LIVE: The Chronicles @ the Van Dyck, 3/21/14

March 31st, 2014, 4:00 pm by Greg
Bryan Brundige, Jeff-Nania and Justin Henricks

Bryan Brundige, Jeff-Nania and Justin Henricks

Review by J Hunter
Photographs by Rudy Lu

Okay, let’s review what we “know.” We “know” that the Chronicles are the best party band in Greater Nippertown: Doesn’t matter what the critics say or what the Readers’ Poll says (unless, of course, they agree with what we “know”); it’s just a “fact.” The Chronicles’ last album – the hard-hitting vinyl/digital release Spanning the Gap – was produced by Alan Evans, the engine behind Soulive and its horn-intensive offshoot Lettuce. Put the Chronicles in a club like Red Square or the Hollow Bar + Kitchen and real estate on the dance floor disappears in a heartbeat. The funk is delicious, the horns are killer, and the beat is undeniable. That’s a party band, my friend, and don’t you forget it!

So why were the Chronicles playing the upstairs concert space at the Van Dyck? I mean, you can’t dance in front of the stage unless you’re really, really, really skinny! Besides, even though the McDonalds have booked many different types of bands since taking over the place a few years ago, the Van Dyck will be known as a jazz club now and forever, Bird without end, ay-men! Maybe trombonist/leader Bryan Brundige got cabin fever. Maybe he’s as addicted to the Van Dyck’s pulled pork sliders as I am. The reasons don’t matter, and what we “know” DEFINITELY doesn’t matter. The night was tremendous, and so was the band – THAT’S what matters!

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LIVE: Experience Hendrix @ the Palace Theatre, 3/28/14

March 31st, 2014, 3:00 pm by Greg

Review by Fred Rudofsky

It was the best of concerts and the worst of concerts. Yes, I’m celebrating and exploiting the genius of Charles Dickens in my lead, but that is far less egregious than what too often took place during a sold-out Friday night concert at Albany’s Palace Theatre that paid tribute to the genius of Jimi Hendrix. Call it a paradoxical experience.

NOTE: I make these observations as a fervent admirer of Hendrix’s music and the inspiration he derived from a variety sources such as the blues, soul, folk and Native American culture. I have always viewed him as complete musician, not a wild, hedonistic guitarist like so many still do.

The Experience Hendrix show was the best concert in the sense that it was uplifting to see local support for the music and memory of one of the greatest musicians the world has known – and the song selections were also far more eclectic than what had been the case six years before when the tour touched down in Albany. Yet it was also felt like the worst given that the celebratory nature of the night felt contrived, even exploitative. I even found myself drawing up a wish list of musicians, not just guitarists, that I thought should have been included on the bill (Joanne Shaw Taylor, Cassandra Wilson, Buddy Miller, Trombone Shorty, Michael Hill, Cindy Blackman Santana, Gary Clark, Jr., Steve Winwood, Hamell on Trial – who saw Hendrix play Syracuse in 1968 – to name a few). At times throughout the nearly 3 1/2 hour event, I thought of one of Hendrix’s most prophetic lyrics: “But as far as I know, they may even try to wrap me up in cellophane and try and sell me…” How can anybody celebrate properly a musician, who casts such a long shadow?

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SPAC Rock Festival Line-Up Announced

March 31st, 2014, 2:00 pm by Greg

A month and a half ago we announced that the heavy metal headbanging Rockstar Energy Drink Mayhem Festival was scheduled to return to the Saratoga Performing Arts Center in Saratoga Springs at 1:10pm on Wednesday, July 23.

There have been lots of rumors swirling about who’s going to be on the bill, but the line-up of bands slated to perform at the fest wasn’t officially revealed until today:

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MCLA Presents Offers Unusual Tabletop Puppet Docu-Drama “Who’s Hungry?” [Berkshire on Stage]

March 31st, 2014, 1:00 pm by Sara

MCLA Presents "Who’s Hungry?"

Review by Gail M. Burns and Larry Murray

Gail M. Burns: You took a little convincing to give up a Saturday afternoon for a puppet show, Larry.

Larry Murray: Yes, I was resistant, perhaps because I thought I had experienced just about everything the miniature world of puppetry could offer, but I was wrong.

Gail: If your idea of puppetry is still the hand puppets on Captain Kanagroo and Mister Rogers, the marionettes in The Sound of Music, or even the Muppets, be ready to be surprised! For one thing, these productions are not for little children, although tweens and teens with a theatrical bent will love them.

