Archive for January, 2014

It’s the Weekend!

Friday, January 31st, 2014
Yup, it's still cold.

Yup, it’s still cold.

Congrats! You made it through another week of work/school/unemployment. And now it’s finally time to bundle up, go out and have some fun. But before we head out for our wild first February weekend 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

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
Andrzej Pilarczyk
Thomas Lindsay
Kirsten Ferguson
J Hunter
Fred Rudofsky
Stanley Johnson
Pete Mason
Steve Nover
Jessica Ayotte
Rudy Lu
Jason Spiro

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:

The Troy Savings Bank Music Hall, Troy

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:

WAMC-FM’s The Linda, Albany
Capital Repertory Theatre, Albany
The Ale House, Troy
The Hollow Bar + Kitchen, Albany

Thanks for keeping Nippertown alive… and lively,

Sara Ayers
Greg Haymes


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

Friday, January 31st, 2014

The Low Beat

Yes, 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. And, yes, there was a whole lot of news to write about this week, from the avalanche of new concert announcements to Albany Symphony’s Grammy win to the review of the Rocky Velvet reunion…

So for all of you casual once-or-twice-a-week readers, here’s a summary of the Top 10 most-viewed stories from Nippertown in the past week, from new concert announcements to live performance reviews:

1. Big New Concert Announced for the Palace Theatre (by Staff)

2. Albany Symphony Orchestra Wins Grammy Award! (by Staff)

3. New Concert Announced for The Egg (by Staff)

4. Sign of the City: The Low Beat Sign Is UP! (by Staff)

5. New SPAC Concerts Announced (by Staff)


THEATER: “The Mountaintop” @ Capital Repertory Theatre

Friday, January 31st, 2014

The Mountaintop @ Capital Repertory Theatre
Review by Greg Haymes

“I’m not perfect…”
“I’m a man, just a man…”
“I’m a sinner, not a saint…”

Indeed, the Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. of Katori Hall’s powerful, award-winning play “The Mountaintop” is just a man. At times, a prideful man. At times, a vain man. But a man nonetheless with all of the attendant frailties.

He smokes.
He drinks.
He flirts.
He swears.
He lies to his wife.
And he has stinky feet.

Set in a drab, less-than-elegant room at the Lorraine Motel in Memphis on April 3, 1968 – the night before King would be assassinated – “The Mountaintop” is an imagining of what might have possibly (and impossibly) happened during King’s final hours, as he engages in wide-ranging conversation with Camae, one of the hotel’s chambermaids.


ArtBeat: “Deep Quiet” @ Grand Street Community Arts on Saturday & Sunday

Friday, January 31st, 2014
Sean Desiree and Deb Cavanaugh

Sean Desiree and Deb Cavanaugh

It’s not all about pigskin and Punxsutawney Phil…

Yes, on one of the loudest, noisiest weekends of the year – at least for football fans – the folks at Grand Street Community Arts in Albany are offering “Deep Quiet,” an art exhibition with music. There will also be an art table for children, and appetizers and warm drinks will be served.

From 1-5pm on Saturday and Sunday (February 1&2), the two-day-only group exhibit “Deep Quiet: An Art Exhibit to Celebrate Winter” will feature the artwork of a number of Local 518 painters, sculptors and photographers, including Timothy Reidy, Sara Pruiksma, Melissa Marcue, Nola Muscatello, Sandy Pratt, Sophia Passero, Allison Ferraro and Kurtis Miller.

In addition, indie rockers Mickinley will play at 1:30pm Saturday, followed by Hans Dirzuweits at 3pm.Sunday’s musical entertainment includes folksinger Deb Cavanaugh at 1:30pm and indie rocker Sean Desiree at 3pm.

Friday Flashback: 2005

Friday, January 31st, 2014
Ernie Williams and Nicole Peyrafitte

Ernie Williams and Nicole Peyrafitte

We’ve been digging around in the Nippertown archives again…

According to the Thursday, January 27, 2005, issue of The Times Union’s Preview section, here’s what was going on around Nippertown nine years ago:

* Albany Mayor Jerry Jennings announced the line-up for the benefit concert “Rock 2 Rebuild: Capital District Concert for Tsunami Relief” to be held at the Palace Theatre featuring the Burners U.K. (with guest Ernie Williams), Hair of the Dog, Sirsy, Doc Scanlon’s All-Star Revue (with Johnny Rabb, Jill Hughes and others), Hector on Stilts and the Brian Kaplan Band.

* Veteran actor Joel Aroeste was starring in the New York State Theatre Institute’s production of “Man of La Mancha” at Russell Sage College.

* The inaugural installment of Poets Speak Out – a new reading series hosted by Mary Panza and Thom Francis at Tess’ Lark Tavern – was slated to kick off with featured poet Tom Nattell. (Sadly, Nattell lost his battle with cancer earlier in the day, and the reading was transformed into a memorial.)

* Kamikaze Hearts were playing at Caffe Lena in Saratoga Springs.

