LIVE: Sketches of Influence @ Lucas Confectionery, 11/16/15

November 30th, 2015, 4:00 pm by Greg
Sketches of Influence

Sketches of Influence

Review and photographs by Rudy Lu

The Piano Jazz Queen of Greater Nippertown, Lee Shaw was a mentor and inspiration to so many jazz musicians throughout the Local 518. Joe Barna was one of them. Her recent death inspired the drummer to compose a six-part suite dedicated to her memory.

Last month, Barna slipped behind his drum kit to offer the premiere performance of “Suite Lee” at Lucas Confectionery in Troy with his band Sketches of Influence, featuring pianist Dave Solazzo, alto saxman Adam Siegel, bassist Dylan Perrillo and guitarist Mark Kleinhaut.

Barna penned five of the suite’s six songs in the suite during the week following Shaw’s death on October 25 at age 89. The other composition, “Ivory Romance,” was recorded six years ago and originally released on Barna’s 2011 CD, Blow It Out.

The compositions spanned the wide range of jazz styles that Lee had total command of in her repertoire:

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ArtBeat: “Affinity Atlas” @ Skidmore’s Tang Teaching Museum

November 30th, 2015, 3:00 pm by Greg


Review and photographs by Jeff Nania

“Affinity Atlas”
The Tang Teaching Museum, Skidmore College, Saratoga Springs
Ongoing through Sunday, January 3

“Affinity Atlas,” one of the Tang Teaching Museum’s current exhibitions, is making unlikely connections between pieces of work from all different times and places in the Tang’s own collection, and new works by select contemporary artists.

Curator Ian Berry explained that this exhibition is really three different shows in one. Around the perimeter of the gallery space are new works done by contemporary artists like Michael Oatman, David Diao and even a separate room featuring the video “Grosse Fatigue” by Camille Henrot. The inner part of the gallery – an “L” shaped wooden platform – showcases pieces from the Tang’s private collection. Finally, a shelf at the end of the space features a line of postcards with different endangered species on them, contributed by various faculty members at Skidmore College.

The shelf with the postcards is arranged so that in a line just below eye level these little stacks of cards are propped up like small works of art and guests coming through the exhibit can take whichever ones they please, but when each particular stack runs out the viewer is presented with a statement like “the Formosan clouded leopard is gone,” thus signifying the extinction process over the course of the exhibit. Every 10 days or so, the shelf portion of “Affinity Atlas” is filled with different pieces by the Skidmore faculty. The shelf has also been filled with mineral specimens, cosmic photographs of galaxies, skulls and more.

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Holiday Gift Guide: Ticket Stub Diary

November 30th, 2015, 2:00 pm by Greg


It’s just the ticket for concert-goers…

Never forget those front row seats at a Bruce Springsteen concert, the standing ovation at the premiere of “The Lion King” or the roar of the crowd when the Red Sox won the World Series. With the Ticket Stub Diary you can preserve your precious memories from concerts, museums, movies, sporting events, Broadway shows and more.

The book – available from Uncommon Goods for $12 – comes with clear sleeves that fit a variety of ticket sizes, plus space in the margin to write down your memories of the event. Acid-free pages will preserve your memories.

NOTE: Ticket sleeves are 2.5″ x 4.5″. Diary itself is 7.75″ x 7″. Some larger tickets may not fit easily.

“Unsilent Night” Returns to North Adams on Thursday [Berkshire on Stage]

November 30th, 2015, 1:00 pm by Sara

Massachusetts College of Liberal Arts’ Gallery 51 is planning a fun “Spectacle 99: The Affordable Art Show,” which opens on Thursday (December 3). Just in time for the holiday season, all art will be priced between 99 cents and $99.99, and can be taken to go to be given as gifts.

The main event, open to all, is the free opening reception on Thursday from 5-8pm in the 51 Main St. gallery.

But there is another element to the fun, as MCLA’s Gallery 51 partners with Frog Pond Creative to bring Unsilent Night, a “mobile sound sculpture,” to the streets of North Adams. Unsilent Night composer and creator Phil Kline – who has taken his unique sound sculpture around the United States – will lead an expansive chorus of boomboxes. According to Kline, the project came about from his “love of experimental electronic music and memories of caroling as a kid.”

The public is invited to participate in the Unsilent Night procession, which will start at 5:15pm at MASS MoCA’s courtyard in front of “tree logic,” the upside-down maple trees installation, and ends with hot chocolate at the opening of Gallery 51’s “Spectacle 99.”

Click to read the rest at Berkshire on Stage.

RIP: Dick Quinn, Super Music Fan, 1947-2015

November 30th, 2015, 12:00 pm by Greg

Review and concert photographs by Ed Conway

My apologies to Billy Eli, a fine Austin-based singer-songwriter, as this was supposed to be a quick review of his show a couple of weeks ago. Instead, I am writing about a friend who was a true friend to many musicians, both locally and around the country, but I think Billy would understand, as he was one of those friends. Billy’s show was the last time I saw Dick Quinn and may have been the last show Dick saw (it’s hard to tell as he always had a habit of showing up despite not feeling well). Dick had been sick for many years, but would go out to as many as seven shows a week. He checked himself out of the hospital to attend a show on more than one occasion – it’s hard to tell as he didn’t always talk much about his health.

Dick Quinn

Dick Quinn

His dedication to the music scene was greatly appreciated by all who knew and loved Dick and was reciprocated by venues and bands alike. Dick had a permanently reserved table at the Ale House in Troy, as well as a parking spot outside the door so that he had a place to plug in his ever present oxygen machine and limit the distance he had to walk. There wasn’t always a sign, but patrons knew this and respected it. At any given show, Dick would talk about many things related to music and common friends, but not in a gossiping manner.

