Happy New Year!

December 31st, 2014, 4:00 pm by Greg


LIVE: moe. @ the Palace Theatre, 12/30/14

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


Review and photographs by Andrzej Pilarczyk

One of the few top-tier progressive rock/jam bands on the planet, moe. has a long and ongoing history with Nippertown. How many fans can remember the days when promoter Greg Bell used to bring them into Valentine’s? Another tie-in to the Local 518 is that Vinnie Amico, moe.’s pre-eminent drummer, lives and raises his family in Ballston Spa.

Well, twentysome-odd years later moe. is blessing our area with a jam band-styled New Year’s Eve. The Palace Theatre seats only 2.800 people, but I swear there were more for Tuesday night’s Not Quite New Year’s Eve show. Maybe it was because the excited ushers and the theater’s jubilant staff were on board to insure that everyone had a great time. Even Steve, the pony-tailed head of security, wasn’t going to have his guards impede the fans happiness in rushing the stage – as long as they didn’t jump into the lowered orchestra pit in front of the stage.

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“Unbroken” Is a Horrific Hero’s Story from World War II, Directed by Angelina Jolie [Berkshire on Stage]

December 31st, 2014, 1:00 pm by Sara
A beaten but unbowed Jack O’Connell as Zamperini.

A beaten but unbowed Jack O’Connell as Zamperini.

Film review by Larry Murray

The World War II drama Unbroken opened on Christmas Day and marks Angelina Jolie’s second directorial effort. The film is solid in an old fashioned way, and will likely be popular, especially with those who love blood, bashing and brave heroes who speak in slogans and sound bites. To me, while based on a true story, it is a formula film that seems more in the spirit of the other film it most resembles, The Passion of the Christ. We love to see our heroes beaten up on the screen, especially if they are suffering for a good cause.

Louis Zamperini (Jack O’Connell) was a Los Angeles high school track star who raced in the 1936 Berlin Olympics on the U.S. team that included Jesse Owens. In 1943, his Air Force plane crashed in the Pacific. He survived without food and water for 47 days, enduring shark attacks, aerial attacks and hunger before washing ashore on a Japanese island behind enemy lines, where he was held as a prisoner of war for two years and tortured by his captors.

In the film, Zamperini the prisoner is seen enduring excruciating pain as he holds a wooden crossbar aloft for what seems like hours. He is also beaten mercilessly by the other prisoners who are ordered to shower punch after punch on him “in order to teach him respect” by the prison camp commander. But he was far from a saint. As a child he was constantly getting into trouble, stealing, running from the police and enduring the bullying of his classmates.

Click to read the rest at Berkshire on Stage.

BEST OF 2014: Michael Eck’s Top 10 Albums

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

Joe Henry: Invisible Hour

By Michael Eck

Joe Henry’s Invisible Hour is so relentlessly, ridiculously beyond good that speaking about it reduces me to gibberish. It is my Top 10 for 2014. I don’t mean to say that it is at the top of the list, no, it is the entire list.

If you ride due southwest, following the sun, out of Albany, into the hilltowns, that is best… Open the moonroof, too. Even if it’s winter.

Fred Rudofsky’s Top 21 Live Music Events
Albert Brooks’ Top 11 Albums
Gene Sennes’ Top Concerts & Albums
J Hunter’s Best Jazz Albums, Part II
The Capital Land Crate Digger’s Cultural Top 10
J Hunter’s Best Jazz Albums, Part I
Stanley Johnson’s Favorite Things
Rudy Lu’s Top 10 Concerts
J Hunter’s Top 10 Concerts (And More)
Tim Livingston’s Top 10 Albums

