LIVE: Exit Dome IV @ WEXT/WMHT Studios, 1/29/11

January 31st, 2011, 4:55 pm by Greg
Brendan Pendergast of the Charlie Watts Riots

Brendan Pendergast of the Charlie Watts Riots (photo by Jason Lehr)

Round IV of WEXT-FM’s Local 518 benefit concert series not only attracted a standing-room-only crowd of fans to the WMHT-TV studios in North Greenbush on Saturday night, but also drew a delightfully diverse crowd of musicians who kept the music flowing freely – on stage and off – for more than four and a half hours.

If you weren’t already aware of the decidedly incestuous nature of the Nippertown music scene, you might have had a somewhat difficult time figuring out just which band was onstage at any given time during the evening.

Kicking off the main stage festivities, Slender Shoulders – the indie-folkster duo of vocalist-guitarist Katie (who also performs solo as Bear Grass) and guitarist Rick Spataro – went with a more-is-more philosophy, their ranks swollen to a quintet that included bassist Eric Margan and the ubiquitous Matthew Carefully on drums. (Carefully’s performance was his third in the four Exit Dome concerts – each with a different combo).

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Win FREE TIX to the Hellions of Troy Roller Derby on Saturday

January 31st, 2011, 3:00 pm by Greg
Hellions of Troy

The Hellions of Troy in a bout last November (photo by Bill Dhalle)

Those hard-hitting, no-holds-barred Hellions of Troy are back on the track again on Saturday night, as they bring their high-speed raucous rollin’ attack against the mighty Oz Rollergirls from Oswego.

That’s right, authentic all-girl roller derby action returns to the Rollarama Skating Center in Schenectady as the Hellions’ season rolls on with another bruising, black ‘n’ blue bout. When the Hellions get through with ’em, those Oz gals are gonna know for sure that they’re not in Kansas anymore…

Babes on wheels going really fast! Pink hair, fishnets and a rock ‘n’ roll ethos! What more do we need to say?

Cheer on Flexi Wheeler, Deadlie Mercury, Ivanna Spearabitch, Delinquent Dolly, Hanna Solo, Shockratease and all the rest of the hellacious Hellions during Saturday night’s slamfest. Doors open at 7pm with the first whistle at 8pm. Tix are $10 in advance; $12 at the door; and a mere $3 for children under 12. And it’s all for a good cause, too, as a portion of all ticket sales will benefit the Parsons Child and Family Center in Albany.

BUT WAIT… Have we got a deal for you!?! We’re giving away two pairs of FREE TIX to this bout. To enter the contest, just post a comment below. Please leave your email address, too. We won’t publish it, but we’ll use it to contact you if you win. The winners will be selected at random and notified on Friday. Good luck! Congratulations, MO B and Patrick!

Todd Snider’s Favorite Troubadours

January 31st, 2011, 2:15 pm by Greg
Todd Snider

Todd Snider

If there’s one thing that singer-songwriter Todd Snider knows all about, it’s telling stories. Rolling Stone magazine has named his “America’s sharpest musical storyteller.” His brand new double-disc live album is titled “The Storyteller.” And Snider is slated to ramble into Club Helsinki Hudson in Hudson at 9pm on Friday to regale us with his tales in person.

So we wanted to know about the troubadours whose songs and stories most inspired Snider. Here’s what we found out:

1. BOB DYLAN: For me, when it comes to being a fan of a troubadour, I have to laugh with you before I’ll cry with you, simply because most troubadours expect you to cry over their journal entries with them. Most troubadours are awful people. Bob, however, is not. I think he’s America’s finest contribution to the world, of any kind. He does not have a song I don’t like, and while he doesn’t talk much on stage, when he does, it’s precise, funny, wise and everything else. There really is no point in anyone else doing this troubadour thing. Hell, I once paid for a tape of Bob arguing on the phone…and I thought it was a great album.

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LIVE: Jesse Malin & the St. Marks Social @ Jillian’s, 1/25/11

January 31st, 2011, 12:55 pm by Greg
Jesse Malin (photo by Andrzej Pilarczyk)

Jesse Malin (photo by Andrzej Pilarczyk)

The threat of snow hung in the air, and that prediction had been blasted through the regional airwaves by the media weathermen. Maybe that’s why only a handful of the faithful braved the elements to share a potent dose of Jesse Malin & the St. Marks Social at Jillians in downtown Albany last Tuesday night. Maybe it was the freezing temperatures. Or perhaps it was just a bad case of mid-winter blues that kept the others away.

Who knows?

But the fact of the matter is that some of those devoted, diehard fans in attendance would have been there in spite of hell or high water – or even some kind of cataclysmic “snowmageddon.” Those who didn’t show up missed a performance that they would have likely been talking about for many moons to come. Because it was arguably one of the best rock shows to come to town in a long while.

