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October Music Highlights

Fr 10/15- An Evening With THE PSYCHEDELIC FURS: TALK TALK TALK at Bearsville Theater, Woodstock—Ah, it’s something like this that makes you pretty darn glad to be in the Hudson Valley. The iconic UK group, The Psychedelic Furs, who were undoubtedly one of the most interesting “post-punk” bands of the 80s, will be performing their second album in its entirety—plus select hits—for only two American audiences before a European tour. And one of those audiences is Woodstock! Personally, I’m stoked; I still really love the original sound they pioneered: rich droning guitars, simple propulsive rhythm, the sharp bite of sax playing off Richard Butler’s rough-edged chant-like vocal. Talk Talk Talk (1981) was a Top Ten in the U.K., and its single “Dumb Waiters” finally broke the band in the U.S. at #27 on the Billboard chart. But the album also contained “Pretty in Pink,” which inspired the movie of the same name by John Hughes (1986), the Fur’s re-cut of the title tune anchoring its platinum-selling soundtrack. The band went through several iterations since, always with the founding brothers Richard and Tim Butler (bass), while enjoying a good string of hits and tours until splitting in the early 90s, when the Butler brothers formed Love Spit Love. But the band reunited in 2000, released Beautiful Chaos: Greatest Hits Live—which included three new studio songs—and though Hudson Valley resident Richard Butler has his own solo album and art career going nicely, the Furs new line-up is still very well-received worldwide. This show is worth it just to hear them tear up “Into You Like a Train.” Strong metaphor, that. Bearsville Theater, 293 Tinker St. (Rte. 212), Woodstock/Bearsville, www.bearsvilletheater.com, 845.679.4406. 9 PM

Fr-Su 10/22, 23, 24- AMERICAN SYMPHONY ORCHESTRA, directed by Leon Botstein (10/22-23), and CONSERVATORY SUNDAY: CHAMBER MUSIC, at Sosnoff Theater, Richard B. Fisher Center for the Performing Arts, Bard College, Annandale-on-Hudson—This weekend gets the 2010-2011 American Symphony Orchestra season—featuring Beethoven’s Sixth through Ninth Symphonies, as well as songs by 22nd Bard Music Festival focus Jean Sibelius—off to a proper bang. Of Sergei Rachmaninoff’s four legendary Piano Concertos, the least performed is certainly the First—Piano Concerto No. 1 in F-sharp minor, Op. 1—written by the composer as a student at the age of 19 (1892), to be shelved until after his Second and Third were completed, and revised in 1917. It’s still a vivacious, potent work, with Chi-Hui Yen featured on the piano. Ludwig Von Beethoven’s Symphony No. 6 in F major, Op. 68 is also known as the “Pastoral Symphony,” the great composer’s sonic representation of his love for natural settings; as the composer himself said, the Sixth is “more the expression of feeling than painting.” Clarinetist David Krakauer is also featured, performing Conor Brown’s Clarinet Concerto with the ASO. Then, on Sunday (3 PM), it’s Conservatory Sunday: Chamber Music, featuring conservatory students and faculty—including the Chimeg Quartet and pianist Melvin Chen—performing Brahms’ Sextet No. 1 in B-flat major, and Charles Ives’ Piano Trio. Richard B. Fisher Center, Bard College, Rte. 9G, Annandale-on-Hudson, www.fishercenter.bard.edu, 845.758.7900. AMERICAN SYMPHONY ORCHESTRA Fr/Sa 10/22 & 23 8 PM, CONSERVATORY SUNDAY Su 10/24 3 PM

Sa/Su 10/23 & 24- THE WOODSTOCK INVITATIONAL LUTHIER’S SHOWCASE at Bearsville Theater and Utopia Soundstage, Woodstock—This highlight could just as easily be in the art section, as some of the plethora of (mostly wooden) handmade stringed instruments to be displayed at the Woodstock Invitational Luthier’s Showcase could easily be considered works of art. Fine handmade instruments such as these are not usually available in music stores or other retail environments, and this is a rare opportunity for the public to see, play and experience the instruments, meet with their makers, discuss custom options and one of a kind creations, and to buy or order a dream guitar from dozens of master builders, all gathered together in one place. In case you didn’t already know, the Hudson Valley is a hotspot for luthiers, and this year they will be joined by some of the best from the West Coast: 50 exhibitors in all, in two buildings. Wood dealers, tool suppliers, inlay artists…you name it, it’ll be there. Plus live music clinics and workshops, with performers including Ara Dinkjian Trio, Vicki Genfan, Vic Juris, Paul Asbell, Kinloch Nelson, and Maria Zementauski. Bearsville Theater and Utopia Soundstage, 291 Tinker St. (Rte. 212), Woodstock/Bearsville, www.woodstockinvitational.com, 845.679.4406

Fr 10/30- GAMELAN DHARMA SWARA, at Skinner Hall of Music, Vassar College, Poughkeepsie—The next few months sees a flurry of activity with the Vassar College Department of Music, with 21 programs on tap featuring faculty members, student ensembles, and several wide-ranging guest artists. (See www.vassar.edu for a complete list of performances.) But if you have never experienced the full sensory banquet that is a Balinese gamelan orchestra, you might need to circle this date on the calendar. Gamelan orchestras consist of a medium-sized ensemble (25-30 players) performing on a dedicated group of bronze gongs, tuned metal bells, and bamboo flutes, often accompanying dancers. The music is very dynamic, with a lot of bursts of unison rhythm, using a non-Western scale of tuning dividing the octave into five of seven roughly evenly spaced notes, which at first is a bit jarring, but easily adjusted to by the listener (well, me anyway). Gamelan Dharma Swara is based at the Indonesian Consulate in New York City, and has recently returned from a trip to Bali, where the group was the first non-Balinese ensemble to compete in the annual “Battle of the Bands” at the Bali Arts Festival. If you think you’ve heard everything, you simply haven’t until you’ve checked out gamelan music. Skinner Hall of Music, Vassar College, Poughkeepsie, www.vassar.edu, 845.437.5370. 8 PM

Sa 11/6- JIM LAUDERDALE and CARRIE RODRIGUEZ at Club Helsinki Hudson, Hudson—Now I don’t want to be a snob here, but in my honest opinion (sorry, but you might get one of those once in awhile in this mag) there are “singer-songwriters,” and then there are “artists.” Well, there will be two “artists” at Club Helsinki this November evening that are definitely worth your attention, both on the same evening, no less. While Jim Lauderdale made his bones in Nashville as an A-list songwriter (Patty Loveless, George Jones, Dixie Chicks, Vince Gill, George Strait…the list goes on), he simultaneously developed as a top performer in his own right, scoring two Grammys in the bluegrass category, the first one with the legendary Ralph Stanley. Since then he’s toured plenty solo, as well as collaborated with Donna the Buffalo and Grateful Dead lyricist Robert Hunter, who contributed to his recent release Patchwork River (2010). For this show he’s paired with Carrie Rodriguez, who, though she has written plenty of songs, while touring with the likes of Chip Taylor (“Wild Thing” writer), Lucinda Williams, and Alejandro Escovedo, has opted to be a “song interpreter” for her new release Love & Circumstance, including songs by Richard Thompson, Townes Van Zandt, and—among other great writers—her father David Rodriguez. An inspired double bill in Hudson. Club Helsinki Hudson, 405 Columbia St., Hudson, www.helsinkihudson.com, 518.828.4800. 9 PM



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