A highly selective preview of cultural events taking place over the next two weekends in the greater Hudson, N.Y., region, including an exhibition of paintings by Psychedelic Furs frontman Richard Butler; a reading by three authors at Spotty Dog; a jazz quartet at Spotty Dog; a Texas singer-songwriter at Helsinki Hudson; and a dual exhibition at LABspace in Hillsdale.
(HUDSON, N.Y.) – It’s tempting to overemphasize Sam Baker’s backstory over his music, because his story is one of the nightmares of living in the modern world. As a survivor of a deadly terrorist attack, Baker has a unique perspective, one that inevitably finds its way into his music, but one that doesn’t overwhelm the music, but rather informs it, and, to my ears, gives it a singular, direct quality and import – a conviction borne of rare experience. The Austin-based singer-songwriter brings his music of grace born out of tragedy to Club Helsinki Hudson on Thursday, May 12, at 8pm. Red House recording artist Carrie Elkin will warm up the crowd for Baker, as well as accompany him during his set.
(HUDSON, N.Y.) – Quietus, an exhibition of new paintings by Richard Butler, goes on view at BCB Art on Saturday, May 14, with an artist’s reception from 6 to 8pm. The exhibit, featuring expressionistic portraits, remains on view through Sunday, July 3. With his daughter as his muse, Richard Butler depicts lush expressionistic portraits of a pensive female, who serves as a cipher for himself.
(HUDSON, N.Y.) – Authors and poets including Alexandra Kleeman, Jodi Paloni and Alex Gilvarry will read from their works at Spotty Dog Books & Ale on Saturday, May 14, at 7pm, as part of Volume, the free monthly reading and music series every second Saturday of the month. The readings will be followed by a set by DJ Eliel Mamousette.
(HUDSON, N.Y.) – The Quartet, a collective of Hudson’s top jazz talents, plays an intimate gig at Spotty Dog Books & Ale on Friday, May 13, at 8pm. The group features keyboardist Tony Kieraldo, flutist Stuart Quimby, bassist Terence Murren, and drummer Otto Hauser.
(HILLSDALE, N.Y.) – “The Lonely Surfer,” a two-person show by artists Susan Meyer and Jeff Starr, goes on view at LABspace on Saturday, May 14, with a reception for the artists from 5 to 7pm. The exhibit runs through Saturday, June 4. Susan Meyer and Jeff Starr, an artist-couple, share an interest in visual accumulation and vernacular imagery, with somewhat obsessive results. They will install their work at LABspace as you might find it in their overlapping studios, with an inevitable commingling of ideas and imagery.