Archive for December, 2013

It Was a Very Good Year: The Local 518 Rock Reunions

Tuesday, December 31st, 2013
Silver Chicken in the late 1970's

Silver Chicken in the late 1970’s

Dirty Face…
The Plague…
The Lawn Sausages…
The Disenchanted…
Urban Gumbo…
Subduing Mara…
Lumpen Proles…
Can’t Say…

Band names we haven’t heard from in a long time – some quite a bit longer than others. But one after another, a wide variety of vintage Local 518 rock bands got the old itch once again in 2013, stepping back into the spotlight to give long-time fans and old-timers another blast of Capital Region rock and roll nostalgia.

Call it reunion fever…



It Was a Very Good Year: Pete Seeger

Tuesday, December 31st, 2013
Pete-Seeger (photo by Martin Benjamin)

Pete Seeger (center) with John Mellencamp, Willie Nelson, Dave Matthews and Neil Young

Photograph by Martin Benjamin

He’s not just a folk music great.

Pete Seeger is the living epitome of an American music icon…

Seeger fans gathered at Proctors Theatre in Schenectady on Sunday, May 12 for one of the most emotional, heartfelt concerts of the year. It was a combination 94th birthday party for Seeger, a 45th anniversary celebration for the venerable Eighth Step and a benefit for Camp Killooleet, a children’s camp in Hancock, Vermont, that was founded by Seeger’s elder brother John.


It Was a Very Good Year: “The Place Beyond the Pines”

Tuesday, December 31st, 2013

Much of “The Place Beyond the Pines” was filmed in Schenectady and other Nippertown locales (like the Altamont Fair) during 2011. And for the local premiere in April, Schenectady’s moment in the bright Hollywood spotlight got the red carpet treatment, and local fans bought tickets to see themselves, their friends, their neighbors and their neighborhood up on the big multi-plex screen. And, yes, Bradley Cooper came back for the opening night celebration at the Bow Tie Cinema in downtown Schenectady.

The film didn’t really knock us out – the first half was energized and excellent, but it nosedived into ho-hum melodrama after that – although it did land on quite a few high profile Best 10 Films of the Year lists, including these:

CLAUDIA PUIG of USA TODAY: “As written and directed by Derek Cianfrance, ‘Pines’ is a sweeping look at fateful decisions and their lasting reverberations. This saga of fathers and sons is almost a Shakespearean tragedy. Beautifully rendered, wise and somber, it goes in unexpected directions and features a top-notch cast.”

KYLE SMITH of THE NEW YORK POST: “I think maybe the most magnetic of the next generation of male hotshots is Ryan Gosling, though. His star power lit up ‘The Place Beyond the Pines.'”


It Was a Very Good Year: Wilco

Tuesday, December 31st, 2013

Photograph by Andrew Gregory

After hosting and performing at a pair of back-to-back spectacular Solid Sound music and art festivals at MASS MoCA in North Adams, Chicago rockers Wilco took 2012 off from festival building to promote their 2012 album, The Whole Love. Fortunately, Jeff Tweedy & Co. were back again this year with the third edition of their acclaimed three-day Solid Sound festival, and they kicked it all off with an adventurous opening night all-request concert that found them tearing into a rather unlikely setlist that dug into the songbags of Blue Oyster Cult, the Replacements, Television and more. But the big surprise of the night was a deliciously frothy rendition of Abba’s pop gem “Waterloo” with help from the fest’s new breakout artists Lucius.


12/31/13: Today’s Tips: Tuesday (New Year’s Eve)

Tuesday, December 31st, 2013

FESTIVAL: First Night Saratoga @ various locations, Saratoga Springs. Non-stop entertainment at dozens of locations all around town, including music by Jim Gaudet & the Railroad Boys, Holly & Evan, Soul Session, Hey Jude… The Tribute, Pete Donnelly & the Wise Easy, Ramblin Jug Stompers, the Charlie Watts Riots and lots more. 5-12midnight. $15.

