LIVE: Rick Springfield @ The Egg, 11/21/14

December 17th, 2014, 4:00 pm by Greg


Review by Greg Haymes
Photographs by Andrzej Pilarczyk

“You know I feel so dirty when they start talking cute
I wanna tell her that I love her, but the point is probably moot”

– from “Jessie’s Girl” by Rick Springfield

No question about it, Rick Springfield’s “Jessie’s Girl” is a great pop song, an iconic audio artifact of the ’80s and the only No. 1 hit in rock history to feature the word “moot” in its lyrics.

As an ’80s hitmaker, rocker Rick Springfield specialized in arena-ready nuggets of well-crafted power-pop. But in his solo “Stripped Down” concert at The Egg’s Hart Theatre recently much of the power was drained from his pop gems.

He’s an exceptionally ingratiating performer, and that came through loud and clear during his 100-minute show, a kind of cross between MTV’s “Unplugged” and VH1′s “Stroyteller.” But without the muscle of a band behind him, too many of the songs never really took off. Seated on a stool at centerstage surrounded by a phalanx of guitars, Springfield launched his show with the opening volley of “I Get Excited” and “An Affair of the Heart,” strumming his acoustic guitar with abandon. And right from the start, it was clear that this wasn’t really a solo show – without coaxing, the crowd sang along with him in full voice.

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COMIN’ SOON: New Concert Announcements

December 17th, 2014, 3:00 pm by Greg

The venerable (and still very vibrant) torchbearers of the New Orleans jazz tradition, the Preservation Hall Jazz Band are scheduled to parade into the Bearsville Theater in Woodstock second line-style at 9pm on Friday, April 4. Tickets are $35, $55, $65 & $79.

IN CASE YOU MISSED IT: The Egg in Albany has added six new concerts to its 2015 calendar – Hal Ketchum, Tom Paxton, Asleep at the Wheel, Leo Kottke, the New Riders of the Purple Sage and Jubilee Riots (formerly Enter the Haggis). Tickets go on sale at 10am on Friday (December 19).

Too critically acclaimed envelope-pushing pop artists – Perfume Genius and Jenny Hval – will be teaming up for a double bill at the BSP Lounge in Kingston at 9pm on Wednesday, March 25. Tickets are $15 in advance; $18 at the door.

IN CASE YOU MISSED IT: Tommy Stinson (of the Replacements and Guns ‘N Roses) teams up with Happiness (featuring members of Deer Tick) to headline the benefit concert Home Bass 2: A Little Help for Our Friends at Club Helsinki in Hudson. Also featured in the evening’s festivities will be Rhett Miller (of the Old 97′s), Elvis Perkins, Dust Bowl Faeries, Jesse Malin, Ruby Stinson and more.

Putnam Den in Saratoga Springs plays host to an unplugged performance by Brett Scallions of the band Fuel (as well as a more recent incarnation of the Doors) at 8pm on Wednesday, February 25. Also coming up on the Den’s spring calendar is the return of Melvin Seals & JGB at 9pm on Thursday, March 12. Tickets for each show are $20; $25 for those under age 21.

IN CASE YOU MISSED IT: In Cooperstown, Brewery Ommegang has announced the first of its outdoor summer concerts – a double-bill with the Avett Brothers and John Prine. Tickets go on sale at 10am on Friday (December 19).

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LIVE: Altamont Victorian Holiday Celebration, 12/14/14

December 17th, 2014, 2:00 pm by Greg
The Festival of trees. Folks get to vote on their favorite tree.

The Festival of Trees. Folks get to vote on their favorite tree.

Photographs by Michael Seinberg

‘Tis the season … that seems to bring out the Victorian in all of us – from Saratoga Spring to Troy. And to Altamont, which held its annual holiday celebration last weekend…

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New 2014 Film “Annie” Fails to Improve on Classic Staged “Annie” [Berkshire on Stage]

December 17th, 2014, 1:00 pm by Sara

As of December 1, “Annie,” starring Jamie Foxx and Quvenzhané Wallis, has been illegally downloaded by over 184,000 unique IP addresses.

Report by Larry Murray

They’re blaming all the troubles over at Sony Pictures on Kim Jong-un and The Interview, an upcoming picture about North Korea’s weird leader. A Pyongyang spokesman denied that their regime played any part in the hack attack earlier this month, and I believe them. The most damaging aspect is that copies of DVD screeners of four unreleased Sony movies including Annie, which is slated for wide release this week, are getting some unwelcome early exposure. The multi-title leak is part of actions protesting The Interview, with James Franco and Seth Rogen, by a group called #GOP(Guardians of Peace) and likely related to the hacking. Many of the leaked copies are watermarked. They showed up on file-sharing services, followed quickly by a flood of corporate data that no one at Sony Pictures ever intended to make public.

But all of that has little to do with our reaction to this new Annie except to make its official debut and this report a little less significant.

