LIVE: The Levin Brothers @ the Van Dyck, 3/20/15

March 31st, 2015, 4:00 pm by Greg
The Levin Brothers

The Levin Brothers

Review and photographs by Rudy Lu

The Levin Brothers are no strangers if you are an avid reader of album liner notes and tour brochures. Both of them have been very active first-call studio and touring band musicians since the ’70s.

Although probably best known as the bassist and Chapman Stickman for prog rock pioneers King Crimson and Peter Gabriel, Tony Levin has a vast discography that includes recording with everyone from John Lennon to Karen Carpenter, from David Bowie to Tom Waits, from Alice Cooper to the Bulgarian Women’s Choir.

Older brother Peter Levin’s resume is just as deep and diverse, stretching from Judy Collins to Bryan Ferry, from Salt ‘N Pepa to Miles Davis, from Annie Lennox to Gov’t Mule. He joined his brother on tour with Paul Simon in the ’80s and was originally a French horn player with the Gil Evans Orchestra before switching to keyboards.

In support of their long-overdue debut collaborative album, they are now touring as the Levin Brothers in jazz-based project inspired by the music that inspired them during their youth to pursue careers in music – the cool jazz of Oscar Pettiford and Julius Watkins. And that’s what recently brought them up to the Van Dyck in Schenectady from their Woodstock area homes.

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Sexmob Adds Unusual Jazz Twist to 1925 Silent Film “Maciste in Hell” [Berkshire on Stage]

March 31st, 2015, 3:00 pm by Sara
Sex Mob brings jazz and special effects to a classic silent film at Mass MoCA’s Club B-10  on April 4

Sexmob brings jazz and special effects to a classic silent film at MASS MoCA’s Club B-10

At MASS MoCA in North Adams on Saturday night (April 4), the propulsive quartet Sexmob, which combines mind-blowing jazz chops with a highly developed sense of wit and mischief, performs its brand-new original score to Maciste in Hell, the seminal work of the Italian silent era. The great Bartolomeo Pagano stars as Maciste, a Herculean strongman whose physical prowess and matching virtue are tested when the Devil and his minions capture him and drag him to hell. Fellini cites the film as one that inspired him to lead a life in cinema.

Originally formed as a vehicle for Steven Bernstein (most notable for his work as the trumpeter for Levon Helm from 2004 to 2012) and his slide trumpet, Sexmob quickly evolved to serve a much nobler purpose. Immediately after Bernstein assembled his band (Steven Bernstein, slide trumpet; Briggan Krauss, alto sax; Tony Scherr, bass; Kenny Wollesen, drums), they began a residency at the Knitting Factory in Manhattan, largely playing Bernstein’s original songs. During a special evening of film music, however, the audience went crazy for the James Bond theme. Bernstein and his band realized that audiences engage more with music they recognize, and Sexmob’s legacy would be forever changed.

Click to read the rest at Berkshire on Stage.

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A Few (More) Minutes With… Steven Bernstein
A Few Minutes With… Steven Bernstein of the Millennial Territory Orchestra

NYS Music March Madness: Elite Eight Results: Final Four Voting Now Open

March 31st, 2015, 2:00 pm by Greg
Eastbound Jesus

Eastbound Jesus photograph by Martin Benjamin

The inaugural NYS Music March Madness competition – which is determined by online fan voting – has come down to the Final Four after some tough battles in the Elite Eight round of balloting. And the Local 518 is well represented.

Here’s who has moved on to the Final Four:

In the Metal/Rock/Punk division: Wild Adriatic
In the Folk/Bluegrass/Americana/Country division: Eastbound Jesus
In the EDM/Indie/Other division: Jimkata
In the Jam/Funk/Reggae division: moe.

GO HERE to vote; deadline for voting in round of the Final Four is 12midnight on Wednesday (April 1)…

FIVE FIRSTS: Shana Falana

March 31st, 2015, 1:00 pm by Greg
Shana Falana and Mike Amari

Shana Falana and Mike Amari

NAME: Shana Falana
BAND AFFILIATION: Shana Falana
INSTRUMENT: Guitar/Vocals

1. THE FIRST ALBUM I EVER BOUGHT WAS … The Go-Go’s Beauty and the Beat

2. THE FIRST CONCERT THAT I EVER SAW WAS … Echo and the Bunnymen

3. THE FIRST MUSICAL INSTRUMENT I EVER OWNED OR PLAYED WAS … Piano

4. THE FIRST SONG THAT I EVER PERFORMED IN PUBLIC WAS … P.J. Harvey’s “You’re Not Rid of Me”

5. THE FIRST BAND I WAS EVER IN WAS … The Gun and Doll Show in San
Fransisco, 1996

Shana Falana – the Kingston-based duo of guitarist-vocalist Shana Falana and drummer Michael Amari – celebrate the release of their new album “Set Your Lightning Fire Free” (on Team Love Records) with a pair of Nippertown shows this week. At 9pm on Thursday (April 2), they’ll be at the Low Beat in Albany, sharing the stage with Eternal Crimes and Moon Magick. Admission is $5. And then at 9pm on Friday (April 3), they’ll hit the stage at the BSP Lounge in Kingston with Buffalo Sex Change and Pecas. Admission is $5.

