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What you need to know for 01/16/2018

Valentine’s still here, has big weekend of events

Valentine’s still here, has big weekend of events

Don’t start to miss Valentine’s just yet: Whatever fate awaits, and whenever, the Albany venue has a

Don’t start to miss Valentine’s just yet: Whatever fate awaits, and whenever, the place (17 New Scotland Ave., Albany) has a hot weekend happening for sure.

On Friday, Yip Deceiver headlines, while Mike and Amy Shift the Paradigm opens at 8 p.m.

If the name Yip Deceiver is unfamiliar, well, Valentine’s should sure feel familiar to one of its members from playing the club with Of Montreal (Sept. 10, 2005). Yip Deceiver is the hyper-capable pair of multi-instrumentalists Davey Pierce and Nicolas Dobbratz who play, between them, bass, keyboards, guitar and drums with Of Montreal.

When Pierce joined Of Montreal two years after the Valentine’s show when the band had just released “Hissing Fauna, Are You the Destroyer” in 2007, he had to learn bass parts for 40 songs in just two days before they played the Pitchfork Festival.

As a self-proclaimed tag-team analog dance duo, they’re mainly about synthesizing beats and grafting pop vocals onto surges of rhythm. Two guys with lots of keyboard gear and two microphones, they just released an 11-song debut album, “Medallius,” with depth and reach, punch and a sense of fun. For just two players, they deliver a strong, if scaled back a bit, echo of the grandeur and theatricality that Of Montreal served up at Valentine’s and on an almost scary number of albums. How do Pierce and Dobbratz find time to make any other music?

That’s no idle question: Of Montreal just released “Lousy With Syvianbriar,” the 17th release from the defiantly strange and alarmingly prolific Kevin Barnes and the sometimes masked but always skilled players orbiting around his ideas. Here’s hoping Valentine’s lasts long enough to bring those guys back.

Admission for Yip Deceiver and Mike and Amy Shift the Paradigm on Friday is $7. Phone 432-6572 or visit

Boston biggie

Among Boston rockers, singer Willie “Loco” Alexander stands as tall as the Green Monster at Fenway Park. He headlines on Saturday at Valentine’s in a wonderfully complicated triple header.

Now 70, Alexander has led numerous bands, his raw music strutting down the neon Combat Zone streets where garage and punk still echo in the footsteps of the Standells or the Remains rather than the elegant tree-lined enclaves of Brookline or Jamaica Plain, or the band (and lawsuit factory) called Boston.

Willie’s stuff is rough, and there’s lots of it: 30 albums, give or take. Some early (1965-66) Willie recordings with the Lost finally emerged in 1999, and he’s on the last sides the Velvet Underground recorded. His own bands include the Bagatelle, the Grass Menagerie, the Persistence of Memory Orchestra, the Confessions and, most famously, the Boom Boom Band. When I saw him sing with them at the University at Albany Page Hall in the late 1970s, he cursed the bad cold that tried and failed to defeat his voice and sang his heart out anyway.

On Saturday, Alexander leads his relatively new Fish Eye Brothers band to close a show also featuring opener Maryleigh Roohan and a spoken-words segment by David Greenberger in between.

Greenberger studied art and made music with Men & Volts in Boston during Alexander’s noisiest years there. There Greenberger also worked as activities director at the Duplex Nursing Home, launching a newsletter based on conversations with the residents that didn’t interest them much at all but which quickly became a sensation among his artist friends, then all artists of all kinds, everywhere.

It continues to this day, in many forms: magazines, books, comic books, trading cards and — most conspicuously and engagingly — performances with or without music, live and on recordings. He’s worked with a galaxy of stars, including guest spots with longtime friends NRBQ at Valentine’s and most recently an all-star crew he calls A Strong Dog.

Admission for Willie “Loco” Alexander and the Fish Eye Brothers on Saturday, with Maryleigh Roohan and David Greenberger opening, is $12 in advance, $15 on Saturday. Show time is 8 p.m.

While Willie and everybody performs downstairs at Valentine’s on Saturday, the club’s upstairs space hosts a benefit for Albany’s fire-damaged Damien Center, upstate’s largest community for low-income people living with HIV/AIDS. This 6 p.m. event features Charmboy, Bryan Thomas, Pony in the Pancake, Jesse Calhoun, Party Boat, the Charlie Watts Riots, and the Ernst Project. Admission is $10.

Rock chowder

Troy’s ChowderFest serves dozens of chowder varieties on Sunday in Riverfront Park from 10 a.m. until the awards ceremony at 3 p.m., plus music to accompany such menu offerings as Southwest andouille corn chowder, autumn pear chowder, turkey pot pie chowder or BLT chowder with mini-grilled cheese croutons.

A buck buys a 4-ounce chowder sampler, but the music is free: Erin Harkes at 10 a.m., the Standard Clams (of course!) at 11:45 a.m. and The Refrigerators at 1:30 p.m. (The Standard Clams are not only appropriate in culinary terms; to musicians, a “clam” is a wrong note, while a “flam” is the right note, but at the wrong time.) Visit

Reach Gazette columnist Michael Hochanadel at

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