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LIVE: Tribute to Nick Brignola @ the Van Dyck, 1/29/11

January 31st, 2011, 12:00 pm by Greg
Lee Shaw, Chuck D'Aloia, Otto Gardner and Brian Patneaude

Lee Shaw, Chuck D'Aloia, Otto Gardner and Brian Patneaude

It wasn’t just jazz fans who crowded into the Van Dyck in Schenectady on Saturday night, making for a standing-room-only evening. Memories and love filled the room to capacity, as well, for the annual Tribute to Nick Brignola concert. And the stage was packed, too, as some of Nippertown’s finest jazz musicians gathered together to form an all-star band that offered a marvelous musical homage to the great saxophonist who passed away nearly a decade ago.

Emcee Bill McCann – the long-time host of WCDB-FM’s “Saturday Morning Edition of Jazz” – gave the first of many reminiscences of the warm person and brilliant musician that Nick was. Drummer David Calarco and guitarist Chuck D’Aloia shared their personal memories of what it was like to play with Nick. Calarco noted how Brignola would continually tease and challenge his bandmates, often warning them by saying, “Not too fast!” and then counting off the very next tune at a blistering, break-neck tempo.

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Ensemble AJCW Premieres Bruce’s “Steampunk”

January 31st, 2011, 11:30 am by Greg

David Bruce (photo by Neil Matthews)

David Bruce (photo by Neil Matthews)

The spring season of Skidmore College’s Zankel Music Center kicks off at 8pm on Friday with Ensemble ACJW performing the world premiering of “Steampunk,” a new, 22-minute composition by David Bruce.

The program will also include Beethoven’s Septet in E-flat Major and Janacek’s “Mladi.” Admission is free and open to the public.

According to Bruce, the inspiration for “Steampunk” came from the Beethoven septet that will also be performed that evening. “The horn and bassoon immediately stood out to me as defining colors of the group and somehow a connection formed between them and the images of the steampunk world,” says Bruce.

“I think above all it was the French horn with its crazy, complicated brass plumbing, making it about as iconic a steampunk instrument as you could hope for; but similarly the bassoon, the bass clarinet and the cor anglais each have the distinct air of an eccentric Victorian gentleman, the product of a particular kind of obsession. It seemed like a line-up from a steampunk cartoon.”

Admission to the concert is free, but tix are required and may be reserved online. Skidmore’s Ben Givan leads a pre-performance discussion with composer Bruce and the members of the ensemble at 7pm.

The program by Ensemble AJCW will also be repeated at 7:30pm Monday at Carnegie Hall in NYC.

Gazing Into the Super Bowl Crystal Ball…

January 31st, 2011, 11:04 am by Sara

AND THE WINNER IS… TAILS

There. I just saved you four hours of your life, but unfortunately you also lost three thousand dollars. Well, not all of you. For those of you who aren’t insane and will not be betting on the coin toss, I encourage you to continue reading.

PITTSBURGH STEELERS 17, GREEN BAY PACKERS 14

Allow me to dampen my prediction with a disclaimer. I hope I’m wrong about the outcome of this game for several reasons. If the Steelers win, it likely means that defense prevailed and the game was unbearably boring. A Steelers win would mark their third Super Bowl championship in seven years, another boring premise. My personal reason for rooting against my prediction is that I like Green Bay, and they are the team I decided to root for when the playoffs began. At a base level, however, I only root for entertainment and controversy.

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1/31/11: Today’s Tips: Monday

January 31st, 2011, 9:05 am by Sara

BURLESQUE: Bing Bamboo Room Burlesque @ Savannah's, Albany. Chase away the winter blues with your host Guy Smiley and A.D. Ward, Lilly Allure, Samra, Marie Ra-Moan, Erick James, Bayshenz, Maxine de la Obscene, Honey Cummins and P.J. Gonzales. 8 & 10pm. $10.

MUSIC: Pony in the Pancake @ Club Helsinki Hudson, Hudson. 8pm. FREE.

POETRY/SPOKEN WORD: Poets Speak Loud and Tom Nattell Tribute and Beret Toss @ McGeary's, Albany. Albany Poets celebrates the sixth anniversary of its open mic, “Poets Speak Loud.” The event will also commemorate Tom Nattell, local poet and community activist, who died the same day the poetry open mic began, January 31, 2005. Tom had been scheduled to be the first featured reader at the new series, but died of cancer that morning. The open mic was held that night and was a celebration of his life, work and performances. (The event kicks off with the annual “beret toss” at the Robert Burns statue in Washington Park in Tom’s memory at 6:30pm.) 7pm. $3 suggested donation.

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Caffe LenaHolly & EvanJim Gaudet and the Railroad BoysCartoonist John CaldwellThe Cock'N'Bull RestaurantAdvertise on Nippertown!The LindaHudson SoundsAlbany PoetsCapital Repertory Theater