Archive for the ‘Media Watch’ Category

Other Voices, Other Rooms…

Friday, October 2nd, 2015

From The Daily Gazette’s Beyond the Score: Mark McGuire chastises the Amsterdam High School Hall of Fame for not inducting legendary actor in their inaugural class.

From the Rogovoy Report: Seth Rogovoy previews tonight’s (Friday, October 2) free concert by the innovative acoustic quartet the Hands Free at Pittsfield’s Shire City Sanctuary.

From NYS Music: Brett Jones writes about the anti-ticket-buying-bot legislation introduced by New York Senator Chuck Schumer.

From The Brooklyn Rail: Phong Bui’s poetic review of Clifford Ross’ sprawling exhibit, “Landscape Seen & Imagined” at MASS MoCA in North Adams through March 30.

From K-Chuck Radio: Chuck Miller posts a cavalcade of sunshine pop gems to brighten your gloomy Friday.

From Metroland: Paul Rapp tries to explain why you can (or can’t?) now sing, “Happy Birthday to You” without paying royalties…

From All Over Albany: A preview of the Film Columbia film festival coming up from October 19-25 in Chatham and Hudson.

From The Times Union’s Arts Talk: Amy Biancolli writes about the recent donation of more than 500 photographs to Skidmore College’s Tang Museum in Saratoga Springs.

From The Daily Gazette: Jeff Wilkin has the low-down on the recent retirement of PYX-106 radio personality Uncle Vito, after 30 years on the airwaves.


Other Voices, Other Rooms…

Friday, September 18th, 2015

From Guitar Player: Nippertown contributor Fred Rudofsky found himself in some pretty heady company, as his remembrance of of the late great B.B. King was included on the same page at tributes by Buddy Guy, Eric Clapton, Joe Bonamassa and President Obama…

From Best Classic Bands: Local 518 writer/musician/man-about-town Michael Eck sits down on the front porch of veteran musician John Sebastian’s Woodstock home to chat about his lengthy musical career from the Even Dozen Jug Band to Top 40 hitmakers the Lovin’ Spoonful to his ongoing solo career.

From NYS Music: Mark McGauley reviews the recent reunion concert by Shadows Fall – featuring Greater Nippertown drummer Jason Bittner – at the Upstate Concert Hall in Clifton Park.

From Berkshire On Stage: Larry Murray reports that Berkshire native Michael Wartella – who has performed at Shakespeare & Co. and Barrington Stage Company – has been cast in the Broadway production of “Tuck Everlasting,” slated to open in April.

From Old School Record Review: Dave Keneston reviews Living Alone, the new EP by MaryLeigh Roohan.

Other Voices, Other Rooms…

Tuesday, August 18th, 2015

From the Vinyl District: Jude Warne conducts an interview with Pete Donnelly of the Figgs.

From Forward: Seth Rogovoy writes about “The Secret Jewish History of James Taylor.”

From CRUMBS Local Music Blog: Andrew Gregory offers the second quarter Local Music Report, a round-up of recordings and videos (and more) from around the Local 518.

From the Huffington Post: Tom Semioli talks to Albany musician Robert Capowski about the making of his recently released sophomore album, Wild Animals, produced by former Psychedelic Furs guitarist John Ashton.

From Jukebox: Michael Hochanadel reports on spending a recent evening with rollicking New Orleans pianist Jon Cleary at the Cock N’ Bull in Galway.

From The Times Union’s Arts Talk: Steve Barnes reports on how Albany’s Comedy Works landed stand-up comedy superstar Aziz Ansari for a trio of last-minute, intimate and, to no one’s surprise, sold-out shows last Friday night.

From ArtNet: 12 Awakward Things Artists Have Said to Critics

Nipper Named Top Dog

Friday, June 19th, 2015

Hey, just don't get paint in my ears...

All right Mr. DeMille, I'm ready for my close-up...

Photograph by Al Goldberg

The headline should have read “Nipper Named Top Dog.” After all, Nipper’s photo was the only one to grace the cover of The Times Union’s Best of the Capital Region list, published as a special glossy-cover pull-out section on Thursday (June 18). (For a reason known only to Hearst intimates, the results of the poll won’t be posted online until next week.)

And Nipper was indeed named Best Dog… but only by TU writer Chris Churchill, who added some levity to the newspaper’s readers’ poll picks with his own personal selections. (For Best Free Entertainment, he chose “Troy’s election.”)

Churchill wrote: “I have a great dog. Maybe you have a great dog, too. But Nipper is a great dog – very well behaved – who belongs to all of us.”

Congrats, Nipper!

SPAC Is the Best…

Monday, June 15th, 2015

Saratoga Performing Arts Center

At least according to the readers of USA Today

The Saratoga Performing Arts Center in Saratoga Springs was voted the Best Outdoor Music Venue in the country in a recent online voting poll conducted by USA Today. Surprisingly enough, SPAC beat out the Number Two selection – Red Rocks in Colorado.

