7/31/11: Today’s Tips: Sunday

July 31st, 2011, 10:33 am by Greg

MUSIC: MotherJudge, Sten Isachsen & Michael Bisio @ Caffe Lena, Saratoga Springs. One of our colleagues described this new trio as Albany’s Blind Faith. Singer-songwriter MotherJudge, mandolinist-guitarist Isachsen and adventurous jazz bassist Bisio team up for an unlikely, but very promising musical collaboration. 7pm. $14.

MUSIC: Ray Wylie Hubbard @ the Bearsville Theater, Woodstock. Like his fellow Teaxs troubadours – including Willie Nelson, Guy Clark, Townes Van Zant – Hubbard has done it his own way from his classic “Up Against the Wall, Redneck Mother” to his latest album, “A. Enlightenment, B. Endarkenment (Hint: There is no C).” 8pm. $25.

MUSIC: The Decemberists @ Mountain Park, Holyoke. Direct from their performance at the Newport Folk Festival on Saturday, Colin Meloy and company rev it up as their Popes of Pendarvia World Tour heads into the home stretch. With Sallie Ford & the Sound Outside. 7pm. $32.50.

ART FAIR: NADA Hudson @ the Bascilica, Hudson. A large-scale exhibition of more than 50 site-specific sculptures and art installations, as well as performances. 11am-7pm. FREE.

MUSIC: Goo Goo Dolls @ Saratoga Performing Arts Center, Saratoga Springs. The Buffalo-born band of punks-turned popsters headline 99.5 The River’s Summer Night Out mini-fest with Barenaked Ladies, Michelle Branch and Parachute. 6:30pm. $35, $45 and $55; lawn $20.

PICNIC/MUSIC/FUNDRAISER: Clearwater Benefit @ 234 Van Wies Point Road, Glenmont. Live music by Exactly Not, Right Coast Soul, As Is, the Funk Merchant and Betty & the Baby Boomers. 12noon-dusk. Admission by donation.

MUSIC: Hungrytown @ Clifton Common, Clifton Park. The folk duo of Rebecca Hall & Ken Anderson showcase their latest album, “Any Forgotten Thing.” 7pm. FREE.

THEATER: “He Said, She Said” @ the Mahaiwe Performing Arts Center, Great Barrington. A musical battle of the sexes starring Broadway’s Marin Mazzie and Jason Danieley. 7pm. $45, $55.


7/30/11: Today’s Tips: Saturday

July 30th, 2011, 9:00 am by Greg

MUSIC: PINKtank @ Justin’s, Albany. The adventurous all-star improvisational music trio – featuring guitar great David Torn, drummer Dean Sharp and trumpeter Russ Johnson – makes its Nippertown debut. This one should be good… 9:30pm.

ART FAIR: NADA Hudson, the Bascilica, Hudson. A large-scale exhibition of more than 50 site-specific sculptures and art installations, as well as performances. 11am-7pm. FREE. Also Sunday.

MUSIC: The Head and the Heart @ the Bearsville Theater, Woodstock. The six-piece Seattle-based folk-popsters land in Woodstock in support of their self-titled debut on Sub Pop. With Kelli Scarr and Cat Cosentino. 9pm. $15.

MUSIC: Bang On a Can Marathon @ MASS MoCA, North Adams. The centerpiece of Bang On a Can’s annual summer residency, it’s a wild ‘n’ wooly six-hour extravaganza of adventurous, cutting-edge music performed by the fellows and teachers. 4pm. $24.

MUSIC: The Philadelphia Orchestra @ Saratoga Performing Arts Center, Saratoga Springs. Charles Dutoit returns to SPAC’s stage to conduct this performance, featuring pianist Emanuel Ax in Mozart’s elegant “Piano Concerto No. 22.” It’s also “Celebration of an Artist” Night, where visual artists are invited to set up their easels on SPAC’s lawn and let their creativity flow. 8pm. $20-$72.50.

MUSIC: Jim Gaudet & the Railroad Boys @ Riverlink Park, Amsterdam. Bluegrass along the Mohawk… 7pm. FREE.

FEST/FOOD/MUSIC: Taste of Country BBQ Nationals @ Saratoga Casino & Raceway, Saratoga Springs. 11 hours of barbecue, bands and beer with Nashville country singers Phil Vassar and James Wesley headlining the musical portion of the festivities. 11am. $20.

FEST/MUSIC: The Big Up @ Sunnyview Farm, Ghent. It’s the third and final day of the big bash with music by EOTO, Dopapod, RAQ, Twiddle, Higher Organix, Kung Fu and lots more. 11am-6am. $65.