Larry: The thought that has stuck in my head is that this wasn’t the first puppet documentary I had seen. Mass MoCA brought in Dan Hurlin, who designed and directed this show, in 2010 with his sensational puppet biography of eccentric Arkansas photographer Mike Disfarmer. (Larry’s article) That too was “tabletop puppetry,” an advance on the art form that uses traditional techniques from Bunraku to shadow puppetry, and in this case, with two slow-motion Robert Wilson-esque sequences for model cars and accessories.

Click to read the rest at Berkshire on Stage.

FLASHBACK: It Was 30 Years Ago Today…

March 31st, 2014, 12:00 pm by Greg

March 31, 1984 was the closing night of the Chateau, one of Albany’s legendary nightspots that once stood at what is now the site of the Times Union Center.

Here’s how I reported the farewell performance in the inaugural “Sarge Blotto’s Rockin’ Roll Call” column for Metroland:

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Our Fave Musician/Ballplayers…

March 31st, 2014, 11:00 am by Greg


It’s not often that you find multi-talented players who excel at baseball as well as music, but in honor of today’s Opening Day of the 2014 Major League Baseball season, we thought we’d honor some of our fave musician/ballplayers…

ArtBeat: Hudson Celebration in Saratoga Springs

March 31st, 2014, 10:00 am by Sara
A photgraph of the Clearwater Sloop by Rudy Lu

The Clearwater (photo by Rudy Lu)

Opening Thursday (April 3) at the Niche Gallery in Saratoga Springs is Hudson Celebration, an exhibition featuring fine art photography by Nippertown’s own Rudy Lu as well as artwork by Frances Gaffney, Patricia MacDonald, Matt Chinian and Kitty Trimarco.

The show is a benefit for the Hudson River Sloop Clearwater, an organization that works tirelessly to preserve the Hudson River and educate a new generation of environmental leaders.

The opening reception is slated for 5-8pm on Thursday (April 3). The show is up through April 30.

3/31/14: Today’s Tips: Monday

March 31st, 2014, 8:25 am by Greg

It’s Opening Day! Play ball!

MUSIC: Wussy @ the Low Beat, Albany. Led by Lisa Walker and former Ass Ponys bandleader Chuck Cleaver. Rock critic dean Robert Christgau has proclaimed, “Wussy has been the best band in America since they released the first of their five superb albums in 2005, only nobody knows it.” With Immaculate Heart. 7:30pm.

MUSIC: Poor Man’s Whiskey @ the Iron Horse Music Hall, Northampton. Performing “Dark Side of the Moonshine,” a bluegrass interpretation of Pink Floyd’s classic Dark Side of the Moon. 7pm. $13.

MUSIC: The Voodoo Orchestra North @ Club Helsinki, Hudson. Led by legendary jazz drummer, improviser and composer Bobby Previte and featuring many great upstate New York musicians, VON continues its regular series of performances devoted to exploring the music of Miles Davis’s eternal electric jazz-funk masterpiece, Bitches Brew. 8pm. $7.

MUSIC: Simi Stone @ the Falcon, Marlboro. Wrapping up her Mondays in March residency with David Baron (keys), Zachary Alford (drums), Sara Lee (bass) and special guests Tony Aiello (sax) and Dan Littleton (guitar). 7pm. Donation encouraged.

READING: D.T. Max @ Bard College Bertelsmann Campus Center’s Weiss Cinema, Annandale-On-Hudson. The biographer and New Yorker staff writer reads from his highly acclaimed biography of David Foster Wallace, “Every Love Story Is a Ghost Story,” a New York Times bestseller that Vanity Fair called “as illuminating, multifaceted, and serious an estimation of David Foster Wallace’s life and work as we can hope to find.” 2:30pm. FREE.

MUSIC: Andy Wrba & Friends @ Mission Bar + Tapas, Pittsfield. Everything from jazz to funk with this week’s special guests: Mammal Dap, Zack Cross, Colin Jalbert, Killian Karlsson and Rhees Williams. 8pm. FREE.

Cartoonist John CaldwellThe Cock'N'Bull RestaurantCaffe LenaJim Gaudet and the Railroad BoysHolly & EvanAdvertise on Nippertown!Albany PoetsLeave Regular Radio BehindArtist Charles HaymesMohawk Hudson Humane Society