2/14/16: Today’s Top Tips: Sunday

February 14th, 2016, 7:00 am by Greg

MUSIC: Monty Alexander Valentine’s String Ensemble @ The Egg, Albany. One of the most high spirited pianists of all time bridges the worlds of American jazz, pop and the sounds of his native Jamaica. Direct from Lincoln Center, he’ll be joined by guitar virtuoso Frank Vignola, bassist extraordinaire J.J. Wiggins Shakur and special guest vocalist Caterina Zapponi, who will perform songs from her new recording Romantica for this Valentine’s Day concert. 7:30pm. $29.50.

FESTIVAL/MUSIC/DANCE: The Flurry @ various locations, Saratoga Springs. A smorgasbord of music and participatory dance with more than 200 events stretched out over three days. Featuring the FireFlies, the Spurs USA, Spare Parts, the Bernstein Bard Quartet, Vanaver Caravan, Veena & Devesh Chandra, Big Fez & the Surfmatics, Burnt Turnip, more. 9am. GO HERE for more info…

MUSIC: The Wailers @ the Colonial Theatre, Pittsfield. Together with Bob Marley, the band has sold over 250 million albums and has played to an estimated 24 million people across the globe. Now with Aston “Family Man” Barrett at the helm, the legendary reggae band carries on Marley’s musical and spiritual legacy. 8pm $40.

MUSIC: Anderson East @ Pearl Street Clubroom, Northampton. Yeah, he’s Miranda Lambert’s new squeeze, but that’s hardly what makes him so special. With a raw yet haunting voice, the singer melds steamy soul with raw-boned country on his Devil in Me Tour. With Andrew Combs. 8pm. $15.

COMEDY: The Gender Defenders @ Proctors, Schenectady. Two male comedians and two female discuss their unique views on relationships, love and life. 8pm. $35.

MUSIC: Sharkey & Joziah @ Caffe Lena, Saratoga Springs. The acoustic duo that launched the Grand Slambovians gets back to their roots. 7pm. $27.

MUSIC: The Joey Thomas Big Band @ the State Room, Albany. the big band brings their Sinatra Show to town for a special Valentine’s Day, featuring a four-course dinner, music and dancing. 6:30pm. $69.95.

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2/13/16: Today’s Top Tips: Saturday

February 13th, 2016, 7:00 am by Greg

MUSIC: Ladysmith Black Mambazo @ Troy Savings Bank Music Hall, Troy. Led by founder and leader Joseph Shabalala, the acclaimed South African a cappella music and dance ensemble is celebrating more than 50 years of joyous and uplifting music. 8pm. $26 & $36.

MUSIC: The North & South Dakotas @ the Parting Glass, Saratoga Springs. Celebrating the release of their debut full-length album Been Away. 8pm. $10 which includes a copy of the album.

MUSIC: Sonny Landreth & Cindy Cashdollar @ The Egg, Albany. An evening in slide guitar heaven with two masters – Sonny Landreth on electric guitar and Cindy Cashdollar on Dobro and lap-steel – performing together. 8pm. $29.50.

MUSIC: Super 400 @ Dinosaur Bar-B-Que, Troy. The powerhouse power trio is joined by special guest organist-saxman Craig Dreyer to play the classic 1969 Blind Faith album song-by-song, followed by a second set of originals and surprises. 9pm. FREE.

MUSIC: The Ed Palermo Big Band @ The Falcon, Marlboro. CD release party for One Child Left Behind, a knockout album of orchestral jazz rock, that features big band arrangements of tunes by Los Lobos, Neil Young, the Peggy Lee hit “Is That All There Is?” and, of course, a whole lotta Frank Zappa. 8pm. GO HERE to read a concert review…

FESTIVAL/MUSIC/DANCE: The Flurry @ various locations, Saratoga Springs. A smorgasbord of music and participatory dance with more than 200 events stretched out over three days. Featuring the Gaslight Tinkers, the Irregulars, Spare Parts, George Wilson, Taina Asili y la Banda Rebelde, Jay Ungar & Molly Mason, more. 9am. GO HERE for more info…

THEATER: “Turning 15 on the Road to Freedom” @ M.C. Smith Intermediate School, Hudson. Last weekend Molly Ringwald was at Proctors. And today her “Breakfast Club” co-star Ally Sheedy directs Damaras Obi in the one-woman play based on the memoir of Lynda Blackmon Lowery, who was jailed nine times before her 15th birthday as a result of her participation in ’60s marches for voting rights in Selma. With the Hudson High School Choir. 3pm. $10; FREE children under age 12.

