Jukebox: Primus and Cry, Cry, Cry head local scene

An overview of this weekend's music events
Renaissance, which formed in 1969, will perform at The Egg Sunday.
Renaissance, which formed in 1969, will perform at The Egg Sunday.

Primus was primo, and is all over again, Friday at the Palace (19 Clinton Ave. at N. Pearl St., Albany). Robert Christgau, self-proclaimed dean of rock writers, calls them “quite possibly the strangest top-10 band ever.” Beyond quirky, they’re virtuosic like Zappa’s bands, punchy like great 60s trios Cream or the Jimi Hendrix Experience; but they shift the spotlight from guitar to bass: Les Claypool. Back with Primus’s best-known lineup (Larry LaLonde, guitar; and Tim Alexander, drums); Claypool is the only member of all Primus crews; mysterioso guitar giant Buckethead joined briefly (1999).

Formed in 1984 at the multi-directional crossroads of funk, thrash and metal, they explore rhythmically, harmonically, lyrically; a challenging ride but worth it. It’s all edge, but boasts a warm center. Their album titles are odd/obscure as Of Montreal’s. Before their newest, “The Desaturating Seven,” came “Sailing the Seas of Cheese,” “Pork Soda,” a re-imagining of the “Willie Wonka” film soundtrack and some more conventionally named projects. 7 p.m. $59.50, $49.50, $34.50, $29.50. 800-745-3000 www.palacealbany.org


On a comeback like Primus, Cry Cry Cry sings Friday at Troy Savings Bank Music Hall (30 Second St., Troy). Troubadour stars Lucy Kaplansky, Richard Shindell and Dar Williams thought their ’98 self-named album of covers (by R.E.M. to troubadour contemporaries) and subsequent tour were just one-offs. Wrong: Their trio music was too good; too tuneful, too lyrically sharp. People loved it. Nonetheless, they took 18 years to reform this June at the Hudson River Clearwater Festival, and they’ve kept rolling. 8 p.m. $48-$29. 518-273-0038 www.troymusichall.org

Loudon Wainwright III, Suzzy Roche, and Lucy Wainwright Roche sing at The Egg (Empire State Plaza, Albany) on Saturday. It’s complicated: Celebrated singer songwriter Wainright wrote in his typically (alarmingly!) candid memoir “Liner Notes” of misbehavior toward Suzzy (his ex); Kate McGarrigle (his first ex); and daughter Lucy, among his children. Lucy is also Suzzy’s daughter; Suzzy was a third of the Roches. Eldest Roche Maggie died in January; Kate McGarrigle in 2010. As the New York Times book review noted, “Wainwright has hurt most of the people he’s loved, and he’s loved some remarkable people. He’s written fond and sometimes acid songs about them; they’ve returned serve.” 7:30 p.m. $34. 518-473-1845 www.theegg.org


On Saturday, the Sachal Ensemble from Lahore, Pakistan continues a rich run of musical imports that Betsaya Machado and her tremendous percussion/vocal crew began last week. Saturday’s show isn’t part of Proctors Passport Series (presented with Music Haven) as Machado and three future shows are; this is a co-presentation with SPAC.

Local heroes since the 1960s, the Sachal Ensemble went world-wide with a sizzling South Asian take on Dave Brubeck’s “Take Five” and have since expanded across jazz into pop, collaborating with such homegrown talents as Jim James, Susan Tedeschi and Sean Lennon. Like Rodriguez (“Searching for Sugar Man”), a film helped: Sharmeen Obaid-Chinoy and Andy Schocken “The Sachal Ensemble Presents Song of Lahore.”

The Sachal Ensemble plays Saturday at Proctors (432 State St., Schenectady) 8 p.m. $40 518-346-6204 wwwproctors.org, AND Monday at the Spa Little Theater (19 Roosevelt Dr., Saratoga Springs) 7 p.m. $40 518-584-9330 [email protected]. Bowtie Criterion Cinemas (19 Railroad Pl., Saratoga Springs) shows the film on Sunday. 3:30 and 7 p.m.


Renaissance makes very English orchestral prog-rock at The Egg on Sunday. A late-60s-and-everafter classical offshoot of the British blues-rocking Yardbirds, Renaissance changed lineups often and once split into two bands claiming the name (like fellow Brit/prog-rockers Yes, and the Pink Floyd/Roger Waters feud).

