Archive for June, 2009

“Musical Minds”

Tuesday, June 30th, 2009

A new season of Public Television staple “Nova” kicks off tonight with the hour-long episode “Musical Minds,” based on four case studies from Oliver Sachs book, “Musicophilia.”

The show airs at 8pm and repeats at 2am tonight and at 5am on Thursday, July 2.

Additional broadcasts on WMHT World (17.3) are at 9am, 3pm and 8pm Thursday, July 2 and at 7am, 1pm and 7pm on Saturday, July 4.


Things That Aren’t Where They Used To Be

Tuesday, June 30th, 2009

Here’s a little mind exercise that gets easier the longer you’ve lived in the Capital Distict:

The Washington Tavern is on Western Avenue, Westgate Lincoln Mercury is on Wolf Road in Colonie, and Lexington Vacuum is into its second Central Avenue location.

Olde Saratoga Coin is in Albany while Albany Pool Rebuilders is in Saratoga.

Central Art Supply is on Lark Street, Tess’ Lark Tavern is on Madison Avenue, the Madison Fruit Garden is in Latham and the Latham Car Wash is in Watervliet.

Got any more?

I don’t see anything. Do you see anything?

Tuesday, June 30th, 2009

In response to our River Street Arts Festival post, Nippertown regular AndyG commented about Julian Beaver’s famous 3D anomorphic pavement works, specially distorted drawings that create an impression of 3 dimensions when seen from one particular viewpoint.

This photograph of urban camouflage works in reverse – seen from the right viewpoint, the object tends to disappear.


I was going to do an urban camouflage link roundup, but Web Urbanist has already beaten me to it, and I don’t think I could top their amazing collection. Have a look: Web Urbanist: The Uninvisible Art of Amazing Urban Camouflage

Thanks, Spectrum!

Tuesday, June 30th, 2009

Sometimes we take for granted how truly lucky we are to have a movie theater in our midst that’s as cool as the Spectrum. So we here at would like to take a moment out of hectic schedules to say, “Thanks, Spectrum.”

There are loads of reasons, of course, but right now we’re thinking specifically about the string of music-oriented documentaries that have graced the Spectrum screens this month:

1. “Every Little Step,” about the auditions and casting for the re-make of “A Chorus Line,” a Broadway musical which is about the auditions and casting of a Broadway musical.

2. “Anvil!: The Story of Anvil,” a headbanging, heartwarming all-too-true tale of an almost-made-it-big heavy metal band from the Great White North. WARNING: The final screenings are today (Tuesday, June 30.)

3. And now “Youssou N’Dour: I Bring What I Love,” about the internationally acclaimed Afro-pop vocalist and human rights advocate.

Let’s see now, that’s Broadway musicals, Canadian heavy metal and Afro-pop – a pretty damn good range of musical genres, eh?

Be Here Now: The Village People @ Alive at 5

Tuesday, June 30th, 2009

Gimme a “Y.”
Gimme an “M.”
Gimme a “C.”
Gimme an “A.”

What’s that spell?


For more than 30 years now, the Village People have been singing the praises of the “Y.M.C.A.” And you can bet that they’ll be singing it once again (or twice, or three times…) at Albany’s Riverfront Park for the Thursday, July 2 edition of the free Alive @ 5 concert series.

And if you just can’t wait til then, I heartily recommend watching “Can’t Stop the Music,” one of the all-time so-bad-it’s-hilarious movies and the Village People’s only feature film. Not only does it star Bruce Jenner, but Blackie Lawless appears (uncredited) as a metal musician at an audition.

LEVON HELM’s “Electric Dirt”

Tuesday, June 30th, 2009

ElectricDirt(Vanguard, 2009)

Is this the plugged-in follow-up to Helm’s previous Grammy-winning album, “Dirt Farmer”? Or is it a kind of dehydrated response to Muddy Waters’ classic “Electric Mud”?

Who cares?

Helm is back in full force after overcoming throat cancer and insurmountable odds, and believe it or not, his ever distinctive, soulful Arkansas drawl of a voice sounds as good as it ever has. And that’s saying something.

Once again produced by guitarist/multi-instrumentalist Larry Campbell, the album showcases a number of notable covers, including the rousing lead-off rendition of the Grateful Dead’s “Tennessee Jed” and a spare, stripped-down version of fellow Woodstocker Happy Traum’s “Golden Bird.”

