12/3/16: Today’s Top Tips: Saturday

December 3rd, 2016, 7:29 am by Greg

MUSIC: Chris Botti @ Troy Savings Bank Music Hall, Troy. The trumpeter is often mistakenly lumped in with the “smooth jazz” crowd, but Botti knows how to play the real-deal jazz. And he also has a top-notch band. 8pm. $29, $49, $69 & $79. UPDATE: This show is now officially sold out…

MUSIC: Brother Sun @ the Eighth Step at Proctors’ GE Theatre, Schenectady. The fave folk trio of Joe Jencks, Pat Wictor and Greg Greenway offers selections from their latest album, Weights & Wings. 7:30pm. $28: $50.

TALK: Picturing The Band with Photographer Elliott Landy @ The Egg, Albany. The photographer documented the period during which The Band made their first two albums, Music from Big Pink and The Band, and he’ll show both rare and familiar photos from his archive of more than 12,000 images, many of which are in his recently published book “The Band Photographs: 1968-1969.” Followed by a Q&A. 7pm. FREE.

MUSIC: Steve Forbert @ The Linda, Albany. Super singer-songwriter. 8pm. $25.

MUSIC: Mike Campese @ the Madison Theater, Albany. In support of his new album, Chapters, the guitar hero and his band will be performing both electric and acoustic. Bring a new, unopened toy for Toys for Tots and receive a free movie pass. 8pm. $10.

MUSIC: Nelson Esposito Quintana @ 9 Maple Avenue, Saratoga Springs. Exploratory instrumental music. 9pm.

PARTICIPATORY MUSIC: Unsilent Night @ Basilica Hudson, Hudson. Composer Phil Kline leads the street promenade in which the audience becomes the performer. Walk a carefully chosen route through North Adam city’s streets, and create a unique mobile sound sculpture which is different from every listener’s perspective. Meet at 4pm; parade at 5pm. FREE.

MUSIC: Peggy & the Delivery Boys @ the Ale House, Troy. Peggy Lecuyer of the Nellies fronts her new band. 9pm.

MUSIC: Chief Big Way @ Chrome, Waterford. Anthrax frontman Joey Belladonna slips behind the drums to lead his side-project cover band. 8pm. $15.

MUSIC: Kimono Dragons @ the Low Beat, Albany. In support of their new album, Swirldoggin’. With Knock Yourself Out and Savage Randys. 8pm.

FESTIVAL/MUSIC: Sick Shit Fest 8 @ Upstate Concert Hall, Clifton Park. A headbanger’s delight featuring Internal Bleeding, Dehumanized, Gunther Weezul, Dissolve, Hammerfight, Ton, Begat the Nephilim, Assault on the Living, the Killing Condition, Incontenence, Disguise the Curse, Foaming at the Mouth, Before the Judge, Calamity and Apastron. 1:45pm. $25.

THEATER: “Juarez: A Documentary Mythology” @ MASS MoCA, North Adams. Theater Mitu compares and contrasts the across-the-border communities of Juárez, Mexico and El Paso, Texas. 8pm. $18; $10 student; $24 preferred. GO HERE for more info…

MUSIC: Marc Black Band @ the Bearsville Theater, Woodstock. Celebrating the return of keyboardist Warren Bernhardt after his battle with cancer. 8:30pm. $20.

THEATER: “The Turn of the Scrooge” @ the Ghent Playhouse, Ghent. The Pantaloons present their annual British Panto. 8pm. $20; $10 students. Through Sunday, December 11. GO HERE to read review…

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It’s the Weekend!

December 2nd, 2016, 4:00 pm by Greg
(photo by Ruby)

Vigilantly standing guard over Albany's skyline...

Photograph by Ruby

The work week is over, and now it’s time for some fun.