MUSIC: Frank Fotusky & Will Scarlett @ Caffe Lena, Saratoga Springs. With the Buskers. New Jersey acoustic bluesman Fotusky is joined by veteran harmonica master Scarlett, who established his reputation back in the ’60s with Hot Tuna. 8pm. $10.

FILM/THEATER: “Rocky Horror Picture Show” @ Maple Ski Ridge, Rotterdam. Here’s something different – an outdoor screening of the 1975 cult classic film with the Whip-It Outskirts shadow cast in a benefit performance for A Thousand Moms. Gates open at 4pm; showtime at dusk. $10.

MUSIC: The Ruddys @ Dinosaur Bar-B-Que, Troy. 10pm. FREE.

MUSIC: Who’s Bad @ the Colonial Theatre, Pittsfield. Michael Jackson tribute band. 8pm. $25, $36, $44.

MUSIC: Sleeper Agent @ Putnam Den, Saratoga Springs. With 1,2,3, Viva Brother, Kitten. 9pm. $5.

It’s the Weekend!

July 29th, 2011, 4:30 pm by Greg
You are so fascinating.

You're so fascinating I could look at you all day.

As the final month of summer approaches, it’s time to get out there to soak up some weekend fun. But first, we’d like to send out a great big thank-you to everyone who dropped by this week to add encouragement, support and, yes, criticism, too. And thanks for helping to spread the word about Nippertown.com.

Of course, we couldn’t possibly cover the wide, wonderful scope of offerings around town without a dedicated and devoted bunch of wonderful writers, photographers, artists, tipsters and other assorted enablers who continually enrich us all with their contributions. So a big salute goes out to this week’s community contributors:

Kirsten Ferguson
Eric Gleason
Rick Bedrosian
Gail Burns
Larry Murray
Roger Houston
Stanley Johnson

Please consider adding your name to this list. Just send us something – a review, preview, interview, photo, list, rant, crayon drawing or whatever’s on your mind. Remember, Nippertown is your hometown, and we can’t possibly do this without your help.

Thanks to the fine folks who privided us with cool giveaway merch – tickets, CDs, downloads and other swag – for the faithful Nippertown readers:

A Thousand Moms, Schenectady
Saratoga Performing Arts Center, Saratoga Springs

And thanks to all of the folks from the area venues and organizations who were gracious enough to provide us with review tickets and/or photo passes for their events:

Capital Repertory Theatre, Albany
Saratoga Performing Arts Center, Saratoga Springs
Live Nation, Saratoga Springs
Green River Festival, Greenfield
Saratoga Acoustic Blues Society, Saratoga Springs
Barrington Stage Company, Pittsfield
Berkshire Theatre Festival, Stockbridge
Universal Preservation Hall, Saratoga Springs
The Applause Factory, Lake George
Williamstown Theatre Festival, Williamstown
Shakespeare & Company, Lenox
Skidmore College’s Tang Museum, Saratoga Springs
Minerva Arts Center, North Adams
Albany Office of Special Events, Albany
Mac-Haydn Theatre, Chatham

Thanks for keeping Nippertown alive… and lively.

Hot Reads: This Week’s Top 5 Stories at Nippertown

July 29th, 2011, 4:00 pm by Greg

Yes, we know that some of you just don’t have the time to read Nippertown.com as fast as we can write it – I know, you say you’ve got a real life?

So for the casual reader, here’s our summary of the Top Five most-viewed stories from Nippertown in the past week:

1. Troy Savings Bank Music Hall Announces New Season of Shows
2. LIVE: Furthur @ SPAC, 7/19/11
3. The Egg Adds Another Concert to Its Fall Schedule
4. Stone Temple Pilots Land at the Palace Theatre
5 (tie):The Monkees On the Move…
5 (tie): Keller Williams Heads to The Egg for Two Shows

Other Voices, Other Rooms

July 29th, 2011, 3:30 pm by Greg

At AllOverAlbany.com, Danielle Furfaro conducts an interview with Mitch Messmore – artist, founder of Art Night Schenectady and major Nippertown art boaster – who is on extended stay in Beruit.

At Foss Forward, Sara Foss celebrates the 20th anniversary of Nirvana’s “Nevermind.”

At Indie Albany, J. Eric Smith takes a look back at the movies that have topped the box office charts so far this year. And – surprise, surprise – he doesn’t like what he sees…

Debt crisis? What debt crisis? How about the important things, like where Ryan Gosling is going for dinner today? Really? I mean, REALLY? Even Keep Albany Boring is swept up in the local media’s Gosling-mania…

Chuck Miller dropped off a print for this year’s Art Saves Animals, a benefit for the Mohawk and Hudson River Humane Society.