Reforming in 2013 around Annie Haslam’s multi-octave voice (after the deaths of two performing members and their main lyricist), Renaissance resumed touring. Sunday they bring a chamber orchestra to The Egg to replicate the symphonic sound of grandeur-rock classic albums “Mother Russia,” “Carpet Of The Sun,” “Song For All Seasons” and other vintage faves. 7 p.m. $39.50, $34.50. 518-473-1845 www.theegg.org


Texas troubadour James McMurtry returns on Saturday to the Hangar (675 River St., Troy), where his superb songs, understated singing and under-rated guitar went straight to the heart last February. I wrote then “McMurtry’s records barely suggest the in-person power of his guitar. Strong clear sound perfectly delivered his lyrics: miniature novels of telling detail and deep truth about underdog lives on the ragged edge where greed has shoved working folk. His ‘We Can’t Make it Here’ hit hard as Bernie Sanders, or Jason Isbell. Songs from last year’s ‘Complicated Game,’ especially ‘Copper Canteen’ and ‘Long Island Sound,’ sounded as great as chestnuts ‘Choctaw Bingo’ and ‘No More Buffalo.’ He returns Jan. 31 to open for Jason Isbell and the 400 Unit, but this solo show is all James, all evening. 8 p.m. $20 advance, $25 door. 518-272-9740 www.thealehouse.com


 Halloween is about being someone else, but Bonerama is about being some-PLACE else: New Orleans. They take us there in a sleek limo of funky big sound. Bonerama returns to the Parish Public House (388 Broadway, Albany) on Tuesday, Halloween. No trick; it’s all treat: three trombones (Mark Mullins, Craig Klein and Greg Hicks), Sousaphone or bass (Matt Perrine), guitar (Bert Cotton); and drums (Walter Lundy). One trombone is a brassy blast; just ask Trombone Shorty or local slide-gliders Alex Slomka (he sat in with Bonerama last March at Parish Public House) and Ben O’Shea, or valve trombonists Tyler Giroux and Phil Allen. Three is even more fun, as their blazing new “Hot Like Fire” album, their seventh, proves once again. 8 p.m. $18 advance, $22 door.518-465-0444 www.parishpublichouse.com


Drummer Jeff Siegel and bassist Rich Syracuse cut way looser at A Place for Jazz last week than they once did with longtime boss, the late Lee Shaw: At one point, Siegel damped his snare with his foot, and Syracuse soloed WAY outside at times. Billed as Siegel’s sextet, the generously sharing, tight-as-a-fist crew offered a smooth-flowing tour through a modern post-bop soundscape with hand-in-glove grooves and heart-stopping solos.

Behind the harmonic center of saxophonist Erica Lindsay and pianist Francesca Tanksley; Siegel, Syracuse and percussionist (mostly congas) Fred Berryhill set supple beats as flugelhorn player/trumpeter Feya Faku either linked riffs with Lindsay or sketched outside the lines; augmenting the South African beats Siegel installed on his “King of Xhosa” album and much of Friday’s show.

Tanksley contributed much of the setlist; her fervent, swinging “Prayer” followed Faku’s chants in “Totem” to launch the two-set show after Siegel waxed emotional recalling his late employer while introducing the evening. Tanksley’s aggressive “The New Freedom” set the energetic mood that sparked the second set. Guest trumpeter Dylan Canterbury (stalwart of several area bands including his own) helped ignite Lindsay’s blues “Get Real,” a late highlight. He and Faku applauded each other’s solos, bowed and hugged at the end — and the whole show felt like family; a skilled, close family.


Area heroes — musically and charitably — team up on Friday at The Egg (Empire State Plaza, Albany) to benefit humanitarian aid to hurricane-blasted Puerto Rico. Alex Torres & His Latin Orchestra, Taina Asili y La Banda Rebelde, Bronte Roman and Orquestra Sabor Caribe will perform. Tropical-dancey music benefiting a great cause: The Puerto Rico Disaster Relief Team of the Capital Region including Centro Civico, Albany Latin Festival Association (ALFA), NY Capital Region Hispanic Chamber of Commerce, Capital District Chapter of 100 Hispanic Women, City of Albany Poverty Reduction Initiative (CAPRI), Fundabilities.com, the American Red Cross, Capital Region B.O.C.E.S., La Salle Academy and other individuals and groups providing aid to Puerto Rico. 7:30 p.m. $45, $35, $25. 518-473-1845 www.theegg.org

Categories: Entertainment

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