”

Shout! will feature artwork “dedicated to themes of manifesto, liberation and the celebration of democracy.” A full range of expression will be represented: poster art, silkscreen, photography, paintings, notebooks, installations, video and performance. (Plan to spend enough time to be able to take it all in.) Artists represented will include Sondra Applebaum, Claudia Bruce, Sara Gilbert, Aviva Gold and more than three-dozen others.

Shout! The Art of Protest opens on Saturday (Jan. 3) at Time & Space Limited (434 Columbia St., Hudson) with a free reception from 5:30 to 7:30 PM. This will be followed by an 8 PM concert of politically inspired music with Johnny Asia and Gus Mancini, and a reading by Donna Minkowitz. Tickets for the concert and reading are $7.50, $5. For regular gallery hours and more information, call 822-8448.

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