Archive for the ‘Books/Readings’ Category

The Story Behind a Billion Dollars in Missing Art… [Berkshire on Stage]

Tuesday, July 21st, 2015
13 works of art worth a billion dollars simply disappeared after they were stolen.

13 works of art worth a billion dollars simply disappeared after they were stolen.

“My father was an artist. Loved Rembrandt, loved Vermeer…So this case is important to me.” Former Boston Globe investigative reporter Stephen Kurkjian, with three Pulitzer Prizes under his belt, will give his audience the low down on “Master Thieves: The Boston Gangsters Who Robbed the Gardner Museum,” the subject of his new book. He will be at the Ventfort Hall Mansion and Gilded Age Museum in Lenox for a Victorian Tea & Talk to tell the story and autograph copies of his book today (Tuesday, July 21) at 4pm.

His subject is the 1990 theft of 13 works of art worth a half billion dollars from Boston’s Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum, a crime he began to cover in 1997 after the FBI failed to solve the case. The works included “The Concert” (the only Vermeer on view in New England) and Rembrandt’s only seascape, “Christ in the Storm on the Sea of Galilee,” as well as sketches by Degas, a Manet portrait and three other Rembrandts. None of these works have appeared since then.

Click to read the rest at Berkshire on Stage.

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REVIEW: “Truro Light: A Journey from Ocean to Bay” by Joseph Schuyler [Get Visual]

Monday, July 20th, 2015
Joseph Schuyler: Harbor View, Evening

Joseph Schuyler: Harbor View, Evening

Review by David Brickman

The spirit of Joseph Schuyler, who died of cancer in January, shines brightly throughout the beautiful book Truro Light: A Journey from Ocean to Bay. Schuyler, a photographer based in Delmar, was able to plan the book (his first) but, sadly, did not live to see it published. It’s fitting that it tells the story of a journey, and that its subject is a place that held deep personal importance for Schuyler, the second-to-last town out on Cape Cod.

I knew Joe for a long time, so this will not be an objective review, but I can attest that some of my in-laws who live on the Cape, were enthralled by his poetic vision of an endlessly beautiful natural world. In a succinct, punchy introduction, Schuyler says “my goal is for you to be able to experience for yourself the sense of this remarkable place,” and he accomplishes that goal handily, but not without also imbuing our experience with the sense of how he sees and feels about his muse.

Schuyler’s vision as a photographer has always been eclectic – he was widely known for work in black and white that recorded decades of productions by Albany’s Capital Repertory Theatre, did catalog work, sold pictures to commercial stock agencies and regularly exhibited fine art prints – and that is also true in this book. We see landscapes, nature details, architecture and abstracts along the journey, and in a signature Schuyler touch, a lot of the pictures are taken in low light, rather than the blazing sun that draws so many to this ocean shore.

Click to read the rest at Get Visual.

Capital Land Crate Digger Round-Up: Devo, Punk Rock & Alex Chilton

Thursday, July 16th, 2015

Reviews by Ross Marvin

While I am a vinyl addict, I don’t discriminate against inferior media. I consume it all with gusto! In this special summer edition of the Crate Digger column I’ve gathered a few non-LP goodies sure to entertain all the pale-faced basement dwellers out there who would prefer to stay inside and obtain obscure pop-cultural knowledge while the pretty people hit the beach.

DVD
“Hardcore Devo Live!”
Directed by Keirda Bahruth
MVDvisual, 2014

In what amounts to a loving tribute to guitarist/keyboardist Bob Casale, who died of heart failure in February, 2014 before the band could reunite, this concert film shot at the Fox Theatre in Oakland last year revisits Devo’s early work dating from 1974-1977. Back then, Devo were basement rock freaks in right-wing Akron, and according to leader Mark Mothersbaugh they were more often paid to stop playing their local gigs than they were asked to play encores. Still, the story here is one of fierce self-belief and perseverance in the face of overwhelming odds. On songs like “Mechanical Man,” Devo’s computerized krautrock sets the table for later hits like the ubiquitous new-wave anthem “Whip It.” Others standouts like “Space Girl Blues” and “Baby Talkin’ Bitches” suggest a harder-rocking blues influence (albeit whacked-out de-evolutionary blues) that all but disappeared in the later mainstream recordings.

