UPSTATE BEAT – The video for the new single “Bad Man’s World” by the Capital Region band E.R.I.E. opens with a parody of a ridiculous infomercial salesman peddling soup in a Ziploc bag.
The video — driven by an upbeat song with crunching guitar riffs and a punchy chorus — cycles through an on-screen list of notoriously bad actors: sleazy politicians, male chauvinists, obnoxious tech bros.
It’s an ode to trying to be an upstanding person in a world that often seems to reward the superficial or sociopathic. “Bad Man’s World” is an insightful bit of commentary from a band that has a lot to say on its sophomore album, “Suburban Mayhem,” which comes out on Friday.
Band members — frontman TJ Foster, bassist Levi Jennes, drummer Chad Flewwelling and guitarist Matt Delgado — first came together as E.R.I.E. in February of 2020, right before the pandemic shut live music down. They celebrate the Mint 400 Records release at Lost and Found in Albany on Friday night with fellow indie-rock bands Seize Atlantis from Glens Falls and Brooklyn dream-pop trio ALMA on the bill.
The album will appeal to fans of working-class indie-punk in the vein of the Gaslight Anthem and Frank Turner — it’s heartland rock that speaks from the heart. Foster self-recorded the new album in a home studio, drawing on audio engineering experience acquired while at college at SUNY Oneonta.
“From a lyrical standpoint, my goal is always catharsis,” said Foster, a Schenectady County resident who writes the band’s lyrics and brings the songs as “skeletons” to the rest of the band members who help flesh them out.
“Whatever brings me down every day and is constantly weighing on the mind, I think it’s important to get that stuff out. And for me, my outlet is music.”
The title of the new album has a dual meaning, recalling both the sanitized safety of suburban, tree-lined streets as well as the subtle horrors of modern life. Songs on the album tackle socially relevant topics like doom-scrolling (“After All”), school shootings (“Long Way Around”) and the predatory nature of many rock-and-rollers (“The Motions”).
“ ’Suburban Mayhem’ is partially an ode to simpler times when that mayhem meant innocuous and amusing little kid things, whether it was toilet paper on a tree or just the innocence of youth, against the backdrop of the real mayhem that we have to navigate as adults and parents in modern times,” said Delgado.
An example of that real-world adult mayhem is found in “World Is on Fire,” another single from the new album, which features vocals from Albany-area songwriter Sydney Worthley in a gorgeous duet with Foster about the alarming state of a climate-change-impacted world.
“We all look around at our kids every day, and we talk about this a lot. Growing up right now is insanely hard, and there’s no rulebook to guide us through it,” said Foster.
As serious as this all sounds, there’s plenty of humor and rock-and-roll abandon to E.R.I.E., so expect a good time during the “Suburban Mayhem” release show on Friday at Lost and Found Bar & Kitchen (942 Broadway, Albany) with Seize Atlantis and ALMA. 8:30 p.m.
It’s Still Rock and Roll to Me
One of Billy Joel’s best-known albums is “52nd Street,” released in 1978, which gave rise to hits like “Big Shot” and “My Life.” The album’s title refers to the actual 52nd Street in New York City, home to an abundance of jazz clubs from the 1930s to 1950s.
It is also the location of the CBS Building, headquarters of Joel’s label at the time of the album’s release, as well as the studio one block away where the album’s recording took place.
Joel enlisted jazz musicians for the album — including saxophonist Richie Cannata, drummer Liberty DeVitto and guitarist Russell Javors — who backed him in the Billy Joel Band for some of biggest albums, including “Glass Houses” and “The Nylon Curtain.” The three now lead the Lords of 52nd Street, a tribute to that time, who return to Schenectady on Friday for a show at the Rivers Casino & Resort Schenectady Event Center.
The Lords of 52nd Street previously played in the summer of 2021 at the casino’s Mohawk Harbor Amphitheater as part of Harbor Jam. Expect Joel-penned classics such as “New York State of Mind,” “Movin’ Out (Anthony’s Song),” “You May Be Right” and more with David Clark of the Joel tribute band Songs in the Attic on piano and lead vocals. 7 p.m.
The Week Ahead
— Canadian heavy metal heroes Anvil — who first formed in 1973 and are said to have influenced many notable heavy metal groups, including Megadeth, Slayer, Anthrax and Metallica — slogged it out for decades in semi-obscurity before the charming 2008 documentary Anvil! The Story of Anvil raised their profile. They appear tonight at Empire Underground (93 N. Pearl St., Albany). 7 p.m.
— Nicknamed “Master of the Universe” by the late Grateful Dead frontman Jerry Garcia, Melvin Seals played Hammond B-3 organ and keyboards in the Jerry Garcia Band for 18 years, making his mark on jam band music with a little R&B and gospel mixed in. Catch him on Saturday at Cohoes Music Hall (58 Remsen St., Cohoes) with JGB. 8 p.m.