But what is truly glorious here are a pair of tunes that reunite Helm with New Orleans music master Allen Toussaint, who wrote the horn arrangements for the Band’s classic “Life Is a Carnival” and the live “Rock of Ages” double album.

On “Electric Dirt,” they join forces for the joyous “I Wish I Knew How It Would Feel to Be Free” and Randy Newman’s wry “Kingfish,” with the Levon Helm Band horn section blowing with a loose and undeniably funky French Quarter swagger.

Levon Helm: Electric Dirt

Real Good for Free: Rock-It in Schenectady

Tuesday, June 30th, 2009

For the fifth summer, the free Rock-It concert series will take place in downtown Schenectady. This year’s shows – just three of ’em – will take place underneath the Proctors marquee at 432 State St., Schenectady.

The monthly concerts will take place at 5pm on Fridays to coincide with Art Night Schenectady on the third Friday of the month.

Here’s the line-up:

July 17: The Foy Brothers Band

August 21: The Alan Payette Band

September 18: Cryin’ Out Loud

Real Good for Free: Bethlehem Public Library (Wednesdays)
Real Good for Free: East Greenbush Comm. Library (Wednesdays)
Real Good for Free: Stony Creek Town Park (Tuesdays)
Real Good For Free: RiverLink Park, Amsterdam (Saturdays)
Real Good For Free: Halfmoon (Wednesdays)
Real Good for Free: Sand Lake Summer Fest (Fri-Sun, July 10-12)
Real Good For Free: Chestertown (Thursdays)
Real Good for Free: Bolton Landing (Tuesdays)
Real Good for Free: Greenport Park, Hudson (Fridays)
Real Good for Free: The Sounds of Salem (Saturday mornings)
Real Good For Free: AHMF @ Lake George (Wednesdays)
Real Good for Free: Latin Fest @ Washington Park (Sat. Aug. 29)
Real Good for Free: The Clark @ Williamstown (Tuedays)
Real Good For Free: Skidmore Jazz (Various days)
Real Good For Free: Schenectady Central Park (Sunday afternoons)
Real Good For Free: Clifton Park (Sundays)
Real Good for Free: Albany Public Library (Third Fridays)
Real Good for Free: At The Plaza, Albany (Wednesdays)
Real Good for Free: Skidmore’s Tang Museum (Fridays)
Real Good For Free: Rockin’ on the River, Troy (Wednesdays)
Real Good For Free: Pearl Street Live (Thursdays)
Real Good For Free: Freedom Park, Scotia (Various days)
Real Good For Free: Jazz on Jay (Thursdays at noon)
Real Good For Free: Cook Park, Colonie (Tuesdays)
Real Good For Free: Lake George (Wednesdays)
Real Good For Free: Schodack (Tuesdays)
Real Good For Free: Canajoharie (Tuesdays)
Real Good For Free: Guilderland (Thursdays)
Real Good For Free: Alive @ 5 (Thursdays)
Real Good For Free: Powers Park (Saturdays)

Hanging Out @ Troy Night Out

Monday, June 29th, 2009

The monthly Troy Night Out continues to set the bar high for Nippertown arts and music activities. As a reminder, Troy Night Out takes place on the last Friday of each month in downtown Troy. And the Troy arts community continues to grow and strengthen. This month, two new venues – the Artcentric Gift Gallery and Casper Land Studio & Gallery – celebrated their grand openings.

Here are a few snaps from June’s jaunt:

Angela Kanaan @ the Broken Mold (photo by Matt Mac Haffie)

Angela Kanaan @ the Broken Mold (photo by Matt Mac Haffie)

Rob Skane @ the Beat Shop (photo by Matt Mac Haffie)

Rob Skane @ the Beat Shop (photo by Matt Mac Haffie)

03 Phoebe Henry @ Terra Nova (photo by Matt Mac Haffie)

Phoebe Henry @ Terra Nova (photo by Matt Mac Haffie)

Peter Edwards and Kate Swester at the newly opened Casperland at 469 Fulton Street

Kate Sweater and Peter Edwards in their new digs - Casper Land at 469 Fulton Street

Holly & EvanThe Cock'N'Bull RestaurantCaffe LenaCartoonist John CaldwellJim Gaudet and the Railroad BoysAdvertise on Nippertown!Berkshire On StageAlbany PoetsThe LindaArtist Charles HaymesHudson SoundsLeave Regular Radio BehindRamblin Jug Stompers