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Los Lobos

If you’ve paid any attention at all to the music press in, say, the last quarter-century or so, you’ve seen Los Lobos lathered madly in superlatives. The band—who will play a free concert in Washington Park on Monday (Aug. 2)—got their start in East L.A. in the late ’70s, and by the time they broke in the middle ’80s with How Will the Wolf Survive?, their energetic and seamless incorporation of Tex-Mex, R&B, folk, rock and traditional Spanish and Mexican music hit professional-fanboy scribblers with the force of a revelation. From coast to coast, critics were falling all over themselves to praise the band, and fans attached themselves to the group with rabid dedication (if not in great number). If you follow the music press, though, you’ll also know that this high praise and loyal following don’t mean squat if it isn’t coupled with massive sales; so you won’t be surprised to hear that Los Lobos have bounced from label to label in search of a proper home and an understanding and enlightened exec to shelter them.

The band’s most recent album, The Ride, and a companion EP, Ride This, are both now available on Hollywood Records, and we’re all hoping that the folks there know what a good thing they’ve got on their hands. (Hollywood Records is owned by Disney, so we’re also hoping snowballs don’t melt in hell, but anyway . . .). For The Ride, the band called on some old friends and heroes to add dimension and kink to their already inclusive sound: Bobby Womack, Little Willie G, Dave Alvin, Richard Thompson, Elvis Costello and Tom Waits, among others, all pitch in; and on the EP, Los Lobos express their gratitude by covering the songs of those same, offering up their own versions of Womack’s “More Than I Can Stand,” Alvin’s “Marie Marie,” Thompson’s “Shoot Out the Lights,” Costello’s “Uncomplicated,” and Waits’ “Jockey Full of Bourbon,” just to name a few highlights. And, yes, all evidence we can gather indicates that Los Lobos have every intention of hauling these covers out on the road. (No word yet as to whether they’ll cover anything by labelmate Hilary Duff, but really that’d just be icing on the cake, wouldn’t it?)

Los Lobos will play a free show in Albany’s Washington Park on Monday (Aug. 2) at 7:30 PM. Maria Zementauski and Alegria will open. For more information, call (866) 333-8191.

A Summer Place

No, we’re not referring to the 1950s Sandra Dee flick or the nifty Max Steiner tune that served as its theme. This is the new exhibit at the Hyde Collection, and the full title is A Summer Place: Lake George Photographs by Lucy Bixby.

There is a ’50s connection, however: Bixby used a 1953 Rolleiflex camera to take these sepia-toned photos of her family home on Lake George. According to the Hyde, Bixby “deftly captures the architecture, family life, landscape and antique powerboats that embody the unique atmosphere of this summer place.”

Hmm . . . we can almost hear the nostalgic opening triplets of Steiner’s theme as we ponder Vivi’s Last Day (1997, pictured).

A Summer Place opens in the Hyde Collection Museum’s Rotunda Gallery (161 Warren St., Glens Falls) on Sunday (Aug. 1), and continues through Sept. 19. For more information, call 792-1761.

The Nose

When the curtain rises on Dmitri Shostakovich’s opera The Nose, this is what happens: “A barber awakens and recognizes the nose of his customer Kovalyov in his bread at breakfast.”

Well, how about that. That’s not the way most operas begin. That is, unless it is a 20th-century Russian opera, composed under the contemporary influence of such 1920s composers as Paul Hindemith and Alban Berg, and based on a snarky 19th-century story by the wonderful absurdist Nikolai Gogol.

Needless to say, when Kovalyov discovers that his nose has departed from his face, he is quite displeased. He is even more unhappy to discover that the nose has acquired the garb of someone of higher social standing and has taken the position that “there can be no close relationship between them.” Poor Kovalyov spends the rest of the show trying to reacquire his errant, social-climbing proboscis.

Hard to believe, but this Bard College production of The Nose is the opera’s “East Coast professional premiere.” Directed by Francesca Zambello and featuring the American Symphony Orchestra, The Nose promises to be one of the highlights of this season’s Russian-themed Bard Summerscape. (Other events include a terrific Russian film series and the Bard Music Festival, Shostakovich and His World.)

The Nose opens tomorrow (Friday, July 30) at 8 PM at Bard’s Sosnoff Theater (Richard B. Fisher Center, Bard College, Annandale-on-Hudson). There are additional performances Sunday (Aug. 1) at 2 PM, and the following Friday and Saturday (Aug. 6-7) at 8 PM. Tickets are $65, $50, $35, and can be purchased online at summerscape.bard.edu, or by calling (845) 758-7900.


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