3/1/15: Today’s Top Tips: Sunday

March 1st, 2015, 8:00 am by Greg

MUSIC: N.M.O. @ Club Helsinki, Hudson. The Grammy Award-nominated North Mississippi Allstars and singer-guitarist Anders Osborne combine forces as N.M.O. (North Mississippi Osbornes). The evening features one acoustic and one electric set, combining the Southern blues-rock approach of the North Mississippi Allstars with Anders Osborne’s unique brand of New Orleans soul to make for a new American roots fusion. 8pm. $35 & $50.

MUSIC: Los Lobos @ Levon Helm Studios, Woodstock. Los Lobos have been rockin’ the world for more than four decades, and the comfy, intimate confines of the barn may be the ultimate venue. 8:30pm. $75.

MUSIC: Skidmore Jazz Institute Sextet @ Skidmore College’s Zankel Music Center, Saratoga Springs. The all-star group is led by bassist Todd Coolman and features trumpeter Mike Rodriguez, saxophonist Jimmy Greene, trombonist James Burton III, pianist Bill Cunliffe and drummer Dennis Mackrel. 8pm. $8; $5 seniors; FREE students & children.

FESTIVAL/MUSIC: Country Con 2015 @ the Empire State Plaza Convention Center, Albany. It’s Day Two of the two-day fest, featuring headliner Joe Nichols with Elvis tribute artist Gene DiNapoli, Harold Ford & the Spirit of Johnny Cash and True Grit Outlaws. $35 & $90. UPDATE: This festival has been cancelled.

MUSIC/THEATER: Rain @ Proctors, Schenectady. Beatles tribute band that proudly boasts, “Together longer than the Beatles, Rain has mastered every song, gesture and nuance of the legendary foursome, delivering a totally live, note-for-note performance that’s as infectious as it is transporting.” 2pm. $20, $35, $45, $55 & $70.

MUSIC: Shanty Town Serenaders @ Caffe Lena, Saratoga Springs. The Saratoga trio – Jeff Walton (guitar, whistle), Tim Wechgelaer (fiddle) and Dan Hubbs (banjo, mandolin) – fire up an evening of Celtic songs to kick off the month of March. 7pm. $17.

THEATER: “Waiting for Godot” @ Confetti Stage, Albany. Samuel Beckett’s classic tragicomedy directed by Linda D. Shirey. “Nothing to be done…” 2pm.

MUSIC: The Schwag @ Putnam Den, Saratoga Springs. Grateful Dead tribute band. 9pm. $10.

MUSIC: Frank Jaklitsch @ Spindles on Remsen, Cohoes. 5pm.

READING: Community of Writers Reading @ Albany Public Library, Albany. The Hudson Valley Writers Guild presents a reading by three local authors – Elizabeth Gordon, K.A. Laity and Keith Willis. 2pm. FREE.

TALK: “Making Art out of Linoleum? British Art Between the Wars” @ the Clark Art Institute, Williamstown. Jay A. Clarke, curator of Prints, Drawings and Photographs at the Clark, offers a talk about how humble linoleum floor covering turned into an important medium for creating art between the wars. 3pm. FREE.

THEATER ON FILM: “King Lear” @ Spectrum 8 Theatres, Albany. Colm Feore stars in the role of a lifetime, directed by Stratford Festival Artistic Director Antoni Cimolino. 12noon. $15; $12 ages 12 & under. Also at 7pm Monday.

FILM: “Borderland” @ Proctors, Schenectady. Vintage Hop-a-long Cassidy feature film starring William Boyd and Gabby Hayes. 2:30pm. FREE.

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2/28/15: Today’s Top Tips: Saturday

February 28th, 2015, 8:00 am by Greg

GALA FUNDRAISER: The Upstate Artists Guild’s Black & White Gala @ Normanside Country Club, Delmar. It’s the fourth annual benefit bash featuring a fabulous array of local artwork for sale, as well as silent and ticket auctions, 50/50 raffle, hors d’ oeuvres. Live music by Off the Record, Matt Durfee & the Rattling Baddlies, Jesse Cohen and not an Airplane; poetry by Dan Wilcox and Steven Minchin; spinning by DJ Duane Major and DJ Jay Clarke. With emcee George Doody. 6-10pm (champagne preview 5-6pm). $50. GO HERE for more info…

FESTIVAL/MUSIC: The Bridge Jazz Festival @ the College of St. Rose’s Massry Center, Albany. It’s Night Two of the fest featuring the Fred Hersch Trio, Cecile Mcloran Salvant and the Gretchen Parlatto/Alan Hampton Duo. 6pm. $40; $30 students. GO HERE for more info…

MUSIC: Super 400 @ the Ale House, Troy. The Trojan rock power trio of drummer Joe Daley, bassist Lori Friday and guitarist Kenny Hohman celebrates their 19th anniversary. 9pm.