ArtBeat: What To See

December 31st, 2014, 10:00 am by Sara


Shanti Grumbine: Zero (detail) @ Mandeville Gallery

Shanti Grumbine: Zero (detail) @ Mandeville Gallery

Textual @ Mandeville Gallery, Schnenectady. An exhibition of contemporary works that employ letters and words within the visual art context to convey satirical humor, voice political opinion, question linguistic meaning and examine communication. Artists: Alex Gingrow, Michael Scoggins, Bang Geul Han, Cui Fei, Amanda Tiller, Shanti Grumbine, Sujin Lee and William Powhida. Also on display: Artists’ Books: Where to put the apostrophe? featuring artists’ books by Joseph Kosuth, Dieter Roth, Edward Ruscha and Lawrence Weiner. Opens Saturday, January 3. Reception: Thursday, January 15, 5-6:30pm. (Through March 15)

The Stone Palette @ The Hyde Collection

The Stone Palette @ The Hyde Collection

The Stone Palette: Lithographs in 19th-Century France @ The Hyde Collection, Glens Falls. Thirty-one prints from The Hyde’s Tobin Sparling Family Collection explore lithography as a creative medium in 19th-century France. Opens Wednesday, January 10. (Through March 15)

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12/31/14: Today’s Tips: Wednesday (New Year’s Eve)

December 31st, 2014, 8:00 am by Greg

MUSIC: moe. @ the Palace Theatre, Albany. 8pm. $50.

FESTIVAL/MUSIC/MORE: Saratoga First Night @ various venues, Saratoga Springs. Jim Gaudet & the Railroad Boys, Ramblin Jug Stompers, Graham Tichy, Bryan Thomas, Lee Shaw, the Orange, Bear Grass, Miss Tess & the Talkbacks, Jack Grace, the Lustre Kings, Rebel Darling, Party Boat and lots more. 6pm. $15.

MUSIC: Lee Fields & the Expressions @ Club Helsinki, Hudson. It’s an old-school, classic soul dance party. With DJ Giovanni di Mola. 9pm.

MUSIC: Wild Adriatic @ Putnam Den, Saratoga Springs. With the North & South Dakotas. 9pm. $15.

MUSIC: Stellar Young @ the Hollow Bar + Kitchen, Albany. With Northern Faces and Slaughterhouse Chorus. 8pm. $15.

MUSIC: Mister F @ Parish Public House. 1am. $15.

MUSIC: Mirk @ the Fuze Box, Albany. With Stoop Kids. 9pm. $40 (includes open bar).

MUSIC/FUNDRAISER: Modern Day Masquerade Ball @ Michael’s Banquet House, Latham. Music by Acoustic Trauma, Project Retro, Poor Dead Molly, Mike Campese and Deejay Opie. 7:30pm.

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BEST OF 2014: Fred Rudofsky’s Top 21 Live Music Events

December 30th, 2014, 4:00 pm by Greg
(photo by Andrzej Pilarczyk)

Ian McLagan @ The Linda, 10/20/14

By Fred Rudofsky
Photograph by Andrzej Pilarczyk

1.) Nick Lowe with Los Straitjackets and special guests the Cactus Blossoms @ The Egg’s Swyer Theatre, Albany (December 19)

2.) Ian McLagan @ The Linda, Albany (October 20)

3.) Hamell on Trial @ the Low Beat, Albany (September 6)

4.) Vintage Trouble with special guest the Soul Selector @ the Hollow Bar + Kitchen, Albany (September 28)

5.) The Holmes Brothers @ Club Helsinki, Hudson (May 2)

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LIVE: Rockin’ Christmas 2014 @ Troy Savings Bank Music Hall,

December 30th, 2014, 2:00 pm by Greg
Whitney Wolanin

Whitney Wolanin

Photograph by Andrzej Pilarczyk

Pop singer and Albany native Whitney Wolanin and her band the Shenanigans headlined the B95.5-FM Rockin’ Christmas 2014 celebration at the Troy Savings Bank Music Hall earlier this month. Proceeds from the concert benefitted Siena College’s Rockin’ Christmas Scholarship Fund.

Holly & EvanCaffe LenaCartoonist John CaldwellThe Cock'N'Bull RestaurantJim Gaudet and the Railroad BoysAdvertise on Nippertown!Albany PoetsBerkshire On StageLeave Regular Radio BehindRamblin Jug Stompers