BEST OF 2014: J Hunter’s Top 10 Concerts (And More)

December 18th, 2014, 4:00 pm by Greg

Netsayi @ MASS MoCA’s Courtyard Café, 7/19/14

Story and photograph by J Hunter

I actually cut down on my concert diet this year; that means I only went to 36 shows as opposed to 45 or 50! Therefore, all the usual jokes aside, your experience may really vary from mine. Nevertheless, the artists I did see definitely deserve some recognition, and I’m sure the people who shared these experiences will agree with me – mainly because they were applauding as loud as I was at the time.

As usual, I have a couple of bowling trophies to hand out before we do the thing…

THE LOCAL HERO AWARD (Venue Division) goes to… MASS MoCA
I mean, come on! Between the Hunter Center, Club B-10, and the newly minted Courtyard Café (let alone the space they give to FreshGrass), I think our neighbor to the east covered pretty much every musical genre there is, and may have invented a few new ones along the way. MASS MoCA’s musical curators think just as far outside the box as the museum’s artistic curators, which almost guarantees a new experience with every show; that said, they mastered the lesson EMPAC needs to learn that “experimental” and “fun” are not mutually exclusive terms or states-of-mind. Here’s to the hosts of Solid Sound 2015! WHOO HOO!

This primo NYC-based altoist hadn’t been seen in Greater Nippertown for several years before she made two knockout appearances in 2014 with two of our best local outfits. First she got on Michael Benedict & Bopitude’s front line with Chris Pasin and Brian Patneaude and blew the doors off the Daily Grind in Troy; then she appeared alongside fellow sax mavens Claire Daly and Ada Rovatti in a fire-breathing appearance with the Empire Jazz Orchestra at the Colonial Theatre as the anchor concert for the Pittsfield City Jazz Festival. Come back soon, Sharel – and next time, we want to see your band, with your music!

Okay, as Chris Hardwick once said, “That means it’s time to get down with the clown! IT’S ‘FOR THE WIN!’”

Read the rest of this entry »


RIP: Michael Wicks, 1945-2014

December 18th, 2014, 3:00 pm by Greg

We are deeply saddened to report that Michael Wicks – one of the Capital Region’s most ubiquitous and versatile bassists – passed away on Monday (December 15) after a lengthy illness. He was 69 years old.

A Scotia native, Wicks was born on Valentine’s Day, 1945, and his love of music certainly wasn’t restricted to any one genre.

Read the rest of this entry »

SPAC Announces First Jazz Fest Performer for 2015

December 18th, 2014, 2:00 pm by Greg

Acclaimed trumpeter, composer and bandleader Theo Croker will perform with his band at the 38th annual Freihofer’s Saratoga Jazz Festival at Saratoga Performing Arts Center on Saturday, June 27.

The grandson of jazz legend Doc Cheatham, the 29-year-old Croker is among the most highly regarded trumpeters of his generation. His musical training has taken him from Jacksonville, Florida to Oberlin, Ohio to Shanghai, China to New York City, along the way developing his unique musical style including elements of salsa, rock, R&B, blues and hip-hop.

Croker will perform at SPAC’s jazz fest in support of his latest album, The AfroPhysicist, released earlier this year.

The annual Freihofer’s Saratoga Jazz Festival will be held at SPAC in Saratoga Springs on Saturday & Sunday, June 27 & 28.

Jacob’s Pillow Announces 2015 Schedule with 200 Free Events [Berkshire on Stage]

December 18th, 2014, 1:00 pm by Sara
Céline Cassone & Daniil Simkin (photo: Ken Browar & Deborah Ory of NYC Dance Project)

Céline Cassone & Daniil Simkin (photo: Ken Browar & Deborah Ory of NYC Dance Project)

Highlights of the Jacob’s Pillow Dance Festival 2015 include Three Acts, Two Dancers, One Radio Host, a special dance and radio stage production starring public radio’s Ira Glass; the return of Nederlands Dans Theater 2; the U.S. debut of Gauthier Dance//Dance Company Theaterhaus Stuttgart from Germany; the world premiere of American Ballet Theatre principal dancer Daniil Simkin’s INTENSIO; Cuban contemporary ensemble Malpaso Dance Company, performing with Grammy Award-winning pianist and composer Arturo O’Farrill & the Afro Latin Jazz Orchestra; and the launch of Martha Graham Dance Company’s 90th anniversary, including a world premiere by eminent choreographer Mats Ek.