MUSIC: Kate Campbell @ the Eighth Step at Proctors’ Fenimore Gallery, Schenectady. The celebrated Southern singer-songwriter’s award-winning music is inspired by the contemporary characters and culture of the South with a distinctive storytelling flair. With John Kirk. 7:30pm. $28 & $35.

COMEDY: Pretty Much the Best Comedy Show @ Proctors’ Underground, Schenectady. Brooklyn stand-up comedian James Goff headlines. With Ethan Ullman and Thomas Attila Lewis. 8pm. $15. GO HERE for more info…

FESTIVAL/MUSIC: Country Con 2015 @ the Empire State Plaza Convention Center, Albany. It’s Day One of the two-day fest, featuring Kristian Bush (of Sugarland), the Spurs USA, Big Sky Country and Chelsea Cavanaugh. $35 & $90. Also on Sunday. UPDATE: This festival has been cancelled.

MUSIC: Sean Watkins @ the Parlor, Northampton. From his days with Nickel Creek to his new collaboration with Fiona Apple.. With Jill Andrews. 7pm.

DANCE: Storyboard P & the Warriorz @ MASS MoCA’s Club B-10, North Adams. Storyboard P and his crew of smooth-moving Brooklyn street dancers take over the intimate club for a raw and visceral performance that promises to be kinetic, fluid and utterly mesmerizing. 8pm. $18 & $24; $8 students.

MUSIC/THEATER: Rain @ Proctors, Schenectady. Beatles tribute band that proudly boasts, “Together longer than the Beatles, Rain has mastered every song, gesture and nuance of the legendary foursome, delivering a totally live, note-for-note performance that’s as infectious as it is transporting.” 2 & 8pm. $20, $35, $45, $55 & $70. Also at 2pm on Sunday.

MUSIC: Greg Trooper @ Caffe Lena, Saratoga Springs. The veteran troubadour returns in support of his latest album, Incident on Willow Street. 8pm. $20.

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It’s the Weekend!

February 27th, 2015, 4:00 pm by Greg

What's for breakfast?

Big congrats for making it through another frigid week, so now it’s time to get out there and soak up some weekend fun. Don’t let the cold stop you. But before we head out for the 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:

Don Wilcock
Timothy Reidy
Larry Murray
Fred Rudofsky
Kirsten Ferguson
Andrzej Pilarczyk
Thomas Dimopoulos
Joel Patterson
Rudy Lu
J Hunter

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:

Troy Savings Bank Music Hall, Troy
College of Saint Rose’s Massry Center, Albany
Proctors, Schenectady

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:

Caffe Lena, Saratoga Springs
The Low Beat, Albany
Club Helsinki, Hudson
Cafe NOLA, Schenectady
Skidmore College’s Zankel Music Center, Saratoga Springs
Dinosaur Bar-B-Que, Troy
Vapor, Saratoga Springs
The Hollow Bar + Kitchen, Albany

Thanks for keeping Nippertown alive… and lively,

Sara Ayers
Greg Haymes

LIVE: The Holly & Evan Band @ Cafe NOLA, 2/13/15

February 27th, 2015, 3:00 pm by Greg

Holly & Evan Band

Photographs by Timothy Reidy

It was Friday the 13th. It was the eve of Valentine’s Day. But most importantly, when the Holly & Evan Band cranked up their batch o’ blues at Cafe NOLA in Schenectady earlier this month, it was the kick off the big Mardi Gras weekend. And fresh from recent big bashes like First Night Saratoga and the Capital Area Indie Fest, singer-guitarist Holly Taormina, bassist Evan Conway and drummer Rob Morris certainly do know how to throw down a party.