MUSIC: Ginuwine @ the Empire State Plaza Convention Center, Albany. The cornerstone concert of the annual Black & Puerto Rican Caucus. With Meli’sa Morgan. 7pm. $60.

MUSIC: Angelique Kidjo @ MASS MoCA’s Hunter Center, North Adams. Beninoise world music icon Angelique Kidjo arrives for an intimate acoustic performance that will change your life. “The power of Kidjo’s unflappable voice, the range of her emotional expression, the stellar, genre-bending musicians who back her and the infectious, activist energy that courses through her songs all transcend any native tongue” (NPR Music). 8pm. $39 & $49; $30 students. GO HERE for more info…

MUSIC: The Day the Music Died @ The Hangar, Troy. It’s the Wiunter Dance Party with the Tichy Boys and Johnny Rabb paying tribute to the music of Buddy Holly, Ritchie Valens and the Big Bopper. 8pm.

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It’s the Weekend!

February 12th, 2016, 4:00 pm by Greg

It's cold out there.

Congrats! You made it through the week. But before we head out for the Big Chill weekend, we’d like to send a great big thank-you to everyone who dropped by this week to add encouragement, support, proof-reading and, yes, criticism, too. And thanks for helping to spread the word about Nippertown.com.

Of course, we couldn’t possibly cover the wide, wonderful scope of art and entertainment offerings around Nippertown without a dedicated bunch of wonderful writers, photographers, artists, tipsters and other assorted enablers who continually enrich us all with their contributions. So a big salute goes out to this week’s community contributors:

Ed Conway
Thomas Dimoploulos
Andrzej Pilarczyk
Michael Hochanadel
Yvonne Haymes
Steven Stock
Tim Reidy
Kirsten Ferguson
Charles Haymes
Stanley Johnson
Larry Murray

Please consider adding your name to this list. Just send us something – a review, preview, interview, photo, list, rant, crayon drawing or whatever’s on your mind. Remember, Nippertown is your hometown, and we can’t possibly do this without your help.

Thanks to the fine folks who provided us with cool give-away merch – tickets, CDs, downloads and other swag – for the faithful Nippertown readers:

Ed & Kathy Conway, Amsterdam
The Madison Theater, Albany

And thanks to all of the folks from the area venues and organizations who were gracious enough to provide us with review tickets and/or photo passes for their events:

Troy Savings Bank Music Hall, Troy
The Linda, Albany
The Egg, Albany
The Madison Theater, Albany
Gaffney’s, Saratoga Springs
Step Up Presents, Albany

Thanks for keeping Nippertown alive… and lively,

Sara Ayers
Greg Haymes

LIVE: Sirsy @ Gaffney’s, 1/14/16

February 12th, 2016, 3:00 pm by Greg


Photographs by Tim Reidy

Last month, Sirsy was playing at their home-away-from-home, Gaffney’s in Saratoga Springs, but this week the dynamic duo Melanie Krahmer and Rich Libutti is headed down south, launching their extended U.S. tour that will take them from Florida to California to Texas (for the South by Southwest fest) over the course of the next seven weeks. Which means they won’t be playing another hometown gig until Thursday, March 31, when they take the stage at – where else? – Gaffney’s again.

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LIVE: Albert Cummings @ the Madison Theater, 1/8/16

February 12th, 2016, 2:00 pm by Greg


Photographs by Tim Reidy

Williamstown guitarslinger Albert Cummings and his band took over the performance stage at Albany’s Madison Theater last month, cranking out the blues in support of his latest Blind Pig album, Someone Like You.