If you’re going to Troy Night Out, make sure you keep an eye out for Kevin Marshall. He might be dancing.

LIVE: The Best of Enemies @ Barrington Stage Company, Pittsfield [GailSez]

July 29th, 2011, 3:04 pm by Sara
Aisha Hinds as Ann Atwater and John Bedford Lloyd as C.P. Ellis face off earlier and often in Mark St. Germain's "The Best of Enemies." (photo: Kevin Sprague)

Aisha Hinds as Ann Atwater and John Bedford Lloyd as C.P. Ellis face off earlier and often in Mark St. Germain's "The Best of Enemies." (photo: Kevin Sprague)

Julianne Boyd has done it again! This time she has directed as well as produced another world premiere of a powerful new play by Mark St. Germain that hits at the heart of the current state of race relations in this country by shining the spotlight on an unlikely pair of protagonists. But unlike Freud’s Last Session this is no imagined meeting or possible dialogue. The events depicted really happened and two of the people portrayed in the play were in the audience on opening night, lending their immediate veracity to a story that would be unbelievable if it were offered up as fiction.

Based on the 1996 book of the same name by Osha Gray Davidson (1954- ), The Best of Enemies, dramatizes the relationship between North Carolina civil rights activists Ann Atwater (1935- ) and Claiborne Paul “C.P.” Ellis (1927-2005). Not only is Atwater black and Ellis white, he was, at the start of their friendship, the Exalted Cyclops of the Durham Chapter of the Ku Klux Klan. They were brought together in 1971 by a brash young civil rights worker named Bill Riddick to chair a charrette – a ten-day community meeting – to begin the business of desegregating the Durham school system, something that had failed to happen in the 17 years since the Supreme Court decided Brown vs Board of Education.

Needless to say, it was not friendship at first sight. But it was, eventually, a match made in heaven. As the two worked together they realized what they had in common as members of the Southern working poor, trying to do the best by their children and their community. Ellis publicly ripped up his Klan card and joined Atwater in working for civil rights for all Americans. They became fast friends and remained so for the rest of his life. She eulogized at his funeral.

Click to read the rest at GailSez.

LIVE: The Best of Enemies @ Barrington Stage Company, Pittsfield [Berkshire on Stage]

July 29th, 2011, 3:04 pm by Sara
The Best of Enemies @ Barrington Stage Company

The Best of Enemies @ Barrington Stage Company (photo by Kevin Sprague

Let there be no doubt that The Best of Enemies with Aisha Hinds (above leftl) and John Bedford Lloyd (right) is one of the most important historical plays about America to ever reach the stage. It is also the finest drama I have ever seen at Barrington Stage. It is a modern day parable of the civil rights movement of the 1970′s that expands dry, historical fact into a riveting tale of two polar opposites clashing over how to integrate the schools of Durham, North Carolina.

To capture the sweep and detail of the battle for black rights in the South of forty years ago is no easy task. Playwright Mark St. Germain contrasts the role that C.P. Ellis had promoting white supremacy with Ann Atwater, a homespun black activist, who is a rare voice in the community, speaking up for simple justice and equal education. The stage treatment for this explosive confrontation was inspired by Osha Gray Davidson’s book of the same name, The Best of Enemies.

St. Germain has kept his story focused on just a few people, yet these larger than life shapers of history are highly charged theatrically. His approach to detailing the civil rights era comes to life in a way that more scholarly approaches would tend to bland out.

Click to read the rest of this story at Berkshire on Stage.

LIVE: Saratoga Blues Celebration @ Stockade Oriental Rug Imports, 7/23/11

July 29th, 2011, 2:30 pm by Greg
Two Lonesome and Gail Sparlin

Two Lonesome and Gail Sparlin

The Hats Off Music Festival in Saratoga Springs last Saturday night brought out thousands of spectators and shoppers despite the oppressive heat. Yet some of the hottest music to be heard in a town full of it wasn’t even advertised on the official brochure, and you might have missed it if you didn’t walk the extra block past the City Center where the Saratoga Acoustic Blues Society was hosting its fourth annual Saratoga Blues Celebration at the Stockade Oriental Rug Imports.

The members of SABS do their best to educate, as well as entertain their audience about the origins of the music they play. And they don’t stick strictly to, for instance Delta Blues, but mix up their set lists with everything from Appalchian folk to Dixieland jazz to vaudeville rags and even original songs. But where many listeners might be more familiar with the Rolling Stones or Stevie Ray Vaughn versions of songs, the Saratoga Acoustic Blues Society references the first recorded sources.

Read the rest of this entry »

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