You can catch the Holly & Evan Band at 9pm tonight at Sharp Shooters Billiards in Amsterdam, where they’re sharing the stage with pop-rock duo Sirsy. Admission is $5.

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LIVE: Woodchuckwood / The Wheel @ the Low Beat, 2/6/15

February 27th, 2015, 2:00 pm by Greg

Review by Joel Patterson

Grateful Dead cover bands, in my opinion – and I’m never one to shy away from a central heresy – lots of times are far better than the original: more precise, more driving, more in command of the material, more dramatically conveying all its many colors and implications. Obviously! They’ve had years to go over it, and fine tune it, and also hopefully they’re not hobbled by wheezing, whiny, creaky voices.

The Wheel is just exactly what I’m talking about. Lead singer and guitarist Andy Morse leads this crisp quartet through Deadland with fervor and a dreamy, casual effortlessness, which you get when a lot of attention has gone into precisely mapping the unfolding of each song – musicians refer to this as arrangements, I think. His sister Meg Bassinson plays the keys with a swirling, delicate, bubbly touch. Dave Pallas (bass) and Gordon Wilson (drums) are monumentally rock solid in delivering the intricate, intoxicating motion of this music seamlessly.

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Other Voices, Other Rooms…

February 27th, 2015, 1:00 pm by Greg

From Guitar World: Yeah, there’s a Top 10 list for just about any topic you can imagine. And the staff of Guitar World’s latest entry in Listomania is “The Top 10 Greatest Rock and Roll Song Endings,” which includes such kickers as “21st Century Schizoid Man” by King Crimson (No. 7), “Paradise City” by Guns N’ Roses (No. 5) and “Metal Head” by the Local 518′s own Blotto (No. 4). No, really!

From 518Life: “57 Reasons to Love the Capital Region.” Nipper snagged the No. 26 spot on the list…

From the Rogovoy Report: Earlier this month adventurous jazz drummer-composer Bobby Previte played Albany’s Parish Public House with the Charlie Hunter Trio. Now Seth Rogovoy reports that Previte has been honored with the prestigious Greenfield Prize for 2015. The annual award includes a $30,000 cash prize as a commission for a new work of art to be realized within two years.

From Paste: Trevor Courneen explains that “Friday is the New Official Release Day for Albums”

BOOK: Marky Ramone’s “Punk Rock Blitzkrieg: My Life as a Ramone”

February 27th, 2015, 12:00 pm by Greg
Marky Ramone

Marky Ramone at Skidmore College, 3/26/14

Review and photograph by Thomas Dimopoulos

“Punk Rock Blitzkrieg: My Life as A Ramone”
by Marky Ramone with Rich Herschlag
403 pages, $28.
(Touchstone/Simon & Schuster)

“For Christmas 1961, my parents bought me my first transistor radio… a whole new world opened up.”

During the past 45 years, beat-keeper Marky Ramone has had a seat in the downtown Manhattan birthing room of some of the world’s greatest rock and roll happenings. His newly published autobiography, “Punk Rock Blitzkrieg: My Life as A Ramone,” follows a linear path through the life of the Brooklyn-born drummer from his youngest years to the present day, and as the title suggests, pays considerable homage to his 15 years as a member of the Ramones.

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

February 27th, 2015, 11:00 am by Greg

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 was a whole lot of news to write about this week, including lots of big concert and festival 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:

1. Brewery Ommegang Announces New Concert (by Staff)

2. The Palace Theatre Announces New Concert (by Staff)

3. Comin’ Soon: New Concert Announcements (by Staff)

4, SPAC Jazz Fest Announces Three More Bands (by Staff)

5. Actors Around Town (by Staff)

6. David Bourgeois: A Man on the Move (by Bob Girouard)

7. Upstate Artists Guild Gala @ Normanside Country Club on Saturday (by Staff)

8. Win FREE Tickets to This Weekend’s Bridge Jazz Festival (by Staff)

9. Bands Announced for FreshGrass @ MASS MoCA (by Staff, Rudy Lu)

10. LIVE: Dryer @ Caffe Lena, 2/13/15 (by Andrzej Pilarczyk)

Caffe LenaCartoonist John CaldwellHolly & EvanAdvertise on Nippertown!Leave Regular Radio BehindAlbany PoetsKeep Albany BoringHudson SoundsBerkshire On StageArtist Charles HaymesThe LindaDennis Herbert Art