It’s the Weekend!

May 31st, 2013, 4:42 pm by Greg
Keep cool.

Keep cool.

Goodbye, you old week, it’s been fun. But here comes the big Memorial Day weekend, and that’s going to be so much more fun…

But before we head out for our big fun weekend all around Nippertown, we’d like to send a great big thank-you to everyone who dropped by this week to add encouragement, support, proof-reading and, yes, criticism, too. And thanks for helping to spread the word about

And a great big thank-you to everyone who showered us with birthday wishes, as celebrated our fourth anniversary this week.

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:

Larry Murray
Timothy Reidy
Kirsten Ferguson
Fred Rudofsky
Gail Burns
Brian Tromans
Joseph Deuel
Andrew Gregory

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 provided us with cool give-away merch – tix, CDs, downloads and other swag – for the faithful Nippertown readers:

Caffe Lena, Saratoga Springs
Rhythm On the Ridge, Rotterdam
Maple Ski Ridge, Rotterdam

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:

Valentine’s Music Hall, Albany
Barrington Stage Company, Pittsfield
MOVE Music Festival, Albany
McGeary’s Pub, Albany
EMPAC at RPI, Troy
The Hollow Bar + Kitchen/the Bayou Cafe, Albany
Red Square, Albany
Blue 82, Albany
74 State, Albany

Thanks for keeping Nippertown alive… and lively,

Sara Ayers
Greg Haymes


HOT READS: Nippertown’s Top 10 Stories of the Week

May 31st, 2013, 3:00 pm by Greg

Yes, yes, we know…

We’ve heard all of the complaints that some of you simply don’t have the time to read all of the news as fast as we write it.

So for the casual once-or-twice-a-week reader, here’s a summary of the Top 10 most-viewed stories from Nippertown in the past week:

1. Real Good for FREE: Empire State Plaza Concerts (by Staff)

2. SPAC Battle of the Bands Winners Announced (by Greg Haymes)

3. Comin’ Soon: New Concert Announcements (by Staff)

4. The Palace Theatre Announces New Concert (by Staff)

5. Saratoga Winners Reunion, Part Deux (by Staff)

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LIVE: Pete Donnelly & the Wise Easy @ Valentine’s, 5/24/13

May 31st, 2013, 2:00 pm by Greg
Pete Donnelly

Pete Donnelly

Review and photographs by Kirsten Ferguson
Hand Habits photographs by Timothy Reidy

Figgs bassist Pete Donnelly returned to Valentine’s last Friday with a new combo from Philly, the Wise Easy, featuring Jim Balga on drums and Phil D’Agostino on bass. Fresh off an appearance at Saratoga’s Spring Street Gallery the night before, Donnelly had a batch of new tunes from his upcoming album, Face the Bird, to showcase.

The soon-to-be-released album was (mostly) recorded in October in an unused storefront in Ocean City, New Jersey, during the off-season and just before Hurricane Sandy devastated the Jersey shore. It has an experimental and widely divergent stylistic feel. “Delicate Elocution,” about the tactful art of navigating a friend’s domestic violence situation, was a somberish ballad, while “Got Caught Up” – which features singer-songwriter Shelby Lynne on the album – was a shame-free pop tune with an irresistible chorus.

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Indie Rock, Latin Style at Mass MoCA with Williamsburg Salsa Orchestra, June 1 [Berkshire on Stage]

May 31st, 2013, 1:00 pm by Sara

It’s a whole different way of enjoying the sounds of summer. You might want to check out the Williamsburg Salsa Orchestra as it trades in the standard salsa repertoire for dynamic salsa-fied arrangements of contemporary indie rock favorites. It’s going to be a fresh way to party when they take the stage in MASS MoCA’s Courtyard C on Saturday, June 1, at 8pm. This hard-hitting eleven-piece band will make you think about salsa in a whole new way.

Williamsburg Salsa Orchestra grabs the top indie-rock songs of today and transforms them into red-hot Latin grooves. The band’s self-proclaimed “innovative, astonishing salsa with a new, vibrant aesthetic” includes dynamic arrangements of the Yeah Yeah Yeahs, TV on the Radio, Arcade Fire, LCD Soundsystem, The Black Keys, Spoon, Animal Collective and many more.

Since releasing a few homegrown demos online in 2010, Williamsburg Salsa Orchestra has re-imagined the salsa genre, creating an incredible, never-before-seen dichotomy between modern indie music and a standard salsa repertoire. This Brooklyn-based, multinational team of musicians includes members from Columbia, Panama, Puerto Rico, New York and across the United States

Click to read the rest at Berkshire on Stage.

