FEB. 23: On This Date in Local 518 Concert History

February 23rd, 2017, 1:30 pm by Greg
Ken Stringfellow

Ken Stringfellow @ Valentine’s Music Hall, 2/23/13

Compiled by Greg Haymes
Photograph by Alan Goldberg

It’s Throwback Thursday, so we’re back with another installment of our weekly flashback feature: On This Date in Local 518 Concert History. Check out our round-up of February 23 concerts through the years…

2016: Jon Cleary & the Absolute Monster Gentlemen @ the Iron Horse Music Hall, Northampton
2015: Kongos, Sir Sly, Colony House @ Upstate Concert Hall, Clifton Park
2014: Band of Horses @ The Egg, Albany
2013: Ken Stringfellow @ Valentine’s Music Hall, Albany
2012: Jill Sobule @ Club Helsinki, Hudson
2011: Rain @ the Palace Theatre, Albany
2010: Blissed Out, Fossils from the Sun, Rambutan, 1983 @ Saratoga Arts Center, Saratoga Springs
2008: Dumpstaphunk @ Revolution Hall, Troy
2007: Oregon @ The Egg, Albany
2006: Seether, Shinedown @ Nothern Lights, Clifton Park
2005: Nicole Peyrafitte @ Firlefanz Gallery, Albany
2004: Dresden Dolls, Broadcast Live @ Valentine’s Music Hall, Albany
2003: Yonder Mountain String Band @ The Egg, Albany
2002: The Tiger Lillies @ MASS MoCA, North Adams
2000: Smashing Pumpkins @ Colonie Center, Albany
1999: Bil Krauss @ Positively Fourth Street, Troy
1998: Bliss @ Mother Earth’s Cafe, Albany
1997: Del McCoury Band, Banjo Dan & the Midnight Plowboys @ the Parting Glass, Saratoga Springs
1996: Francis Dunnery @ the Metro, Saratoga Springs
1995: The Staziaks, Glaze @ Pauly’s Hotel, Albany
1994: 1313 Mockingbird Lane, Tadpole @ Bogie’s, Albany
1993: Eric Burdon, Smokestack Lightning @ Charity’s, Clifton Park
1992: Ani DiFranco @ Caffe Lena, Saratoga Springs
1991: Shawn Colvin, Mary Lou Lord @ Skidmore College’s Filene Hall, Saratoga Springs
1990: EPMD, Troop, Kwame @ Palace Theatre, Albany
1989: Even the Odd, Binky Philips @ QE2, Albany
1988: Loudon Wainwright III, Bert Sommer @ QE2, Albany
1986: Queen Ida @ the Town Crier, Pawling


A FEW MINUTES WITH… Billy Gibbons of ZZ Top

February 23rd, 2017, 12:00 pm by Greg
ZZ Top

ZZ Top

By Don Wilcock
Photograph by Andrzej Pilarczyk

“The bottom line is ZZ sounds like ZZ, which is that of interpretation rather than slave to form. It’s what keeps it funky.” So says guitarist-bandleader Billy Gibbons.

It’s a slippery slope adapting hardcore electric blues to the rock world without coming across as modern-day minstrels. To add your own mojo to the mix without desecrating your mentors is harder still. To do it with the same line-up for 48 years is unprecedented. And to sell 30 million units of 15 studio albums along the way is a blues band’s wet dream.

ZZ Top has done all that and more…

On Sunday night, ZZ Top brings their Tonnage Tour to Proctors in Schenectady. Tonnage refers to the old Tennessee Ernie Ford hit “Sixteen Tons.” Years ago someone posted a YouTube video of a band purported to be ZZ Top with Jeff Beck performing the song. ZZ Top, amused by the video, started performing the song on tour and recorded a London concert version with – you guessed it – Jeff Beck sitting in. It’s included on their CD, ZZ Top – Live! Greatest Hits from Around the World.

The current tour follows up the release of Billy Gibbons’ debut solo LP Perfectamundo, a Latin-flavored work that shows another side of Gibbons, who took lessons from Tito Puente at age 13.

Q: Of all the major blues-influenced rock acts of the last 60 years, ZZ Top is the best at pushing the envelope further back and further forward at the same time. What do you get out of a Sonny Boy Williamson, John Lee Hooker and Tennessee Ernie Ford song that inspires your sound without ever sounding retro?

A: We rarely think of the blues as something immutable. It’s ever evolving so there’s scant reason to be too doctrinaire about such an art form. It’s difficult to imagine if Muddy Waters had never plugged in. That would have been a way different detour and perhaps that’s why we do what we do… create experimental situations.

The blues really remains a living organism on so many levels, which leads us to just do what we do and let it flourish. The bottom line is ZZ sounds like ZZ, which is that of interpretation rather than slave to form. It’s what keeps it funky.

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DANCE: Gerard & Kelly’s “Modern Living” @ EMPAC [Berkshire on Stage]

February 23rd, 2017, 11:00 am by Sara

At 7pm tonight (Thursday, February 23), choreographers Gerard & Kelly host a free open-studio presentation on their work-in-progress, Modern Living, exploring queer intimacy and domestic space, at EMPAC at RPI in Troy.

In 2016, Gerard & Kelly choreographed nine dancers in performances at the landmark Schindler House in West Hollywood, the site of an early experiment in communal living, and Philip Johnson’s Glass House in New Canaan, CT, where the architect and his partner David Whitney lived for over 40 years. The performances investigated the livability of queer space — its pleasures, tensions, and impossibilities — and were filmed for the next iteration of the project.

