Wussy can do anything! In a majestic return visit to the Low Beat the swirling 21st century psychedelia of “Little Paper Birds” soon gave way to the gothic horror story “She’s Killed Hundreds.” The primal stomp of “Sidewalk Sale” would’ve been right at home on Lenny Kaye’s original Nuggets compilation, but like much of Wussy’s set it actually hails from their recent Forever Sounds LP. So does “Better Days,” a lovely ballad that evokes the early-’90s heyday of shoe-gazing bands. Wussy can do anything!
A five-piece outfit from Cincinnati, Wussy has been making great records for over a decade: seven albums, three EPs and four singles. Founding member Chuck Cleaver and guitarist John Erhardt go back even further, having spent much of the ’90s with the Ass Ponys. Robert Christgau adores Wussy, and they’ve been featured on “CBS This Morning” and NPR. Those of us who love them think they should be rich and famous, traveling by jet rather than in an overstuffed van – but if they were, would they still write songs as wonderful as “Sidewalk Sale”?
Driftwood – the Binghamton-based Americana quartet featuring guitarist Dan Forsyth, banjo man Joe Kollar, bassist Joey Arcuri and fiddler Claire Byrne – have become popular regulars around Greater Nippertown. Heck, they played at Caffe Lena at the Grove just last month.
But earlier this month they took the stage at Shepard Park to launch the free weekly Wednesday night concert series sponsored by the Lake George Arts Project, and there was no denying that their brand of acoustic, wood-and-wire music is best appreciated outdoors under the twinkling stars.
Sasha Diamond as “M” and Laura Sohn as “L” are featured as sisters in Jiehae Park’s comedy “Peerless” (photo: Justin Allen)
Review by Macey Levin
When Barrington Stage Company Artistic Director Julianne Boyd introduced the play Peerlessby Jiehae Park at its opening performance, she said, “Park is a new voice… The rhythms of the play are different… It’s a comedy until it isn’t… It has shades of Macbeth…” She didn’t say, “It’s a terrific piece of theater!” And it certainly is.
The play centers on twin Asian sisters, seniors in high school, awaiting their college acceptances. L (the characters’ names are way off the beaten track) has applied to THE College (institution names are not used), and she is concerned that she’ll be beaten out. Her sister M (Sasha Diamond) assures her she has nothing to worry about, though L (Laura Sohn) is concerned about a nerdy classmate who may or may not be as bright as her.
The first several scenes depicting high school life are quite funny though a shadow of darkness hovers over the comic moments. A third of the way through this 85-minute play a corner is turned, and we slowly find ourselves in a contemporary/teen-age version of Macbeth. You don’t have to know the Shakespeare play, but it adds a level of intrigue to be aware of it as Peerless develops. The play, however, can stand alone.
A view of the studio shared by Terrance DePietro and Nicole Lemelin (photo: TDP)
By David Brickman
A unique pleasure comes from visiting artists in their studios, as it is a privilege to step inside the process of a creative mind and get below the surface of the work itself. So, a few weeks ago, I took advantage of an opportunity to hang out with Terrance DePietro and Nicole Lemelin (and a few other guests) at their shared work/live space in rural Palenville, and it proved to be time very well spent.
DePietro and Lemelin joined forces a few years ago, while he was long established in Palenville and she was still living in her native Montreal, and they now have integrated their lives and art practice in a surprisingly seamless way. I had seen very little of either artist’s work before this foray to the Catskills, so I spent hours just taking it all in, punctuated by interludes of conversation and Niki and Terry’s kind hospitality.
These two mid-life painters share sensibilities so close that at first I had a little trouble telling their work apart (and that includes the vast majority of the work that was created before they even knew each other). But there are discernible differences (of course), even though the two are consistently driving at the same ideas. And, by “driving,” I mean working in a very directed and persistent manner.
It’s the return of the Dresden Dolls! Yes, the dynamic goth-cabaret duo of Amanda Palmer and Brian Viglione are reuniting for the first time in nearly a decade to play at BSP Lounge’s Back Room Theater in Kingston at 8pm on Wednesday, August 24. PWR BTTM will open the show. Tickets for the concert are priced at $20 in advance; $25 at the door and will go on sale to the general public at 10am on Friday.
