It’s the Weekend!

February 28th, 2014, 4:00 pm by Sara
Someday I will be discovered as the blanket-ripping artiste that I am and all the world will know my name. But until then, I need to practice practice practice.

Someday I will be discovered as the blanket-ripping artiste that I am and all the world will know my name. But until then, I need to practice practice practice…

Congrats! You made it through another winter week of work/school/unemployment. And now it’s time to get out there and enjoy the first weekend of March. But before we head out for our wild 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
Joel Patterson
Andrzej Pilarczyk
Tim Livingston
Rudy Lu
Gail M. Burns
Tom Lindsay
Jessica Ayotte
Pete Mason
Duncan Crary

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 Ale House, 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:

The Egg, Albany
The Falcon, Marlboro
WAMC-FM’s The Linda, Albany
The Flurry Festival, Saratoga Springs
Step Up Presents, Albany
Mixed Company, Great Barrington
Smith’s of Cohoes, Cohoes
Upstate Concert Hall, Clifton Park

Thanks for keeping Nippertown alive… and lively,

Sara Ayers
Greg Haymes


Other Voices, Other Rooms…

February 28th, 2014, 3:30 pm by Greg

From The New York Times: If you liked Xu Bing’s “Phoenix” at MASS MoCA in North Adams, you’re gonna love ’em in the Cathedral Church of St. John the Divine in NYC…

From All Over Albany: A story about the recent digitization of more than 100 years of RPI’s student newspaper, The Polytechnic, highlighted by Bob Cunningham’s fab review of the Doors concert at the Frosh Fling Weekend back in 1967.

From Bartleby Snopes: In case you didn’t realize it, Michael Janairo – former arts editor and columnist at The Times Union and now the Assistant Director for Engagement at Skidmore College’s Tang Museum – is also a fiction writer, and his short story “The Duck” is currently in the running for Story of the Month.

From State of Mind: Nippertown contributor J Hunter reviews the Pedrito Martinez Group in concert at Guantanamera in NYC last month.

LIVE: Between the Buried and Me @ Upstate Concert Hall, 2/22/14

February 28th, 2014, 3:00 pm by Greg
Between the Buried and Me

Between the Buried and Me

Review and photographs by Jessica Ayotte

Between the Buried and Me stopped at the Upstate Concert Hall in Clifton Park on their self-titled tour this past Saturday, February 22. In addition to BTB&M, California-based bands Deafheaven and Intronaut graced the stage along with openers the Kindred from Ottawa. With a diverse mixture of black metal and progressive rock, Deafheaven and Between the Buried and Me were clearly the crowd favorites.

Generally considered a black metal group by most, Deafheaven formed in 2010 in San Francisco, bringing a unique mix of metal with progressive/alternative instrumentals. Being a fairly new band, Deafheaven’s catalog currently consists of one full-length album and 3 EPs. During their set at Upstate Concert Hall, Deafheaven played a mix of selections from their newest album, Sunbather (2013) and EP Roads to Judah (2011). One of the opening songs, “Dream House” started off with a relaxed, up-beat intro. But then as soon as I thought I knew which direction the song was headed in, the “black metal” aspect of Deafheaven quickly swept the rest of their performance. It was a rather unusual combination of genres, but overall, I believe that they were worthy of the crowd’s acclaim.

While there was a lot of talk and anticipation regarding BTB&M, I was still impressed with the performance put on by Deafheaven.

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LIVE: Maurizio @ Smith’s of Cohoes, 2/21/14

February 28th, 2014, 2:00 pm by Greg

Review and video Joel Patterson

Walking into Smith’s is like stepping back into time, to the era of Prohibition and speakeasies. Why does that feel so comforting and natural? Is it because we are living through our own Prohibition era, in our very own thoroughly modern way? Mmmm, maybe, but I am prone to think it’s more about the concept of “refuge.” A restaurant/bar with a gracious and welcoming staff is always going to feel like a haven and a hideaway, and it was shelter from the storm last Friday when Maurizio brought his one-man fiesta to Cohoes. Here’s a singer whose calypso demons and springy, eternal optimism are the perfect medicine for a crowd of desperadoes and week-night fugitives. And your correspondent screamed for “Sugarcane” until M’zo finally relented and played this signature tune about seeking the better things in life. I don’t think Smith’s is a real speakeasy, though. I didn’t see no burly guy at the door saying, “Pssst… what’s the password?”