MUSIC: Sister Sparrow & the Dirty Birds @ Club Helsinki, Hudson. In support of their new EP Fight (produced by Grammy Award winner and former “American Idol” judge Randy Jackson), the wailing, horn-fueled, soul-funk rock combo returns to Nippertown for a New Year’s Eve dance party spectacular. 9pm. $40.

MUSIC: moe. @ the Palace Theatre, Albany. It’s the big New Year’s Eve bash with the jam-band heroes playing three big sets. Plus the Conehead Buddha Horns sittin’ in. 8pm. $50.

MUSIC: The Lucky Jukebox Brigade @ Valentine’s Music Hall, Albany. With the Slaughterhouse Chorus and Skeletons in the Piano. 9pm. $10.

COMEDY: The First Night of Funny @ Proctors, Schenectady. Up-and-coming comics Buddy Fitzpatrick, Sherry Davey, Nathan McIntosh and Kelly MacFarland. 8pm. $35.

MUSIC: Harx @ the Desmond Hotel, Albany. 9pm. FREE.

MUSIC: Funk-n-Country New Year’s Eve Bash @ Proctors’ GE Theatre, Schenectady. Funk Evolution provides the funk, while Skeeter Creek serves up the country… Cash bars. Specialty drinks. Snacks. Complimentary champagne toast. And the Times Square ball drop on the giant screen. 9pm. $35 in advance; $40 at the door.

MUSIC: The Rob Skane 3 @ Carney’s Tavern, Ballston Lake. Dinner served from 6-9pm with music by Steve Candlen. 9:30pm.

MUSIC/FUNDRAISER: All-Vinyl DJ Party @ the Half Moon, Hudson. It’s not only a rockin’ New Year’s Eve dance party with vinyl spinning by Lunar Moss, Peter Aaron, Chris Bishop, Tim Livingston, Magic Stranger, DJ Cannery, Noah Reibel and live video freak-out by Spike Priggen and DJ Effie. It’s also a benefit for WGXC-FM, which will be broadcasting the bash live. 10pm. $10.


LIVE: The World Famous Headliners @ the Iron Horse Music Hall, 12/28/13

Monday, December 30th, 2013
Al Anderson

Al Anderson

Photographs by Bender Melon

Yes, face it, if you’re gonna step into the spotlight sporting a band name like the World Famous Headliners, you’ve got two options. Either you’ve got to be really good or really stupid.

As it turned out, the World Famous Headliners were definitely not stupid…


LIVE: Melissa Ferrick @ WAMC-FM’s The Linda, 12/7/13

Monday, December 30th, 2013

Melissa Ferrick

Photographs by Jason Spiro

I heard this amazing singer-songwriter on “Live at The Linda” radio show the Wednesday before this concert, and I was blown away. Then they announced on the air that she’d be returning to Albany that Saturday. What? They should always do that! That’s good promotion.

Melissa Ferrick was great – powerful voice, nice guitar chops, a variety of popular and folk-influenced solo guitar song styles, capo’d many frets, etc. She had the audience sing along and her between-song patter was great. What a warm environment. She’s so funny. And the sound was good, too…


Baroque and Bach in the Berkshires with the Brandenburgs for New Year’s Eve [Berkshire on Stage]

Monday, December 30th, 2013
 The Berkshire Bach Ensemble

The Berkshire Bach Ensemble

By Larry Murray

The Berkshire Bach Society celebrates the twentieth year of its landmark “Bach at New Year’s” series, featuring the celebrated Berkshire Bach Ensemble directed by world-renowned harpsichordist Kenneth Cooper. There will be two performances of the six Brandenburg Concerti… and for something a little different, they will be performed in reverse order.

Click to read the rest at Berkshire on Stage.

The Cock'N'Bull RestaurantHolly & EvanJim Gaudet and the Railroad BoysCaffe LenaCartoonist John CaldwellAdvertise on Nippertown!The LindaLeave Regular Radio BehindHudson SoundsArtist Charles HaymesAlbany PoetsBerkshire On StageArtist and Musician Michael Eck