Other Voices, Other Rooms…

May 31st, 2013, 12:00 pm by Greg

From The New York Times Diner’s Journal: Jeff Gordinier interviews master video blogger and Buzzfeed exec Ze Frank about his relationship with food, which began at the late, great Lark Street restaurant, Cathy’s Waffle Store, operated by his mom, Cathy Frank…

From Hudson Sounds: Liz Friedman’s story on this week’s 100th anniversary of Stravinsky’s controversial “Rites of Spring”

From Foss Forward: In the wake of last weekend’s Beatles A-Z marathon on WEXT-FM, Sara Foss weighs in with her personal Top 10 fave Beatles songs.

From The Wall Street Journal: Speaking of the Beatles, Maryjean Wall reveals the surprising connection between Robert Sterling Clark (of Williamstown’s Clark Art Institute and the Fab Four.

From Reuters: Nate Raymond on the settlement of the lawsuit between the Velvet Underground and the Andy Warhol estate over the banana

From 519 Music Hub: Dan Barner interviews Albany rockers Hard Soul.

From the Huffington Post: Actor-Renassance man James Franco reviews “The Place Beyond the Pines” and raves about Ryan Gosling

FILM: “Smallbany: A Documentary”

May 31st, 2013, 11:00 am by Greg

By Andrew Gregory

Following a win as Best Documentary at the Knickerbocker Film Fest in early April, Dana S. Owens’ “Smallbany: A Documentary,” has been released for all to enjoy on YouTube. Coming in under 20 minutes, it’s a light-hearted look at the city and the cartoons that it inspires Owens to draw.

Featured in the film are a small, select group of people who live and work in Albany, providing their perspective of the city and of Owens’ ‘toons. Among the interview subjects are the bands the Latent – who provide the theme song, “The Heart of Smallbany” – and Stellar Young. Other “Smallbany” music and interviews are provided by DJ PySter and Uneven Steven.

Real Good for FREE: The Music Haven Concert Series in Schenectady’s Central Park

May 31st, 2013, 10:00 am by Greg

Travel the world one concert at a time!

For years now, that’s been the slogan of the free, summertime Music Haven Concert Series that takes place in the heart of Schenectady’s Central Park. And this year is no different.

The 2013 seven-concert series roams the globe with musical styles ranging from South African soul to rootsy Americana; from gut-busting gospel to hot salsa; and from piano blues to Malian guitar pyrotechnics.

“We’re thrilled to present another season of incredible music in Central Park,” says Music Haven founder and artistic director Mona Golub. “We can’t wait to see the joy on people’s faces when they experience these shows.”

The Music Haven Concert Series will take place at 7pm on Sundays from July 7-August 11. And as always, admission is FREE.

Here’s the schedule for the 2013 season:

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5/31/13: Today’s Tips: Friday

May 31st, 2013, 8:00 am by Greg

MUSIC: Anders Osborne @ Putnam Den, Saratoga Springs. The New Orleans transplanted from Sweden serves up a solo acoustic concert chock full of roots rock. With Tim Herron Corporation and Clarence Bucaro. 9:30pm. $17.

MUSIC/PERFORMANCE: David Greenberger & A Strong Dog @ Caffe Lena, Saratoga Springs. The master monologist and mayor of Duplex Planet joins forces with his new all-star band – Kevin Maul, Matthew Loiacono and Mitch Throop – to celebrate the release of their new CD, So Tough. With William Rees. 8pm. $17.

ARTS WALK: Troy Night Out @ various locations, Troy. 5-9pm. FREE.

MUSIC: Holly & Evan @ the Arts Center of the Capital Region, Troy. Blues, in conjunction with Troy Night Out. 5:30pm. FREE.

MUSIC: The Mysteios @ Valentine’s Music Hall, Albany. The Local 518 garage rock stalwarts throw a double-barrelled party as they celebrate the release of their new album Play Louder as well as Tambourine Girl’s birthday. Party on! Hosted by Jimmy Barrett with Off the Record and Houston Controlling Now opening the show. 8pm.

FESTIVAL/FILM: Berkshire International Film Festival @ Beacon Cinema, Pittsfield. It’s Day One of the Pittsfield festivities, featuring “The Spectacular Now.”

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The Cock'N'Bull RestaurantJim Gaudet and the Railroad BoysCaffe LenaCartoonist John CaldwellHolly & EvanAdvertise on Nippertown!Hudson SoundsThe LindaAlbany PoetsDennis Herbert Art