But before we head out for the first weekend of December we’d like to send out a 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:

Rudy Lu
Andrzej Pilarczyk
Martin Benjamin
Timothy Reidy
Robert Cooper
Stanley Johnson
David Brickman
Gail M. Burns
Larry Murray

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

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:

Skidmore College’s Tang Museum, Saratoga Springs
The Low Beat, Albany
Proctors, Schenectady
The Egg, Albany
The Van Dyck, Schenectady
theREP, Albany
Ghent Playhouse, Ghent
UAlbany’s University Art Museum, Albany
Boho Chic Boutique, Waterford

Thanks for keeping Nippertown alive… and lively,

Sara Ayers
Greg Haymes

LIVE: The California Guitar Trio @ the Van Dyck, 10/22/16

December 2nd, 2016, 3:00 pm by Greg
The California Guitar Trio

The California Guitar Trio

Review & photographs by Rudy Lu

Not merely a concert, it was also a lesson in pop music history and guitar techniques when the California Guitar Trio returned to the stage of the Van Dyck after a five year absence.

This virtuoso trio of guitarists – Bert Lams, Paul Richards and Hideyo Moriya – met while studying with Robert Fripp (King Crimson) at his legendary Guitar Craft course in 1987, and then toured with his League of Crafty Guitarists. They branched out on their own to form their current band in 1991.

Opening with an instrumental rendition of the Beatles’ “I Dig A Pony” (now there’s a Fab Four song that you don’t hear covered very often), the band proceeded through an incredible array of diverse musical styles and moods at the Van Dyck, all performed as a trio of semi-acoustic guitars.

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THEATER REVIEW: “Camelot” @ theREP, 11/29/16

December 2nd, 2016, 2:00 pm by Greg
Leenya Rideout as Guineviere, Oliver Thornton as Lancelot, and Kevin McGuire as King Arthur (photo: Douglas C. Liebig)

Leenya Rideout as Guenevere, Oliver Thornton as Lancelot, and Kevin McGuire as King Arthur

Review by Greg Haymes
Photograph by Douglas C. Liebig

“Don’t let it be forgot
That once there was a spot
For one brief shining moment
That was known as Camelot…”

For baby boomers, it’s nearly impossibly to separate the beloved Lerner & Lowe musical from the ground-breaking ’60s era of President John F. Kennedy, politically speaking the most hopeful time of the late 20th century.

But in the shadow of the most recent presidential election, it would seem that “Camelot” and its musical tale of King Arthur’s revolutionary concept of justice is not much more than a painful reminder of what could have been. A magical, almost mystical land like “Brigadoon,” speaking in Broadway terms…

Currently on the boards at theREP in downtown Albany, director Maggie Mancinelli-Cahill’s hand guides “Camelot” through its paces with some intriguing twists and turns – most notably casting the actors as musicians. Or was it the musicians as actors? Either way, it was brilliant, and the precise choreography required to pull it off was nearly seamless. Kudos also must go to musical director Josh D. Smith.

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THEATER REVIEW: “The Turn of the Scrooge” @ the Ghent Playhouse [Berkshire on Stage]

December 2nd, 2016, 1:00 pm by Sara
Mark “Monk” Schane-Lydon turns in delightful performances in three roles.

Mark “Monk” Schane-Lydon turns in delightful performances in three roles.

Theater review by Gail M. Burns

I am happy to report that the PantoLoons have once again taken the stage at the Ghent Playhouse for the annual Panto – this year a take-off on the much beloved and done-to-death Dickens tale A Christmas Carol in an opus they call The Turn of the Scrooge.

What is a Panto? Well, it is a British theatrical tradition for the holiday season. Basically, you take a familiar fairy tale or folk tale, have all the men play the women and the women play the men, add lots of new and (hopefully) witty lyrics to well-known tunes, and ignore the plot completely. There is lots of audience interaction – you get to boo the villians and sing along a bit and shout “He’s right behind you!” and such. Only the most conservative and humorless of folks can fail to be amused by the good old-fashioned schtick.

In Columbia County this tradition was started in 2000 by British-born Judy Staber. Staber has now stepped aside, but a continuing corps of like-minded Loons gather to pen and perform a new and original Panto every year. This year Cathy Lee-Visscher takes the reins as the director.

Click to read the rest at Berkshire on Stage>

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

December 2nd, 2016, 12:00 pm by Greg
Bob Weir

Guess who’s coming to SPAC?