Filmmaker Keirda Bahruth, who also directed the Thelonious Monster rock-doc “Bob and the Monster,” intersperses talking-head interviews with band members and Akron scenesters between the 21-songs included in this 84 minute-set. The interviews paint Devo as true rock underdogs, and remind this reviewer how influential Devo’s vision was in shaping the DIY culture of the 80s that bred off-beat bands like Blotto here in Albany. There isn’t a tounge-in-cheek song like “Metal Head” without Devo’s anything-but-PC offerings like “Midget.” Believe it or not kids, there was once a time when musicians, comedians and even regular folks could make a joke or poke fun at something and not have it blow up on Twitter as an offense against humanity.

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FREE: Poets in the Park @ Albany’s Washington Park

Tuesday, July 7th, 2015

The Poets in the Park reading series is celebrating over 20 years of bringing poetry each July to the Robert Burns statue in Albany’s Washington Park, Albany. The series was created in 1989 by the late Tom Nattell and is now hosted by Albany poet/photographer Dan Wilcox.

The readings are held at 7pm on Saturdays, and admission is free; donations are accepted. Please bring your own chairs or blankets to sit on. The rain site for the readings is Albany’s Social Justice Center.

Here’s the complete schedule for the 2015 Poets in the Park reading series:

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FREE: Summer Writers Institute Reading Series @ Skidmore College

Wednesday, July 1st, 2015

The New York State Summer Writers Institute at Skidmore College in Saratoga Springs is once again hosting a free series of readings through Friday, July 24.

All readings take place at 8pm at Davis Auditorium in Skidmore’s Palamountain Hall, except for Joyce Carol Oates’ reading on Friday, July 10, which will be held at Gannett Auditorium.

Here’s the complete schedule of upcoming readings for 2015:

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What’s the Word? Albany Word Fest Takes Over the Town

Monday, April 13th, 2015

2015WF-logo

April is National Poetry Month, which means that Albany Poets is once again celebrating this week with the annual Albany Word Fest, a jam-packed week of poetry and spoken word events at venues all throughout Albany.

The fest features a variety of poetry readings, a regional poetry slam and one of Nippertown’s largest spoken word open mics.

Albany Poets board member Avery Stempel explains, “The Albany area has such a strong spoken word community. There are so many people here wholly engaged in bringing their written works to life. Albany Poets does a fantastic job of connecting the various readings in diverse settings throughout the year, but with the Word Fest week in April it all really pulls together – well-attended events at multiple venues for all your poetry needs.”

The fest kicked of yesterday (Sunday, April 12) at McGeary’s Pub with the publication party for the third issue of Albany Poets’ literary journal, Up The River, and spoken word events will continue every day this week, culminating in the third annual Word Fest Invitational Slam at the Steamer No. 10 Theatre in Albany at 7pm on Saturday (April 18).

Here’s a round-up of the complete schedule of events for the 2015 Albany Word Fest:

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All About Tina Packer’s New Book, “Women of Will: Following the Feminine in Shakespeare’s Plays” [Berkshire on Stage]

Tuesday, April 7th, 2015
Tina Packer’s “Women of Will” becomes a book.

Tina Packer’s “Women of Will” becomes a book.

You can say it is a culmination of a lifetime studying Shakespeare and his plays, but it is more than than. It is passion on paper (or your tablet) as well.

Today (Tuesday, April 7), Tina Packer, Shakespeare & Company’s Founding Artistic Director, actor, writer and one of the country’s foremost experts on Shakespeare is launching her new book Women of Will: Following the Feminine in Shakespeare’s Plays (336 pages, $27.95). The launch will be followed by more than a month of promotional activity. Published by Knopf, Women of Will is a fierce and witty exploration — part master class, part brilliant analysis — of the women in Shakespeare’s plays that illuminates Shakespeare’s changing understanding of the feminine and reveals some of his deepest insights.

Packer has synthesized 40 years of teaching, textual analysis and stage experience into Women of Will: Following the Feminine in Shakespeare’s Plays, which charts Shakespeare’s evolution and his increasingly empathetic and nuanced portrayal of his female characters. It follows Shakespeare’s development from youth to enlightened maturity and explores the spiritual journey he undertook. Most importantly, Packer grapples not only with the language and the historical context of the plays but with them as they were and are actually performed.

Click to read the rest at Berkshire on Stage.

ON EXHIBIT: “It Came From Schenectady” @ the Mabee Farm, 3/22/15

Wednesday, April 1st, 2015

Nice photobomb

Review and photographs by Stanley A. Johnson

The Mabee Farm Historic Site in Rotterdam Junction, a place know for looking deep into the area’s past, was visited by interstellar travelers of the imagination.

“It Came From Schenectady: Science Fiction in the Capital Region”, an exhibit of science fiction memorabilia, including some with local ties, was launched with a lecture and reading by Barry Longyear, author of the short story collection “It Came From Schenectady.”

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