* The Steamer No. 10 Theatre in Albany was hosting a “Music Voice Video Poetry Jam,” featuring performance poet/vocalist Nicole Peyrafitte, guitarist-sampler Tom Burre, poet Pierre Joris, percussionist Mike Lopez and guitarist George Muscatello.


Barrington Stage and Williamstown Festival Make Major 2014 Season Announcements [Berkshire on Stage]

Friday, January 31st, 2014
One of the great heroes of WWII is Alan Turing who broke the Nazi’s enigma code and whose riveting personal story will be presented by Barrington Stage Company this summer.

One of the great heroes of WWII is Alan Turing who broke the Nazi’s enigma code and whose riveting personal story will be presented by Barrington Stage Company this summer.

by Larry Murray

Theater news is in the air as Pittsfield’s Barrington Stage Company announced its full season of 2014 offerings and the Williamstown Theatre Festival dropped the names of the shows and stars to light their main stage marquee. A detailed look at the Barrington Stage offerings is in the works here at Berkshire on Stage as Gail M. Burns and I report on the kick-off lunch and our discussions with Julianne Boyd and others later this week. For now, the Barrington Stage Company offerings are:

Kiss Me, Kate will be from June 11-July 12. This classic musical which mixes Shakespeare with a traveling troupe of theatrical folks was first announced last September. The popular musical recounts the backstage and onstage antics of two feuding couples during a touring production of The Taming of the Shrew. Sparkling with 18 classic Cole Porter songs, Kiss Me, Kate includes “Another Op’nin’, Another Show,” “So in Love,” “Always True to You in My Fashion,” “Too Darn Hot,” and “Brush Up Your Shakespeare”.

Breaking the Code, Hugh Whitemore’s biographical drama about the true story of Alan Turing, the famed mathematician and computer science pioneer and the primary designer of the Turing Machine, an early computer used to solve the German Enigma code during World War II, a solution many believe was instrumental in the Allied victory. The title refers to both the solution of the Enigma code and Turing’s open admission to his homosexuality, which at the time violated not only the codes of polite society but British law. To star BSC Associate Artist Mark H. Dold, and will be directed by Joe Calarco. Performances of Breaking the Code are from July 17-August 2.

Click to read the rest at Berkshire on Stage.

Other Voices, Other Rooms…

Friday, January 31st, 2014

From Billboard: Emily Zemler chats with Sarah Barthel about the good ole-fashioned major-label bidding war that Phantogram was caught up in following the release of 2009’s Eyelid Movies.

From Daniel Nester: Writer-poet-instigator-professor at the College of St. Rose, Daniel Nestor hits the book circuit this weekend with a pair of readings in NYC in support of the recent poetry anthology that he edited, “The Incredible Sestina Anthology.”

From Upstate Live: Pete Mason’s “In Memoriam: Pete Seeger”

From The Daily Gazette: An editorial on the lack of Oscar nominated films at the Bow Tie’s Movieland in Schenectady.

From Blouin ArtInfo: Dion Tan has an interview with artist Izhar Patkin about “The Wandering Veil,” his current exhibit at MASS MoCA. A video tour of the sprawling exhibition, too…


1/31/14: Today’s Tips: Friday

Friday, January 31st, 2014

MUSIC: Eastbound Jesus @ Red Square, Albany. Join the Greenwich country-rockers Jesus as they record their first live album over the course of two nights downtown. With Driftwood. 9pm.

MUSIC: Sonny Landreth & Cindy Cashdollar @ The Egg, Albany. The two guitar masters play the full evening together as a duo. 8pm. $28.

MUSIC: The Saint Rose Jazz Faculty Ensemble @ the College of Saint Rose’s Massry Center, Albany. A concert of jazz standards and original compositions performed by saxophonists Paul Evoskevich and Brian Patneaude, bassist Sean McClowery, pianist Cliff Brucker, guitarist Matthew Finck and drummer Mark Foster. 7:30pm. FREE.

MUSIC: Ellis Paul @ Caffe Lena, Saratoga Springs. The engaging singer-songwriter has racked up an unprecedented 14 Boston Music Awards and is currently working on his 19th album. His shows are inspiring and intimate, full of wonder and whimsy… 8pm. $22 in advance; $24 at the door.

THEATER: “The Mountaintop” @ Capital Repertory Theatre, Albany. Katori Hall’s play brings new humanity to Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., in the hours before his assassination at the Lorraine Motel in Memphis. Directed by Nick Mangano, the dynamic drama stars Brandon Jones and Liz Morgan. 8pm. $20-$60; $16 students. Through Sunday, February 9.

MUSIC: Hill Haints @ Valentine’s Music Hall, Albany. With External Crimes and the captivating Shana Falana. 8pm.

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

MUSIC: The So So Glos @ The Hollow Bar + Kitchen, Albany. Brooklyn punk rockers. With the Slaughterhouse Chorus. 8pm. FREE.


Cartoonist John CaldwellJim Gaudet and the Railroad BoysHolly & EvanThe Cock'N'Bull RestaurantCaffe LenaAdvertise on Nippertown!Berkshire On StageHudson SoundsLeave Regular Radio BehindArtist Charles HaymesThe LindaAlbany PoetsDennis Herbert Art