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.

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

2. First SPAC Concert Announcement of 2017 (by Staff)

3. Metroland or The Alt? (by Greg Haymes)

4. The Egg Announces New Shows (by Staff)

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

6. The Egg Announces New Concert (by Staff)

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

8. The Egg Announces Two New Concerts (by Staff)

9. LIVE: Hot Tuna @ The Egg, 11/20/16 (by Rudy Lu)

10. THE DOZEN: December’s Must-See Concerts (by Greg Haymes)

Hopper’s Hits: Who Wants Dennis Hopper’s Record Collection?

December 2nd, 2016, 11:00 am by Greg


How much would you pay for 110 records from the personal collection of the late actor/director Dennis Hopper?

Hopper’s daughter Marin is selling the batch of albums on Womenswear retail site Moda Operandi. The site claims that the batch of albums includes “handwritten notes to the actor from various artists and several unreleased records,” but doesn’t offer any specifics. The asking price? $150,000.

Really. $150,000…

Here’s the blurbage from the sale site:

With a career spanning almost six decades as an actor, filmmaker, photographer, artist, art collector and Hollywood enfant terrible, Dennis Hopper collected over 100 record titles during his lifetime. Including iconic artists and bands such as the Beatles, Bob Dylan, Van Morrison, Fleetwood Mac, Leonard Cohen and Miles Davis, this collection provides an incredible view into the world of one of America’s most culture-defining men.

Along with handwritten notes to the actor from various artists and several unreleased records, this is a very personal biography of Dennis Hopper’s musical journey, directly from the archive of Dennis’ daughter, Marin Hopper.

A portion of the sale price will be donated to The Future Heritage Fund, which was founded in partnership with the New Mexico Community Foundation (NMCF) to support a range of cultural and artistic non-profit organizations in New Mexico.

Judging by the photos on Moda Operandi’s site, Hopper’s collection includes pretty mundane stuff, including Leonard Cohen’s Songs from a Room, Pete Seeger at the Village Gate, Bob Dylan’s Highway 61 Revisited and The Freewheelin’ Bob Dylan, Van Morrison’s Tulepo Honey, The Byrds’ Greatest Hits, Simon & Garfunkel’s Bridge Over Troubled Waters, the Beatles’ Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band, James Taylor’s self-titled debut, Fleetwood Mac’s Future Games, Seatrain’s The Marblehead Messenger and Jefferson Starship’s Dragon Fly, to name just a few.

However, the collection also apparently includes a 1970 recording of “Blue Suede Shoes” that Carl Perkins made specifically for Hopper as a gift from Zack Van Arsdale.

Caffe Lena Schedules Its Grand Re-Opening

December 2nd, 2016, 9:30 am by Greg
The Suitcase Junket

The Suitcase Junket

Photograph by Andrzej Pilarczyk

The last time that there was a performance at Caffe Lena’s 47 Phila Street home was back on Sunday, June 5. Since then, the building has been undergoing major renovations.

But the Caffe didn’t stop presenting music. Instead, it’s been on the move – jumping from venue to venue around Saratoga Springs and beyond. The Grove at Neumann, Universal Preservation Hall, Saratoga Arts Center, the Parting Glass, the Washington Inn, Northshire Bookstore, Skidmore College, Spring Street Gallery, Bailey’s Cafe, Creative Sparks and the Barn in Schenectady are among the various venues that offered Caffe Lena a home away from home during the summer and fall months.

Now the Caffe is finally heading back to its real home. The first show back at the freshly renovated, re-made, re-modeled Caffe Lena will be at 8pm on Friday, December 30 when the Suitcase Junket steps onto the stage. Tickets are currently on sale, priced at $22, but don’t expect them to last long…

The Cock'N'Bull RestaurantHolly & EvanCaffe LenaJim Gaudet and the Railroad BoysCartoonist John CaldwellAdvertise on Nippertown!Leave Regular Radio BehindHudson SoundsBerkshire On StageAlbany PoetsThe LindaArtist Charles HaymesThe Sanctuary For Independent Media