Solid Sound Festival Announces Day-By-Day Line-Up

March 31st, 2015, 12:00 pm by Greg

Signs of the City

Photograph by Greg Haymes

The Solid Sound Festival curated by Wilco has announced the daily line-up of bands, so now we know who’s playing on which day when the fest takes over the sprawling MASS MoCA campus in North Adams on Friday-Sunday, June 26-28.

The three-day event features two headlining performances by hosts and creators Wilco (one on Friday and one on Saturday) and also includes musical performances by Mac DeMarco, Richard Thompson, Real Estate, King Sunny Ade & His African Beats, Parquet Courts, the Charles Lloyd Quartet, all Wilco-member side projects and plenty more, including comedy by John Hodgman and friends, circus performance workshops by Vermont-based Circus Smirkus.

“We want to make it unique every year,” singer Jeff Tweedy told Rolling Stone back in 2013. “We want to make it something you can only experience here.”

And yes, true to his word, Solid Sound (which began in 2010) also features world-class contemporary art, kids’ programming, pop-up performances, an on-site record shop, naturalist hikes and lots more that you won’t find at most music festivals.

But, of course, music is still the main attraction, and here are the day-by-day musical line-ups for the fest:

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Palace Theatre Announces New Concert

March 31st, 2015, 11:00 am by Greg

K. Michelle – winner of the Soul Train Award for Best New Artist and the NAACP Image Award-winner for Outstanding New Artist for her 2013 debut album, Rebellious Soul – is slated to make her Nippertown concert debut at Albany’s Palace Theatre at 8pm on Friday, May 1, in support of her sophomore album, Anybody Wanna Buy a Heart?

She had originally been slated to play the Washington Avenue Armory on Friday, March 27 before the armory cancelled its entire upcoming concert schedule earlier this month.

Tickets for her Palace concert are priced at $35 & $40; VIP $65 & $175.

Bands Announced for Albany’s Tulip Fest

March 31st, 2015, 9:34 am by Greg

Is it spring yet? Well, maybe…

The annual Albany Tulip Festival is returning to Washington Park once again from 11am-6pm on Saturday & Sunday, May 9 & 10. As always, admission is FREE.

Expect more than 100,000 bloomin’ tulip bulbs, the crowning of the Tulip Queen, a Mother’s Day celebration and lots of free music.

Here’s the musical schedule for the 2015 Albany Tulip Festival:

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3/31/15: Today’s Top Tips: Tuesday

March 31st, 2015, 8:00 am by Greg

MUSIC: Lisa Fischer & Grand Baton @ the Calvin Theatre, Northampton. The soul singer – featured in the award-winning documentary film, “20 Feet from Stardom” – has had a long and illustrious career touring with many of the world’s rock & roll greats, including the Rolling Stones, Sting and Tina Turner. 8pm. $25, $35 & $45.

DISCUSSION: A Celebration of Activism of Barbara Smith @ UAlbany Milne Hall’s Room 200, Albany. Moderated by Susan Arbetter. Pioneering activist Barbara Smith will join Alethia Jones and Virginia Eubanks, editors of the new book, “Ain’t Gonna Let Nobody Turn Me Around: Forty Years of Movement Building with Barbara Smith,” which combines historical documents with new interviews to uncover the deep roots of today’s “identity politics” and serves as an essential primer for practicing solidarity and resistance. 7pm. FREE.

OPEN MIC: Open Mic with Cameron & Ryder @ Club Helsinki, Hudson. 6:30pm sign-up; 7pm show. FREE.

OPEN MIC: Wide Open Mic @ the Low Beat, Albany. Hosted by Jimmy Loveless. 7:30pm.

FILM: Harun Farocki’s “Parallel I-IV” @ EMPAC at RPI, Troy. This four-part cycle of essay-films made by the late filmmaker Harun Farocki between 2012–2014 delves into the techniques and technologies involved in the making of contemporary moving images. Charting the development of computer animation through video games, industrial cinema and military imaging, Farocki discards the cinematic notion of the “real” to uncover the unseen labor invisibly rendered into these on-screen digital worlds. 7pm. $6.

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