In residence at EMPAC, the duo are now working to translate the project into a gallery installation integrating architectural forms and video projection. This open-studio event will invite you behind the scenes with the artists, who will introduce Modern Living and discuss their work, which shifts between dance and visual art contexts, the gallery, the stage, domestic and public space.

Click to read the rest at Berkshire on Stage.

ArtBeat: What To See

February 23rd, 2017, 9:30 am by Sara


Chloe Zerwick: A Sublime Situation @ Hudson Opera House

Chloe Zerwick: A Sublime Situation @ Hudson Opera House

Chloe Zerwick: Inside the Box @ Hudson Opera House, Hudson. An exhibition of assemblages by Chloe Zerwick. Artist’s reception: Saturday, February 25, 5-7pm. (Through March 26)

Nasty Women HV @ Instar Lodge

Nasty Women HV @ Instar Lodge

Nasty Women HV @ Instar Lodge, Germantown. An exhibition in response to the presidental inauguration, in conjunction with Nasty Women NYC. All proceeds will be donated to the Hudson Valley Planned Parenthood. Opening Friday, February 24, 7:30-9pm. (Through Saturday, February 25)

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2/23/17: Today’s Top Tips: Thursday

February 23rd, 2017, 7:00 am by Greg

MUSIC: Glen David Andrews @ the Parish Public House, Albany. The veteran Crescent City trombonist-vocalist kicks off the big Mardi Gras weekend in high gear. Laissez les bons temps rouler! 8pm. $20.

MUSIC: Young the Giant @ the Palace Theater, Albany. The LA indie rockers take the stage in support of their latest album, Home of the Strange. With Lewis Del Mar. 8pm. $24.50, $27.50, $29.50 & $34.50.

MUSIC: John Doe @ Club Helsinki, Hudson. The co-founder of seminal California punk-rock band X fires up a solo concert featuring the psychedelic soul sound of his latest album, The Westerner. 8pm. $20.

MUSIC: The McKrells @ Caffe Lena, Saratoga Springs. Singer-songwriter Kevin McKrell is joined by John Kribs on guitar, Orion Kribs on mandolin, Arlin Greene on bass and Doug Moody on fiddle. 7pm. $20.

COMEDY: Bill Engvall @ Proctors, Schenectady. Grammy nominated, multi-platinum selling recording artist, blue collar stand-up comedian and former “Dancing with the Stars” contestant steps into the Electric City spotlight. 8pm. $35-$65.

MUSIC: Joe Barna & Sketches of Influence @ Senate Garage, Kingston. The drummer-composer is accompanied by saxman Kenny McCabe, guitarist Mark Kleinhaut, pianist Dave Solazzo and bassist John Menegon. 7:30pm. $15.

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LIVE: Deb Cavanaugh @ Eden Cafe, 2/4/17

February 22nd, 2017, 4:00 pm by Greg

Video by Joel Patterson

Veteran singer-songwriter Deb Cavanaugh played some “Far Out Folk” – including “Driving Me Crazy” – at the Eden Cafe in Loudonville earlier this month. And she’s slated for a return to the cafe at 7:30pm on Saturday, April 29. Admission is free…

THEATER REVIEW: 10×10 New Play Festival @ Barrington Stage [Berkshire on Stage]

February 22nd, 2017, 3:00 pm by Sara

Dina Thomas is horrified by the sight of two grown men – Matt Neely and Douglas Rees – playing with plastic dinosaurs in “Sandbox.” (photo: Scott Barrow)

Review by Gail M. Burns

Ten 10-minute plays – five before intermission and five after – helmed by two directors – Julianne Boyd and Matthew Penn – performed by a versatile ensemble of six actors – three male, three female – on a bare stage with only the most basic sets and costumes in the middle of February. This is the 10×10 New Play Festival at Pittsfield’s Barrington Stage Company, now in its sixth season and well established a welcome winter outing for locals and ski-bunnies alike.

This year’s showcase of 10 plays were selected from close to 200 submissions, and I am happy to say that the majority of them are written by women. Gender parity is an ideal, but it is nice to see the women in the lead for a change. All the plays are entertaining. Most lean towards comedy to make their point, but a couple are on the more thoughtful side.

But before we get to the plays themselves, mention must be made of the delightful “Hamilton”-ian rap, written by actor Matt Neely, which opens the show. This has become an annual tradition, and it alone is worth the price of admission. The cast wears a few bits of appropriately revolutionary dress, and Neely concludes the piece by striking Lin-Manuel Miranda’s signature Hamilton pose, which graces that show’s posters in silhouette.

This year the 10 plays can fairly neatly be divided into five pairs that cover the same ideas and issues. So I will review them that way, as contrasting pairs. I have numbered the plays by the order in which they are performed.

Click to read the rest at Berkshire on Stage.

Hump Day Unusual Moment

February 22nd, 2017, 1:30 pm by Greg

“Give It Up” from the 2014 album, “Thru You Too,” by Kutiman (aka, Ophir Kutiel), whose instrument of choice is YouTube. The Tel Aviv-based musician/producer has edited existing YouTube clips to create songs that are certainly more than just the sum of their parts.

Cartoonist John CaldwellHolly & EvanJim Gaudet and the Railroad BoysThe Cock'N'Bull RestaurantCaffe LenaAdvertise on Nippertown!The LindaArtist Charles HaymesAlbany PoetsHudson SoundsLeave Regular Radio BehindBerkshire On StageAustralian Cattle Dog Rescue Association