CULTURE

Plenty going on under the radar

Several major rock productions, most of them already well publicized, have been scheduled to tour here in the summer months. Planned visits include such musical giants as the Rolling Stones, Sting and Roger Waters, who will be performing here within days of each other in June, as well as electro-pop superstars Depeche Mode early in August. Even before then, and in one case around the same time, several truly interesting but out-of-the-way artists, both recent and seasoned, will be heading to Greece for shows well worth considering. Barry Adamson, a former bassist for post-punk band Magazine and Nick Cave’s band, the Bad Seeds, Mick Harvey (another of Cave’s associates from day one until now), new folk act Devendra Banhart, the Waterboys, the Fuzztones and the Walkabouts are some of many shows booked for the coming weeks and months. Adamson, back in Greece for the second time as a solo act at the Gagarin club on April 15, had shown no signs of his forthcoming cinematic works while working with Magazine in the late ’70s and Cave’s Bad Seeds in the mid-80s. But 1989’s first full-length album, «Moss Side Story,» brought forth the work of an imaginative composer willing to blend styles like post-punk, industrial and jazz for ominous-sounding imaginary soundtrack-type material. He has continued in a similar vein for several more fine albums, among them 1998’s «As Above, So Below» and 2002’s «The King of Nothing Hill.» Harvey, Cave’s right-hand man since their high school days spent together in Melbourne, Australia – originally as Boys Next Door, followed by Cave’s succeeding bands, the Birthday Party and the Bad Seeds – has performed here on numerous occasions over the past couple of decades, each time as part of the Cave-fronted projects. His upcoming show, at the Gagarin club on May 12, will be his first as a solo act. Despite being mostly fixed under Cave’s shadow, Harvey has stepped out to work on various other projects, including abundant soundtrack work for independent films and a handful of solo releases. In the mid-’90s, Harvey put out two tribute albums of songs by the late French provocateur Serge Ginsbourg. Last year, Harvey released «One Man’s Treasure,» an excellent collection of country, folk and subtle rock ‘n’ roll numbers, both originals and covers, including songs by Lee Hazlewood and the late Jeffrey Lee Pierce of post-punk underground legends the Gun Club. Television Personalities, another exciting concert prospect that had canceled an Athens show last year, have been rebooked for the Gagarin club on May 5. The band, one of the New Wave era’s most far-reaching, delved into anything from pop to psychedelia from the late ’70s to late ’90s, indirectly influenced numerous peers such as the Jesus and Mary Chain. The band’s singer-songwriter Dan Treacy went missing several years ago, following 1998’s «Don’t Cry Baby, It’s Only a Movie.» Rumors of mental illness, drug abuse, homelessness, even death, were tossed about until Treacy wrote a letter to a friend explaining that he was imprisoned on a prison boat in the UK. Following his release in June, 2004, Treacy reformed Television Personalities and has just put out an aptly titled new album, «My Dark Places.» Devendra Banhart, who at 25 has already put out several spirited albums and is being credited for spearheading a new folk scene for our times, will be at the Gagarin club on July 4. Finally, folk-rock band the Waterboys have been booked for April 9 and the Fuzztones for March 31, both at Gagarin.