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J From Factory Bands to Funk

Believe it or not, the Capital Region music scene predates knotworking, Burners U.K., Matto and Sirsy—and even Blotto and the Units. This ultragroovy exhibit at the Schenectady Museum and Planetarium casts a backward glance on our local music scene, all the way to the beginning of the last century. From Factory Bands to Funk: Music in the Capital Region, 1900 to the Present highlights “the creative process and the people involved in the process, amateurs and professional.”

With photos, band uniforms, memorabilia, recordings, ticket stubs and posters, the exhibit will open a window on everything from General Electric factory bands (like the natty fellows pictured here) to those aforementioned MTV pioneers, Blotto. Also, realizing that an exhibit about live music without live music would be missing something, the folks at the museum have scheduled concerts throughout June and July with such local musical heroes as Ruth Pelham, Ernie Williams, the Albany Symphony Orchestra, Lee Shaw, the Brian Patenaude Quartet and those nutty hiphop dudes from Pitch Control Music.

The first such event is this Sunday (June 6), with chamber ensemble Musicians of Ma’alwyck (2 PM), venerable Albany male chorus the Mendelssohn Club (3 PM), the Refreshing Spring Gospel Choir (4:15 PM) and the Empire Jazz Orchestra (7 PM). “Refreshments and fun” are also promised.

From Factory Bands to Funk opens June 6 at the Schenectady Museum and Planetarium (Nott Terrace Heights, Schenectady) and continues through Sept. 12. For more information, call 382-7890, and for a complete calendar of events, visit www.schenectadymuseum.org.

Art on Lark

It’s back—and it’s back on Lark Street. Art on Lark, Center Square’s annual art festival, was displaced to Washington Avenue last year due to the construction, and reconstruction, of Lark. This year the construction is done and the festival has a home again. Expect to find the People’s Choice Art Show, an annual favorite, at Trinity Methodist Church (235 Lark St.), where you can vote for your favorite artist or entry; the awards ceremony will take place at 4:30 PM. The Albany Public Library (161 Washington Ave.) is the site for the Albany Independent Film Forum, which will present local independent short films including the Masucci Brothers’ The Last Round. There will be plenty of things for the kids to do, too: The Kid’s Art Expo will be on display in the Trinity Church parking lot, and there also will be a parade and tons of crafts. Of course, there will be sidewalk musicians performing throughout the day, and local artisans will exhibit and sell their work as well.

Art on Lark will take over Lark Street in downtown Albany’s Center Square neighborhood on Saturday, June 5, from noon to 5 PM. For more information, call the Lark Street BID at 434-3861 or e-mail bid@larkstreet.org.

Hank Williams III

This ain’t your grandpappy’s Hank Williams. Heck, this ain’t even your daddy’s Hank Williams.

Hank Williams III—“Three” as he’s affectionately been dubbed by fans—has been leading something of a double life. In the keepin’-the-bloodline-pure department, he’s released two traditional country albums, Risin’ Outlaw and Lovesick Broke & Driftin’, in the vein of his late grandfather, and he has been touring the country seemingly nonstop with his Damn Band for quite some time. In 2001, the baby-faced Three and company played a coveted stand at the Grand Ole Opry, where they earned a raucous standing ovation from an audience who might well have thought they were witnessing the second coming of Hank himself (Bocephus who?).

What that night’s crowd didn’t know is that the young Hank has a bit of a rebellious streak. Alright, it’s a pretty huge one. In addition to holding down the bass-playing gig with Phil Anselmo’s Superjoint Ritual, Hank III also has been playing aggressive, hard-edged “hellbilly” music with his Assjack project alongside his more traditional fare for the last few years. Hank’s label—Nashville’s commercial-country-leaning Curb Records—actually refused to release his recent This Ain’t Country LP. How come? Well, for starters, representative titles include “Go Fuck You,” “Mary Fuckin’ Jane,” and our personal favorite, “Beer Drugs Flatt and Scruggs.” If that ain’t country, we don’t know what is.

Hank Williams III will play two sets—one with the Damn Band, one with Assjack—at Saratoga Winners tomorrow night (June 4). Porter Hall, TN will open the all-ages show at 8 PM. For more information, call the club at 783-1010.


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