Photographs by Timothy Reidy
You can hear them in the open air courtyard space at MASS MoCA in North Adams on Friday (August 29) at 8pm. Listen for Hindustani and Persian singing styles, Ritornello with music and film by vocalist and Pulitzer Prize winner Caroline Shaw, and compositions by MASS MoCA and FreshGrass favorite, Sam Amidon.
On the heels of the success of its self-titled debut, Roomful of Teeth has been in residency at MASS MoCA since August 18 to explore different vocal techniques and create new groundbreaking work with a roster of guest composers. The group collaborates with American roots singer-songwriter and Vermont native Amidon, a virtuoso in the indie music world. Amidon reinvents traditional songs and contemporary hip-hop covers on guitar, banjo and fiddle and delivers them with eerily deadpan vocals that both charm and unsettle. According to Pitchfork, Amidon’s performances “meld the rural and the urban, the organic and the synthetic, the oral tradition and the written score.”
We Are Architects are bringing the Ecstatic Age to Troy on Friday evening (August 29). The event begins at 6pm at the Collar Works, and while we’re not exactly sure what to expect (which is always part of the fun, of course), here’s what the press release said:
“Ecstatic Age explores ideas, techniques and ephemera related to self-improvement, empowerment, transcendence, fulfillment and ecstasy in an evening of performances and workshops. This event takes the concept of a rave — the quintessential ’90s all-night-long bacchanalian dance party — as a framework for a DIY communal self-help session, dance party and music festival. Unraveling throughout the evening the event begins with gongs and singing bowls, progresses up to dance music, and concludes by decelerating through a series of increasingly emotional and introverted live music acts. Interspersed between music performances will be a variety of self-realization, self-help and affirmational workshops that include a yoga class, and group sessions with a motivational speaker and hypnotist, and closing the night with a period of guided meditation.”
A pair of Nippertown funnymen are launching a new stand-up comedy series at the Underground at Proctors in Schenectady. Ethan Ullman and Thomas Attila Lewis are kicking off their monthly comedy series, “Pretty Much the Best Comedy Show,” at 8pm tonight (Wednesday, August 27) with headliner Ahmed Bharoocha of the Comedy Central web series “Dead Kevin.” Ullman and Thomas will also perform, as well as a guest comedian yet-to-be-named. Tickets are $15.
Meanwhile, the Low Beat in Albany is branching out into comedy, too. The new monthly Low Down Comedy Open Mic Nights had their debut on Tuesday, August 12. Hosts Jim Felter and Carlisle Carey offer a venue for active comics to work out their material and new comics to get their feet in the water. Their slogan is, “Bring the funny, share the laughter!” The Low Down Comedy Open Mics take place on the second Tuesday of the month – September 9 is the next one. Sign up at 7:30pm; comedy at 8pm.
At 7pm tonight (Wednesday, August 27), the Albany Public Library is hosting its second “Reading Music” concert. It’s an evening of songs, readings and discussion based on John Steinbeck’s classic novel, “East of Eden.” The evening will feature nearly a dozen brand-spankin’ new original songs penned by Local 518 songsmiths Matt Durfee and Michael Eck. Admission is FREE.
Joining Durfee (vocals, guitar) and Eck (vocals, resonator guitar, resonator mandolin) will be August Sagehorn (bass), Tommy Krebs (drums), Roger Noyes (steel guitar), M.R. Poulopoulos (electric guitar) and Adam Prizio (readings).
You may recall the inaugural “Reading Music” performance back in April featured M.R. Poulopoulos and friends performing a number of original songs based on the novels of Albany’s own Pulitzer Prize-winning author William Kennedy, who was in attendance.
Flashback to 1961: Fab Muppetteer Jim Henson serves up an eye-boggling paper-cut animation video to accompany a Chico Hamilton drum solo. With a quick bit of behind-the-scenes footage tagged on at the end. Coolee-oo…
MUSIC: The Pine Leaf Boys @ Shepard Park, Lake George. It’s the last concert of the Lake George Arts Project’s Wednesday evening concert series, and it should be a wonderful, swamp-soaked night of Louisiana sounds. 7:30pm. FREE. GO HERE for more info and a complete schedule of concerts…
MUSIC: “Reading Music” @ the Albany Public Library, Albany. An evening of songs, readings and discussion based on John Steinbeck’s classic novel, “East of Eden.” Featuring nearly a dozen brand-spankin’ new original songs penned by Matt Durfee and Michael Eck. 7pm. FREE.
FAIR: Columbia County Fair @ Columbia County Fairgrounds, Chatham. It’s opening day at the fair with plenty of midway rides, cotton candy, farm animals, demolition derby and fried dough. Gates open at 3pm. $10; Free children 12 & under.
FAIR: Schaghticoke Fair @ the Schaghticoke Fairgrounds, Schaghticoke. It’s opening day at the fair with plenty of midway rides, fried dough, a truck pull, farm animals, karaoke competition, zucchini brownies, dairy demonstrations and more. Gates open at 12noon. $5; Free children 13 & under.
Review by Greg Haymes
Photographs by Joseph Deuel
Is there anything that the multi-talented Dom Flemons can’t do? And do well…
He’s been going it alone since parting ways with the Grammy Award-winning black string band the Carolina Chocolate Drops last year, and if you were worried about his ability to captivate a crowd without Rhiannon Giddens and the rest of his former CCD bandmates, worry no more. Earlier this month, Flemons made his Caffe Lena debut in support of his new solo album, Prospect Hill, proving beyond a doubt that he was thoroughly capable of wowing a full house on his own.
Flemons is the complete package as a performer – a stellar musician on at least a half dozen instruments (guitar, four- and six-string banjos, harmonica, bones and a pan flute-related instrument called the quills); a thoroughly engaging, charismatic all-around entertainer; and a straight-A student of the music, who offered insight and educational background on a wide variety of the songs (and the songwriters) that filled his songbag.