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MASS MoCA Welcomes Angelique Kidjo on Saturday [Berkshire On Stage]

February 12th, 2016, 1:00 pm by Greg

Angelique Kidjo

Photograph by Andrzej Pilarczyk

World music icon Angélique Kpasseloko Hinto Hounsinou Kandjo Manta Zogbin Kidjo – better known simply as Angélique Kidjo – is a Beninese-born Grammy Award winning singer-songwriter and activist who is returning to the Berkshires for a performance at MASS MoCA’s Hunter Center at 8pm on Saturday (February 13).

She arrives in North Adams for an intimate acoustic performance. “The power of Kidjo’s unflappable voice, the range of her emotional expression, the stellar, genre-bending musicians who back her, and the infectious, activist energy that courses through her songs all transcend any native tongue,” proclaimed NPR Music.

Called “Africa’s premier diva” by Time Magazine, Kidjo’s powerhouse voice and multi-genre musical chops combine Afro-pop, gospel and jazz and know no bounds. Recognized world-wide as one of the most inspiring and influential women in music, Kidjo conveys a universal message to all fighting for their rights. Seeking to upend negative representations of her beloved homeland Benin, she encourages the world to embrace the joy of Africa. Positivity shines through in her songs such as “Djin Djin,” about the sound of an African bell tolling to meet the new day.

Click to read the rest at Berkshire On Stage

TV TIME: “Vinyl” Debuts on HBO on Sunday

February 12th, 2016, 12:00 pm by Greg

By Thomas Dimopoulos

At 9pm on Sunday (February 14), HBO will launch its much-anticipated new series, “Vinyl.” The 10-part series – which takes place in the electrifying New York City rock ‘n’ roll scene of the ’70s – runs through April. The series is produced by Martin Scorsese, Mick Jagger and Terence Winter (“The Sopranos,” “Boardwalk Empire”), and Scorsese directs this weekend’s two-hour debut.

“Mick Jagger had an idea for this movie about New York in the mid-‘70s and the different musical scenes that were happening there,” said Will Hermes, during a recent gathering organized by the Yaddo arts colony at Northshire Bookstore in Saratoga Springs. Hermes, senior critic at Rolling Stone and author of “Love Goes to Buildings on Fire: Five Years in New York That Changed Music, Forever,” had just come off an interview with Mick Jagger and had been privy to a preview screening of the series’ premiere.

“It’s about a fictional record producer who might be based on some sort of mash-up of Ahmet Ertegun and Jerry Wexler and some of these other record company guys, and Andrew Dice Clay plays this psychotic radio guy who’s just huffing cocaine in Plato’s Retreat or something,” Hermes said. The series stars Bobby Cannevale, Olivia Wilde, Ray Romano, Juno Temple and James Jagger (yes, Mick’s son).

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HOT READS: Nippertown’s Top 10 Stories of the Week

February 12th, 2016, 11:00 am by Greg
Bob Weir

Bob Weir leads Dead & Co. into SPAC this summer

Photograph by Stanley Johnson

Yes, we’ve heard all the complaints that some of you simply don’t have the time to read all of the Nippertown.com news as fast as we write it. And, yes, there sure was a whole lot of A&E news to write about this week, especially a big batch of new concert announcements.

So for all of you casual, once-or-twice-a-week readers, here’s a summary of the Top 10 most-viewed stories from Nippertown during the past week, in case you’re playing catch-up:

1. SPAC Announces Another New Concert (by Staff) 317

2. SPAC Announces New Concert (by Staff) 246

3. The Egg Announces New Concert (by Staff) 209

4. Cohoes Music Hall Announces Two New Concerts (by Staff, Michael Hochanadel) 185

5. COMIN’ SOON: New Concert Announcements (by Greg Haymes) 172

6. Proctors Announces New Concert (by Staff) 169

7. Glens Falls Civic Center Announces New Concert (by Staff) 81

8. RIP: Dan Hicks, 1941-2016 (by Greg Haymes, Andrzej Pilarczyk) 87

9. Where’s Nipper? (by Yvonne Haymes)

10. Sawyer Fredericks to Play Intimate Woodstock Concert (by Staff)

Holly & EvanCartoonist John CaldwellCaffe LenaAdvertise on Nippertown!Albany PoetsLeave Regular Radio BehindBerkshire On StageArtist Charles HaymesThe LindaHudson SoundsKeep Albany BoringCapital District Habitat For Humanity