More often than not, he would wave someone over and with a devilish grin tell them a joke or two, often times not repeatable in mixed company. These jokes became his trademark, but it wasn’t necessarily the joke, but the delivery that made them funny. He had a comic’s timing. As an indication of the respect he had from local musicians, they all got together not once, but twice to play a gig just for him – not a benefit or paid concert, a show just for him. So many bands had signed up, there wasn’t time to put them all on the bill. Bands such as the Chandler Travis Three-O traveled from Cape Cod, just to take part. The last one took place just a few weeks ago (sadly, I was out of town and couldn’t go both times).

Another of his favorites, a band from down the Hudson Valley called the Five Points Band asked Dick to be in their music video of “Old Man River.” Check it out as he can be seen walking up the stairs in the opening scene.

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HEARD: Playlist, 11/23-29/15

November 30th, 2015, 11:00 am by Greg

Evelyn Lear, Dietrich Fischer-Dieskau & Orchester der Deutschen Oper Berlin: Alban Berg’s “Wozzeck” and “Lulu” (Deutsche Grammophon, 2003)
Gillian Welch: Soul Journey (Acony, 2003)
La Rocca: OK Okay (Dangerbird, 2008)
Carol Noonan: As Tears Go By (Z Records, 2008)
Randy Travis: Around the Bend (Warner Bros., 2008)
Webb Pierce: King of the Honky Tonk: From the Original Decca Masters, 1952-1959 (CMF, 1995)
Linda Jones: The Greatest Hits (Re, 2002)
Rickie Lee Jones: Pop Pop (Geffen, 1991)
Hem: No Word From Tom (Nettwerk, 2006)
Various artists: “Die, Covers, Die!!!: Episode 3” (Local 518 podcast, 2015)
The Sundowners: Captain Nemo (Decca, 1968)
David Bowie: Hunky Dory (Atlantic, 1971)
PJ & the Terrorists: Demolition (Scab Records & Tapes, 1984)
Soweto Gospel Choir: Voices From Heaven (Shanachie, 2005)
k.d. lang: Watershed (Nonesuch, 2008)
Chaka Khan: Epiphany: The Best of Chaka Khan, Volume One (Reprise, 1995)
Julie Rhodes: Bound to Meet the Devil (JulieRhodesMusic, 2016)
Alejandro Escovedo: Gravity (Watermelon, 1992)
Tangle Eye: Alan Lomax’s Southern Journey Remixed (Zoe, 2004)
Ferlin Husky: The Capitol Collector’s Series (Capitol, 1989)
Sam Phillips: Cruel Inventions (Vigin, 1991)
Tom Harrell: Wise Children (Bluebird, 2003)
Anoushka Shankar: Rise (Angel, 2005)
Joan Armatrading: Square the Circle (A&M, 1992)
Chet Baker: Out of Nowhere (Milestone, 1991)
Sam Phillips: Omnipop (It’s Only a Flesh Wound Lambchop) (Virgin, 1996)
The Bird and the Bee: Interpreting the Masters, Volume 1: A Tribute to Daryl Hall and John Oates (Blue Note, 2010)
Blur: Modern Life Is Rubbish (SBK, 1993)
Blue Cranes: Observatories (BlueCranesMusic, 2010)
Tally Hall: Marvin’s Marvelous Mechanical Museum (, 2005)
Rebecca Lynn Howard: No Rules (Saguaro Road, 2008)
Joy Kills Sorrow: Darkness Sure Becomes This City (Signature Sounds, 2010)
Dan Bern & the IJBC: The Eva Record (Messenger, 2003)
Nina Simone: To Be Free: The Nina Simone Story (RCA/Legacy, 2008)

CANCELLED: Wanda Jackson @ Cohoes Music Hall

November 30th, 2015, 10:00 am by Greg

The concert by rockabilly veteran and Rock & Roll Hall of Famer Wanda Jackson – originally scheduled for the recently re-opened Cohoes Music Hall on Saturday (December 5) – has been cancelled due to injury.

Ticket refunds are availble at the place of purchase.

11/30/15: Today’s Top Tips: Monday

November 30th, 2015, 7:00 am by Greg

MUSIC: Sketches of Influence @ Lucas Confectionery, Troy. Drummer-composer Joe Barna leads the band – saxman Adam Siegel, pianist Wayne Hawkins and bassist Dylan Perrillo – in “A Tribute to My Friends and Family” featuring compositions written for Pamela Barna, Leslie Hyland, Lee Russo, Mark Kleinhaut, David Barna, Saadet Yedic, Tom Pierce, George Muscatello, Lee Shaw and others. 7pm. FREE.

FILM: “Goodfellas” @ the Palace Theatre, Albany. “For as long as I can remember I always wanted to be a gangster. To me that was better than being president of the United States. To be a gangster was to own the world…” 7pm. $5.

MUSIC: Karl Berger & Friends @ The Falcon, Marlboro. An all-star band featuring Billy Martin (drums), Kirk Knuffke (cornet), Kenny Wessel (guitar), Ken Filiano (bass) and Ingrid Sertso (vocals, poetry). 7pm. Donations encouraged.

MUSIC: Sandy & Sandy @ the Lion’s Den at the Red Lion Inn, Stockbridge. 8pm. FREE.

Caffe LenaJim Gaudet and the Railroad BoysHolly & EvanCartoonist John CaldwellThe Cock'N'Bull RestaurantAdvertise on Nippertown!Berkshire On StageAlbany PoetsThe LindaMohawk Hudson Humane Society