LIVE: Pete Donnelly @ Valentine’s Music Hall, 2/16/12

February 29th, 2012, 4:00 pm by Greg
Pete Donnelly

Pete Donnelly

Review and photographs by Kirsten Ferguson

In December, Pete Donnelly – bassist for the long-running Saratoga Springs-born band the Figgs and more recently a member of NRBQ – released “When You Come Home,” his first solo album. Actually, it’s the second if you count “Another Day on You,” a cassette of home recordings from 1999 that came out in an extremely limited edition of 50 copies.

But “When You Come Home” gets the full treatment – and hopefully exposure – that Donnelly’s songwriting deserves. There’s a stylish video by director Geoffray Barbier for the album’s irrepressibly catchy single, “Can’t Talk at All.” Artist Chris Donnelly, Pete’s cousin, provided an eye-catching linoleum cut for the album’s cover. And most of the album’s polished recording was done not at home but by Donnelly and engineer Henry Hirsch at Waterfront Studio in Hudson.

The album also features guest appearances from musical friends that Donnelly has made over the years. Soul Asylum’s Dave Pirner adds guitar and vocals to “The Keeping.” Figgs guitarist Mike Gent and sultry-voiced singer Britta Phillips of Dean & Britta appear on “Careful.” And longtime NRBQ drummer Tom Ardolino played drums on the album’s title track (and a 30-second snippet of piano that ended up on the album as an interlude) not long before he died in January.

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Comin’ Soon…

February 29th, 2012, 3:02 pm by Greg

George Jones, one of country music’s greatest singers, steps up to the microphone at the Calvin Theater in Northampton at 8pm on Tuesday, July 17. Priced at $39.50, $49.50 & $59.50, tix go on sale to the general public on Friday (March 2).

Concert promoter Greg Bell celebrates his 20th anniversary in the music biz with a two-night bash at Valentine’s Music Hall in Albany on the first weekend in April. At 9:30pm on Friday, April 6, it’s a Conehead Buddha reunion with the Sunny Side of the Street Band opening the show ($12 in advance; $15 at the door). Then at 9:30pm on Saturday April 7, it’s the double-bill of Timbre Coup and Formula 5 ($10 in advance; $12 at the door).

Northern Lights in Clifton Park has bolstered its concert calendar with a couple of newly announced shows. Kottonmouth Kings and Twiztid team up for a co-headlining assault at 7:30pm on Tuesday, April 24, with Blaze & Big B opening the show ($18 in advance; $20 at the door). And Falling Into Reverse is slated to take over the stage on Saturday, July 14, with the Viking and the Harrowing kicking off the night at 7:30pm ($16 in advance; $18 at the door). Tix for both shows go on sale at 10am on Saturday (March 3).

Led by former Eighteen Visions vocalist James Hart, Burn Halo lands at Jillian’s in Albany at 8pm on Tuesday, March 20 ($10). Also coming up at Jillian’s are Perpetual Groove at 9:30pm on Wednesday, March 21 ($12 in advance; $15 at the door); the double-bill of Jimkata and Yellow Dubmarine at 9:30pm on Thursday, March 29 ($10 in advance; $12 at the door); A Silent Film on Friday, April 13 ($10 in advance; $12 at the door); and Tokyo Police Club at 9pm on Saturday, June 9 ($15 in advance; $17 at the door).

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Williamstown Theatre Festival announces 2012 Season [Berkshire on Stage]

February 29th, 2012, 2:30 pm by Sara
David Hyde Pierce (l) and Jessica Stone will direct two plays in 2012.

David Hyde Pierce (l) and Jessica Stone will direct two plays in 2012.

This morning, the news of an exciting summer of theatre was made by Jenny Gersten, artistic director of the Williamstown Theatre Festival. Fielding questions from reporters and VIP’s gathered in the Williams College Faculty Club, six plays were announced, with one more still being formalized and to be announced later.

As in her first season, there will be a total of seven productions, three on the main stage and four on the Nikos stage. The performing season will run from June 26 to August 19 one week shorter than in the past to enable the transition back to college use to take place more smoothly.

For their Summer 2012 season, there will be a world premiere by Oliver Award-winning Mountaintop playwright Katori Hall, plus works by Oscar Wilde, Neil Simon and Ivan Turgenev. A pair of productions will enable Berkshire audiences to see another side of the actors David Hyde Pierce and Jessica Stone – they will showcase their work as directors for the two popular plays

Click to read the rest at Berkshire on Stage.