Live music is prevalent throughout the season and will be featured in performances by Jessica Lang Dance, Dorrance Dance, Daniel Ulbricht and Stars of American Ballet, Daniil Simkin’s INTENSIO, La Otra Orilla and Malpaso Dance Company. Jacob’s Pillow is committed to presenting and commissioning new work; Festival 2015 features many world premiere engagements including Daniil Simkin’s INTENSIO and Martha Graham Dance Company in VED by Mats Ek, plus premiere works by La Otra Orilla and Ricardo Graziano of the Sarasota Ballet. Many Festival 2015 artists have developed work during Creative Development Residencies at Jacob’s Pillow, including Jessica Lang, Michelle Dorrance, Annie-B Parson and Jonathan Campbell and Austin Diaz of MADboots Dance.

Click to read the rest at Berkshire on Stage.

Capital Area Music Awards Are Cancelled

December 18th, 2014, 12:00 pm by Greg

The 2014 Cammys are cancelled.

The Capital Area Music Awards – trying out the new nickname “the Cammys” – are no more.

After an inaugural celebration at Trick Shot Billiards & Sports Pub in Clifton Park in November of 2013 (back when they were nicknamed the Jammys), the second annual event was scheduled to take place at The Linda in Albany at 5pm on Sunday, January 25.

“We’re working hard to present a night of musical community,” the event’s organizer Dan Coler said on the Cammys’ website.

But on Wednesday night (December 17) – two days after the nominees had been scheduled to be announced – Greg Gamache, another of the Cammys’ organizers, posted the following on the event’s Facebook page:

Due to a lack of support from our music community, it is with a heavy heart that we announce this years 2014 Capital Area Music Awards, scheduled for January 25, 2015, has been cancelled. We truly appreciate the support of so many people in the development stage. It is our sincere hope that someday we may join together for a night of musical community and unite as one! If you have purchased advanced tickets, refunds are available where tickets were purchased.

ArtBeat: What To See

December 18th, 2014, 11:00 am by Sara


Lisa Frank: Flamingo Tableau @ Carrie Haddad Gallery

Lisa Frank: Flamingo Tableau @ Carrie Haddad Gallery

Photography 2015 @ Carrie Haddad Gallery, Hudson. A group exhibit featuring an all-star cast of established artists using various photo techniques and materials to create both abstract and representational images. New work by Birgit Blyth, Elliott Kaufman, Anne Arden McDonald, Newbold Bohemia, Robert Hite, Andrew Buck and Lisa Frank will be exhibited alongside prints by Anna Collette, Michael Sibilia, Kahn & Selesnick, Jeri Eisenberg and Lori Van Houten. Opening reception: Saturday, December 20, 6-8pm. (Through January 25)

Last Chance To See:

Hotel Palenque Is Not in Yucatán @ CCS Bard/Hessel Museum of Art

Hotel Palenque Is Not in Yucatán @ CCS Bard/Hessel Museum of Art

Hotel Palenque is not in Yucatan @ CCS Bard/Hessel Museum of Art, Annandale-on-Hudson. An exhibition and pavilion that takes its starting point from the narrative in Robert Smithson’s Hotel Palenque (1969-72), a slide projection taken from a lecture originally delivered by the artist at the University of Utah. The show is constructed through the work of A.L. Steiner & Robbinschilds, Adriana Lara, Alex Hubbard, Luc Tuymans, Pablo Sigg, Pedro&Juana, Tania Pérez Córdova, Ulla Von Brandenburg and a selection of Pre-Hispanic pieces from a private collection. (Through December 19)

