The Upstate Beat: Legendary garage band Fleshtones to help RadioRadioX mark anniversary

The Fleshtones will play Sunday at the Hangar on the Hudson on River Street in Troy.

The Fleshtones will play Sunday at the Hangar on the Hudson on River Street in Troy.

Although the Fleshtones formed in 1976 in Queens, members of the 46-year-old garage rock band still display an incredible amount of youthful energy onstage. The quartet, which performs at the Hangar on the Hudson (675 River St.) in Troy on Sunday, transform any club they play into a party.

Many musical trends have come and gone during the Fleshtones’ long history, but the band has stayed true to their harmonic — yet raw — blend of British Invasion-era rock, Motown and R&B. They turn stage moves into an art form, pinballing around in a whirl of loosely choreographed spins and handclaps.

The secret to the Fleshtones’ incredible vigor and longevity just may be their rigorous push-up regimen. Frontman Peter Zaremba, guitarist Keith Streng and bassist Ken Fox take turns whipping out push-ups on chairs, tables and filthy bar-room floors whenever they play the band’s classic tune, “Push Up Man.”

See for yourself at the upcoming matinee show on Sunday with the Plimsouls and local punk rock group Blasé DeBris opening. The event celebrates the fourth anniversary of RadioRadioX, a streaming radio station based in Waterford that offers a diverse mix of local music, B-sides and rarities, as well as a monthly print magazine, “Xperience,” available for free at restaurants, coffee shops and other businesses throughout the Capital Region.

RadioRadioX founder Art Fredette, whose band the Lawn Sausages has played with the Fleshtones multiple times, is responsible for bringing the much-loved garage act to Troy venues on many occasions.

“To me, the Fleshtones are everything a real rock ’n’ roll band should be,” says Fredette. “The energy, the performance, the songs and, above all, the love they show their fans proves this every time I see them. I have been very lucky to book them in this area since the ’90s. They are true rock road warriors who play every show as if it is the most important show of their lives — because it is. Also, they love the Hangar — and who doesn’t? — so it is easy to get them to come back.”

RadioRadioX features shows curated by some of the region’s most dedicated music fans, including Fredette and Troy record-store owner Jim Barrett of the River Street Beat Shop, as well as Ed Conway, Melody Lemony, Sonny Speed, Peggy of Troy, Tim McDonough (aka Blake), Rob Smittix and Vito Ciccarelli. (Tune in at

“I had always hoped that this concept would catch on, and luckily it did,” says Fredette of RadioRadioX. “We have come much further in a short period of time than I could have dreamed. Both the publication and the radio station have surpassed expectations, and I am cautiously optimistic about the future.”

Fleshtones drummer Bill Milhizer is a Troy native who still lives locally when the band is not on tour. “Bill was actually the first member of the band that I met,” says Fredette. “I was DJing a wedding at the Wynantskill American Legion and his brother Ed made the introduction. A great conversation happened that night, and a friendship grew from there.”

In addition to the Fleshtones, the bill also features Blasé DeBris, a local punk act featuring Rotterdam’s Duane Beer, a guitarist and vocalist whose ’90s band Trauma School Dropouts was profiled in last week’s Upstate Beat.

Not to be missed also are the Plimsouls, a power pop band known for their hit single “A Million Miles Away” featured in the movie “Valley Girl.” Guitarist Eddie Muñoz is the only remaining original member of the group that formed in California in 1978, but the band still puts on a great show.

And the best part of it all? Local music fans can come out on a Sunday afternoon to see three great rock ’n’ roll bands and still be home in time to rest up for the workweek.

“I like to hold matinee shows because many live music fans are older, like myself, or are too busy to go out to a later show, and this gives them a chance to still do what they love,” says Fredette. “When we first started with these shows some people thought we were crazy, but the idea seems to have caught on. This is going to be one for the ages.”

The Fleshtones play the RadioRadioX fourth anniversary party with the Plimsouls and Blasé DeBris on Sunday at the Hangar on the Hudson (675 River St., Troy) at 4 p.m. Tickets are $15 in advance, $20 at the door.

The Week Ahead

When it comes to power pop, it doesn’t get more classic than British songwriters Nick Lowe and Elvis Costello, who have joined forces this summer for a tour that brings them to the Pines Theater at Look Park in Northampton, Massachusetts, on Tuesday. The show also features surf instrumentalists Los Straitjackets opening in an amazing triple bill. 7 p.m.
Reach Kirsten Ferguson at [email protected].

Categories: Entertainment, Life and Arts, Life and Arts

Leave a Reply