Festival Fever: Bands ‘N Beans @ Roaring Brook Ranch, 3/2/14

February 28th, 2014, 1:00 pm by Greg
Big Fez & The Surfmatics

Big Fez & The Surfmatics

The Roaring Brook Ranch in Lake George will serve up a day of hot chili and even hotter music from 2-7pm on Sunday (March 2) for the Lake George Arts Project’s annual fundraising bash, Bands ‘N Beans.

Bands performing on two stages throughout the day include Rich Ortiz & Friends, Stony Creek Band, Big Fez & the Surfmatics, Chris Ballini, Rick Rourke, Dirt Cheap, Black Mountain Symphony and Tim Wechgelaer & Friends.

The beans part of the event will feature more than 30 area restaurants who will compete in a chili cooking contest. Everyone in attendance is invited to vote for their favorite chili of the day.

Admission is $20, with tickets available at the door.

Swamp Baby Emerges from Hibernation

February 28th, 2014, 12:00 pm by Greg
Swamp Baby

Swamp Baby @ Restoration Festival, 9/6/13

Photograph by Timothy Reidy

One of Nippertown’s most elusive bands, the delightfully dream-soaked Swamp Baby steps into the spotlight for a concert appearance so rarely that you could be forgiven for overlooking them whenever the discussion heats up about the Local 518’s best bands.

In fact, guitarists Mike Hotter and Nick Matulis and the rest of Swamp Baby conjure up their intimate, ethereal brand of chamber pop so infrequently that their Facebook page has proudly boasted the slogan, “One show a year, but it’s really good.” They aren’t lying… much. Last year, they played only two shows – Restoration Festival in Troy and the O+ Festival in Kingston.

But their albums – 2010’s All Fours and 2012’s For Baby’s Babies – should remind you that this is a band that’s worth seeking out whenever they’re willing to grace a stage. And they’ll be doing exactly that at 8pm on Saturday (March 1) when they play a double-bill with the mesmerizing Dust Bowl Faeries at the Steamer No. 10 Theatre in Albany.

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

February 28th, 2014, 11:00 am by Greg

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 new concert announcements to memorials for Pete Seeger and Phil Samuels to the upcoming Albany concert debut of the Dust Bowl Faeries…

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:

1. The TU Center Announces New Concert (by Staff)

2. Three New Shows Announced for The Egg (by Staff)

3. LIVE: A Celebration of the Life & Legacy of Pete Seeger @ The Falcon, 2/22/14 (by Rudy Lu)

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

5. Phil Samuels Memorial Concert @ the Low Beat, 3/1/14 (by Staff)

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The Corey Aldrich Fundraiser @ Lucas Confectionery, 3/2/14

February 28th, 2014, 10:00 am by Greg
On the mend: Corey Aldrich

On the mend: Corey Aldrich

Story by Duncan Crary

Corey Aldrich is a talented brand & marketing manager, an avid arts advocate, a community cheerleader, a snappy dresser and an extraordinary red head.

He is also the ultimate LOL’er.

No one in Troy escapes his roaring cachinnation. And it is contagious, in the way good things are supposed to be contagious.

But he had a major accident back in November that put him out of commission for the last few months. And the city is a little quieter these days, in the way cities are not supposed to be quiet.

On Sunday (March 2) from 6-10pm, friends of Corey are bringing back the laughter to this place. This is an event to help Corey get back on his feet and help the city get back into the spirit of things. There will be live entertainment, a silent auction, a reading, wine and light refreshments.

Corey is one among many stylish and scrappy self-employed characters who enliven the Collar City.

So if you’re another alley cat out there, or if you just have a fondness for those of us who prowl around town making mirth, please swing by Lucas Confectionery in Troy this Sunday for a rollicking good time.

Entertainment at the Corey Aldrich Fundraiser will include a musical performances by C. Ryder Cooley and Erin Harkes, short plays and stories by Richard Lovrich and a reading by Michael Oatman of his new children’s book, “Tiny Pie.” Artists contributing work to the silent auction include Michael P. Farrell, Abe Ferraro, Tony Iadicicco, Willie Marlowe, Dorothea Osborn, RADICAL!, Jason Schultz and Alana Sparrow. Admission is $25.

Jim Gaudet and the Railroad BoysCartoonist John CaldwellThe Cock'N'Bull RestaurantHolly & EvanCaffe LenaAdvertise on Nippertown!Artist Charles HaymesThe LindaBerkshire On StageRamblin Jug Stompers