CULTURE VULTURE: DANCE THIS MESS AROUND – 25th Annual Dance Flurry Festival @ Saratoga City Center (and other places), 2/19/12

February 29th, 2012, 2:00 pm by Greg
25th Annual Dance Flurry Festival @ Saratoga City Center (and other places), 2/19/12

Review and photographs by J Hunter

Here’s some truly sage advice: Never, ever let people you dislike talk to you at length about something THEY like – because if you’re a barely-guided missile like myself, you’ll probably let your feelings darken your already-uninformed opinion. That was the way it was for me and the Dance Flurry, the festival of the dance that’s become an annual bright spot in Saratoga Springs’ winter. So when it was suggested the three-day fete might work as a column (or, at least, motivation for a really good rant), I remembered the guy who spoke ad nauseum about how The Flurry was the greatest thing since sliced bread and internet porn, and how I wanted to club him senseless with a birch tree. And then I remembered some more sage advice, this time from the late great Hunter S. Thompson: “Even a blind pig finds an acorn if he roots around long enough.” So I put my animosity in a blind trust and headed up the Northway.

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LIVE: The Sunny Side of the Street Band @ the Bayou Cafe, 2/21/12

February 29th, 2012, 1:45 pm by Greg
The Sunny Side of the Street Band @ the Bayou Cafe, 2/21/12

Review and photographs by Timothy Reidy

The last day before Lent brought together tasty food, tasty beer and tasty music as the Sunny Side of the Street Band took over the stage at Albany’s Bayou Cafe for a downtown Mardi Gras party.

When I first entered the bar, the band was playing as a four-piece. This quickly changed as the saxophone player left for the night. The line-up kept changing throughout the evening. The second set was aided by the accompaniment of Olivia Quillio, who stayed on for most of the rest of the night, either singing or playing percussion. With three accomplished singers on stage – Thomas LaFond, Eric Margan and Olivia Quillio – they were able to deliver some really good harmonies.

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RIP: Davy Jones of the Monkees, 1945-2012

February 29th, 2012, 1:17 pm by Greg

According to reports from, Davy Jones – lead singer and tambourine player with the Monkees – died in Florida this morning of a heart attack.

The Monkees’ 45th Reunion Tour – featuring Jones along with Peter Tork and Micky Dolenz (but not Mike “Wool Hat” Nesmith) – was slated to land at the Times Union Center in Albany last September. The show was later downsized to the Palace Theatre before the entire tour was eventually cancelled altogether.

A Three-Night Rock’n’Roll Stand at SPAC!

February 29th, 2012, 1:01 pm by Greg

Phish Summer Tour 2012 Announcement from Phish on Vimeo.

Yeah, the Dave Matthews Band is booked at SPAC for back-to-back nights in June, but now Phish has announced that they’ll be landing at the Saratoga Performing Arts Center in Saratoga Springs for a three-night stand – Friday-Sunday, July 6-8.

Tix – priced at $60 for reserved ampthitheater seats and $45 for lawn general admission lawn – are slated to go on sale to the general public at 12noon on Friday, March 16.

New Music from Titus Andronicus! See ‘Em Saturday. Win FREE TIX, Too…

February 29th, 2012, 12:48 pm by Greg

On Tuesday night (February 28) on WFMU-FM, Titus Andronicus debuted their first new music since their monster 2010 album “The Monitor.” The song, “Upon Viewing Oregon’s Landscape With the Flood of Detritus,” was premiered on Tom Scharpling’s “The Best Show on WFMU.” Listen to it here at the 2:37:00 mark.

And while Titus Andronicus’ spring tour doesn’t officially start until Sunday night (March 4) at the Stone Pony in Asbury Park, you can catch the band live and in action at Valentine’s Music Hall in Albany on Saturday night (March 3) as headliners of WCDB-FM’s 34th Anniversary Music Festival, which begins on Friday (March 2).

AND THAT”S NOT ALL… we’re giving away a pair of FREE TIX for both nights of WCDB’s Big Bash this weekend. Just go here to enter…

The Cock'N'Bull RestaurantCaffe LenaJim Gaudet and the Railroad BoysCartoonist John CaldwellHolly & EvanAdvertise on Nippertown!Albany PoetsHudson SoundsBerkshire On StageG.C. Haymes