OnStage: The Chesterfield Kings

Sun, 02/15/2009 - 7:00pm
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The Chesterfield Kings

Jan Regan

After making a huge splash in the Rochester music scene with its first season, WXXI’s television and radio music series OnStage returned to the airwaves in September 2008 with twenty-four new episodes. OnStage host Julia Figueras uses her musical expertise to guide the way for these live-to-tape one-hour concerts. Diverse musical performances interspersed with intimate interviews and compelling stories makes this examination of Upstate New York music culture fresh and electrifying.

OnStage: The Chesterfield Kings airing Sunday, February 15 at 7 p.m. on WXXI-TV 21 (cable 11) and WXXI-HD (cable 1011 and DT 21.1) is the final episode of season two. The Chesterfield Kings talk with host Julia Figueras about their new manager Little Steven (Steven Van Zandt) and their most recent album, Psychedelic Sunrise. They reminisce about the best places they've performed and share why they stay in Rochester. They also talk about how they made an appearance on The Sopranos and what that was like. The program playlist includes both old and new songs, including: Up and Down, Sunrise, Transparent Life, Flashback, Dawn, I Don't Understand, Gone, Johnny Volume, and Outtasite! OnStage also airs Thursdays at 6 p.m. and Saturdays at 3 p.m. on WRUR-FM 88.5.

The Chesterfield Kings led the psychedelic revival of the early 1980s that bands like Distorted Level has pioneered in the late Seventies with weird ditties like Hey Mister (1978). Formed in 1979 in Rochester, NY by former Distorted Level singer, underground music journalist and avid record collector Greg Prevost with enfant prodige Andy Babiuk (16 years old at the time) and keyboardist Orest Guran, the Chesterfield Kings offered an oleographic and overly nostalgic view of psychedelia. Not only did their repertory consist entirely of obscure covers, but the band also aimed at duplicating the look and feel of the garage-punk bands of the Sixties. Here Are (Bomp, 1982) was the album that contributed to starting the psychedelic revival of the 1980s.
OnStage is made possible by a grant from the New York State Music Fund. The New York State Music Fund was created when the New York State Attorney General’s Office resolved investigations against major record companies that had violated state and federal laws prohibiting “pay for play.” The settlement agreement stipulated that funds paid by music businesses would support music education and appreciation for the benefit of New York State residents. The Attorney General’s Office enlisted the services of Rockefeller Philanthropy Advisors, one of the nation’s largest and most experienced philanthropy services, to develop and manage the grant program.

Please note: the radio version of OnStage airs the Thursday (at 6 p.m.) and the Saturday (at 3 p.m.) prior to the Sunday WXXI-TV broadcast.