Read the rest of this entry »

DECEMBER 18: On This Date in Nippertown Concert History

December 18th, 2014, 10:00 am by Greg


Throwback Thursday? Yeah, so we’re back for another installment of our weekly feature: On This Date in Nippertown Music History. Check out our round-up of December 18th concerts through the years…

2013: Michael Graves @ Bogie’s
2011: Eileen Ivers @ the Troy Savings Bank Music Hall
2010: Pat Travers @ the Fuller Roadhouse Grille
2009: Ramblin Jug Stompers @ Caffe Lena
2008: The Oak Ridge Boys @ the Palace Theatre
2007: Four Year Strong @ Valentine’s Music Hall
2005: Golem @ Club Helsinki
2004: Happy & Artie Traum @ the Kleinert James Arts Center
2002: Drunk Stuntmen @ the Larkin
1999: Randy Brecker & Nick Brignola @ the Van Dyck
1998: Richie Havens @ the Van Dyck
1997: Free Beer & Chicken, Homespun Shakers @ Valentine’s Music Hall
1996: Beyond Within, 500 Hats @ Bogie’s
1995: Sister Machine Gun, Die Krupps, Virus 23 @ QE2
1994: Aerosmith, Jackyl @ the Knickerbocker Arena
1993: Southside Johnny & the Asbury Jukes @ Saratoga Winners
1992: Nobody’s Girls @ Rolls Touring Company
1991: Luther Vandross, Sinbad, the Sounds of Blackness @ the Knickerbocker Arena
1990: Billy Joel @ the Knickerbocker Arena
1987: George Winston @ the Palace Theatre
1984: Diversion Factor @ 288 Lark
1980: Jim Carroll @ J.B. Scott’s

12/18/14: Today’s Tips: Thursday

December 18th, 2014, 8:00 am by Greg

MUSIC: Rock ‘N’ Roll Christmas Party @ the Ale House, Troy. Eddie Angel, Pete Curry, Sugarballs, Johnny Rabb, Mark Gamsjager, Ian Carlton and others serve up a rollicking rockabilly yuletide celebration. 8pm. $10.

MUSIC: Matisyahu @ Upstate Concert Hall, Clifton Park. Matisyahu blends Orthodox Jewish themes with reggae, rock and hip-hop on his annual Festival of Light tour. With Judith Hill (“20 Feet From Stardom,” NBC-TV’s “The Voice”) opening. 8pm. $22.

MUSIC: Frank Jaklitsch’s New Orleans Christmas Show @ Cafe NOLA, Schenectady. 6:30pm.

MUSIC/FUNDRAISER: Melodies of Christmas @ Proctors, Schenectady. It’s opening night. The annual holiday extravaganza features the Empire State Youth Orchestra and Youth Chorale with Grand Central Station, the McKrells, the Northeast Ballet and Orlando’s School of Dance. Proceeds benefit the Melodies Center for Childhood Cancer and Blood Disorders at Albany Medical Center. 7pm. $15 & $25. Through Sunday.

MUSIC: The LeeVees @ the Iron Horse Music Hall, Northampton. It’s a rockin’ Hanukkah show led by Adam Gardner of Guster. 10pm. $13.

MUSIC: Midnight Society @ the Low Beat, Albany. With Cresente and Olivia Quillio. 8pm.

MUSIC: The Dylan Perrillo Orchestra @ City Beer Hall, Albany. 9pm.

Read the rest of this entry »

Holly & EvanCaffe LenaCartoonist John CaldwellAdvertise on Nippertown!Artist Charles HaymesHudson SoundsAlbany PoetsLeave Regular Radio BehindBerkshire On StageKeep Albany BoringThe LindaArtist GG Roberts