IN CASE YOU MISSED IT: The Units/Fear of Strangers reunion concert was originally slated to take place on June 30 at the Hollow Bar + Kitchen until lead singer Val Haynes was hit with an injury, and the show was postponed. Now a new date for the concert has been announced – Friday, September 23. Tickets are on sale now, priced at $15.
The Low Beat has bolstered its calendar with a batch of new shows, including the Howling Hex led by ex-Royal Trux frontman Neil Michael Hagerty on Thursday, September 15 ($12 in advance; $15 at the door); the jazz-fueled Soulia & the Sultans on Saturday, September 24 ($6); former Silos frontman Walter Salas-Humara on Saturday, October 15 ($10); and the seminal Japanese garage-rockin’ cult faves Shonen Knife on Tuesday, November 1 ($15 in advance; $18 at the door).
The Indigo Girls’ Amy Ray and her band take the spotlight at Club Helsinkiin Hudson on Saturday, October 1 with Chely Wright co-headlining the show. Tickets are on sale now priced at $25 & $30.
After opening with the Dreamers back in May, the Upper Room in downtown Albany has been laying low booking-wise during the summer, but now they’ve announced a batch of new concerts for the fall, including Wishbone Ash on Thursday, September 22; the Jon Herrington Band (led by the Steely Dan guitarist) at 8pm on Friday, September 23; blues-rockers Tommy Castro & the Painkillers at 7:30pm on Tuesday, October 18; and Fleetwood Mac tribute band Rumors at 8pm on Saturday, October 22. Advance tickets are currently available, priced at $20 & $35 for each show.
IN CASE YOU MISSED IT: Following their knock-out performances at the Grey Fox Bluegrass Festival, fab fiddler and all-around multi-instrumentalist Mark O’Connor leads the O’Connor Band into The Egg with Red Dog Run opening the show. Tickets go on sale to the general public at 11am on Friday (July 29).
The inaugural GEM Fest – full name: Glens Falls Entertainment & Music Festival – arrives on Saturday (July 30). Featuring the area’s visual artists with musicians, the day-long fest will take place at three different venues throughout downtown Glens Falls – Juicin’ Jar, the 190 Grille + Cinema and Mean Max Brew Works.
And it’s all free…
GEM Fest runs from 10am-11:30pm on Saturday, and here’s the complete schedule of bands and musicians:
MUSIC: John Jorgenson Quintet @ Shepard Park, Lake George. The multiple Grammy Award-winning guitarist and instrumentalist – who has collaborated with everyone from Luciano Pavarotti to Bob Dylan – leads his acclaimed Gypsy jazz band. 7:30pm. FREE. GO HERE for more info and the complete concert series schedule…
MUSIC: Ten Strings and a Goat Skin @ the Empire State Plaza, Albany. From Prince Edward Island in Canada, the trio plays a hearty mix of Irish, Acadian, French and original creations infused with modern and world rhythms. 12noon. FREE. GO HERE for more info and the complete concert series schedule…
MUSIC: Mandolin Orange @ Club Helsinki, Hudson. North Carolina-based folk-Americana duo multi-instrumentalist/singer Emily Frantz and songwriter/multi-instrumentalist/singer Andrew Marlinof brings their rootsy blend and intimate harmonies to to town. 8pm.
MUSIC: Blues for Breakfast @ Riverfront Park, Troy. Rockin’ on the River continues with an evening that celebrates the music of the Grateful Dead. 5pm. FREE. GO HERE for more info and the complete concert series schedule…
MUSIC: Yanni @ the Palace Theatre, Albany. The composer-keyboardist and his 15-member orchestra head to Albany’s downtown theater in support of their leatest album, Sensuous Chill. 7:30pm. $48, $68, $82 & $128.
THEATER: “Passage” @ Shire City Sanctuary, Pittsfield. Kickwheel Ensemble Theater premieres a new satirical climate change romance that links past, present and future. 8pm. Through Sunday.
MUSIC: Mike Kelley @ Lanie’s Cafe, Loudonville. The versatile vocalist-keyboardist will be accompanied by percussionist Bob Assini. 6pm.