I think the purists who love the musical Annie will be even more up in arms at the mutilations Sony and director Will Gluck have wrought in this classic musical – cringe-worthy changes that take pandering to public taste to new heights. As my colleague over at Broadway World, Matt Tamanini, writes in his review, “The ‘Annie’ Remake is Bad, But Not Nearly as Bad as You Think.”

Click to read the rest at Berkshire on Stage.

Three New Concerts Announced for The Linda

December 17th, 2014, 12:00 pm by Greg

The Linda in Albany has announced three new concerts to help you get through the winter doldrums:

Saturday, January 10, 8pm
Three Local 518 bands – power-popsters Sandy McKnight & the Idea, rollicking alt-country combo the Lazy Suns and rockers SubSlab – team up for a mid-January benefit concert for The Linda.

With the Sea the Sea
Friday, January 23, 8pm
The dynamic duo features vocalist-guitarist Peter Cole and multi-instrumentalist Byron Isaacs (of the Levon Helm Band, the Midnight Ramble Band, the Dirt Farmer Band and Ollabelle) in support of their self-titled debut album, released earlier this year.

Friday, February 6, 8pm
Since the release of his 1978 debut, Alive On Arrival, Steve Forbert has become one of the most respected singer-songwriters on the scene.

The Figgs’ Pete Donnelly: New and Old Music

December 17th, 2014, 11:00 am by Greg
The Figgs

The Figgs (Pete Donnelly, center) @ Valentine’s Music Hall, 12/20/13

Photograph by Jason Spiro

The Figgs are rolling into town again this weekend for their annual holiday homecoming concerts at the Low Beat in Albany (Friday) and Putnam Den in Saratoga Springs (Saturday).

And if you’re looking to buy some last-minute Christmas gifts, Figgs’ bassist Pete Donnelly has got some suggestions for you…

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Hot Cousins Get Engaged at the Low Beat: Hump Day Unusual Moment

December 17th, 2014, 10:00 am by Greg

Yeah, we know – that headline sounds like something out of The National Enquirer, eh?

But really, what else can you say, after fave Local 518 band Hot Cousin stopped Van Halen’s “Panama” dead in its tracks during their show at the Low Beat last Friday night (December 12)?

Seems as though bassist Charlie Monroe had something else on his mind – like proposing marriage to lead singer Nicole K.

Fortunately, she said, “Yes.”

And then they finished the song…

“Panama”? Really? Not even “Jump”?

12/17/14: Today’s Tips: Wednesday

December 17th, 2014, 8:00 am by Greg

MUSIC: Heather Maloney @ Caffe Lena, Saratoga Springs. With a startlingly soulful voice and literate songwriting style, she explores themes of spirituality, transformation and impermanence. No Depression raved “Her music is riveting, her voice adventurous, her lyrics thought-provoking…” 7pm. $18.

MUSIC: The Airborne Toxic Event @ the Newbury Music Hall, Saratoga Springs. Nippertown’s newest live music venue isn’t even officially open yet, but they’re unofficially kicking things off in a big way. 8pm. You can’t buy tickets to this invite-only show, but you can win them from WEQX-FM.

MUSIC: The Bluebillies Old-Time Country & Bluegrass Christmas Revue @ Hudson River Music Hall, Hudson Falls. A nice, old-fashioned, family-friendly Christmas concert hosted by the Bluebillies. With their guests the String Dusters, Brian Jiguere and Ken Meyer. 7pm. $10; $8 students & seniors.

MUSIC: Erin Harkes @ World of Beer at Crossgates Mall, Guilderlnad. 8pm. FREE.

THEATER: “The Secret Garden” @ Capital Repertory Theatre, Albany. Frances Hodgson Burnett’s beloved book comes to life in the Tony Award-winning musical about an orphan girl who transforms a dead and wasted garden into a paradise where hearts can grow and miracles can happen. Directed by Maggie Mancinelli-Cahill. 7:30pm. $20-$55. Through Sunday, December 21.

MUSIC: SCCC Jazz Combos @ Schenectady County Community College’s Taylor Community Auditorium, Schenectady. Two student quintets play classic jazz compositions by Horace Silver, Dizzy Gillespie, Joe Henderson, Kenny Dorham, Herbie Hancock and Nat Adderley. 7:30pm. FREE.

PERFORMANCE: “Disney on Ice: Princesses and Heroes!” @ the Times Union Center, Albany. 7pm. $27, $47 & $62. Through Sunday.

MUSIC: The Deadbeats @ the Low Beat, Albany. 10pm.

FILM: “The Neighborhood That Disappeared” @ the Madison Theatre, Albany. Who was living there before the Empire State Plaza was built? 7:30pm.

TELEVISION ON FILM: “Downton Abbey” @ Proctors, Schenectady. It’s a sneak preview screening of the first episode of season five of “Downton Abbey.” which won’t be broadcast until Sunday, January 4. 7pm. FREE; reservations are available by contacting WMHT at 518-880-3400 or

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