Next up on SPAC’s 2015 summer season of performances is the Lar Lubovitch Dance Company at 8pm on Wednesday (June 17), followed by Train with The Fray and Matt Nathanson at 7pm on Friday (June 19).

And here’s how it all shook out for the Top 10 Best Outdoor Music Venues in USA Today’s month-long balloting:


Other Voices, Other Rooms…

Friday, June 12th, 2015

From The Troy Record: Don Wilcock interviews the notoriously cantankerous Ginger Baker in advance of his concert with Ginger Baker’s Jazz Confusion at The Egg in Albany on Tuesday night (June 16).

From The Times Union: Paul Grondahl writes about “Truro Light: A Journey From Ocean To Bay,” the new book from the late Local 518 photographer Joseph Schuyler. The publication party is planned for 5pm on Thursday, June 25 at Perfect Blend in Delmar.

From WFUV: A review and photos of “Fare Thee Well, Vin Scelsa,” an all-star concert honoring the longtime NYC/NJ radio DJ on his retirement. The concert – kicked off by Nippertown’s own Blotto – was held at NYC’s City Winery earlier this week.

From Berkshire Fine Arts: Charles Giuliano interviews Tina Olsen, the director of the Williams College Museum of Art in Williamstown, about Andy Warhol and the current exhibit at the museum, “Warhol by the Book.”

From The Times Union: Paul Bray writes about recapturing the vision for SPAC

From Mental Floss: According to a recent report by Matthias Mauch, an engineer at Queen Mary University of London, published in the Royal Society Open Science Journal, a survey of 17,000 songs spanning the past 50 years of the Billboard 100 proved that the decade of the ’80s was the least diverse of any time period in the last half-century.

From NYSMusic: Pete Mason previews the Second Annual Benefit for Suicide Prevention and Awareness: A Concert in Memory of Tim Rem, taking place at Albany’s Parish Public House on Saturday (June 13).

From The Times Union: Amy Griffin interviews Michael Eck – whose artwork is currently on exhibit at Albany Center Gallery in the self-taught artist group show “Edge” – about the intersection of music and art.

From Mental Floss: The Catchiest Songs (According to Science)

From the Rogovoy Report: Seth Rogovoy’s rave review of last month’s Rufus Wainwright concert at the Mahaiwe Performing Arts Center in Great Barrington…

From Happy Hippie: Miley Cyrus, Joan Jett and Against Me’s Laura Jane Grace cover the Replacements’ “Androgynous.”

The Greg Bell Rant…

Monday, May 11th, 2015


Last Thursday (May 7), veteran Local 518 concert promoter and uber music fan Greg Bell posted the following on his Facebook page:

before i start my rant, i want to say that sawyer fredericks is a very talented singer who deserves all of the support and attention that he has been getting locally and nationally. my problem is that in just the capital district alone, there are hundreds of talented musicians who are as good, if not better than sawyer. where are the cameras and media support for them. sadly, if this kid was not on national television, he would be playing open mics to fifteen people. the local media such as channel 13 news and the times union should be doing a weekly series on talented local musicians and give them the same exposure that they gave sawyer. help them become known, don’t wait for someone else to discover them and then jump on the bandwagon. be the bandwagon.

The comments came pretty fast and furious, mostly commending Bell for his opinions. I’m a longtime friend and fan (and former roommate) of Bell’s, and I understand where he’s coming from. I feel his frustration. But what he’s hoping for is not likely to happen. I’ve been covering the Local 518 music scene for more than 35 years – from fanzines to mainstream newspapers to the website and everything in between – as a musician, a critic and most of all as a fan. Here are a few observations…

1.) There are not “hundreds of talented musicians who are as good, if not better than Sawyer” in the Capital Region. There may be a handful, but certainly not hundreds. Fredericks is a major talent, and I’m thankful that he found a platform from which he can showcase his considerable talents to the widest possible audience.

2.) Mainstream media has never been on the forefront of “music discovery.” Never. Not here in the Capital Region or pretty much anywhere else. That’s why websites like Nippertown, alt-weeklies like Metroland or non-commercial radio stations like WEXT-FM exist. Commercial television stations like WNYT-TV and major newspapers like The Times Union have traditionally always been “bandwagon jumpers.”

3.) WNYT-TV (Channel 13) is not covering Sawyer Fredericks because he’s a major break-out musician on the Local 518 music scene. They’re covering him because they’re an NBC-TV affiliate, and it’s promotion for a TV show that airs on their television station. It’s a commercial for “The Voice.” Let’s not pretend otherwise…

4.) The Times Union is not likely to go out and “discover” new Local 518 musicians because they simply don’t have the manpower (or womanpower) to do so since the recession forced them into cutting back staff. Newspapers all around the country have taken MAJOR economic hits during the past decade, and print sales figures have been sliding downhill faster than Tiger Woods’ ex-girlfriend, Lindsey Vonn. The Times Union, for example, has an arts staff that consists of just two writers.

5.) “Be the Bandwagon” is great slogan. A really great slogan. But it doesn’t just apply to the media. It should also be the rallying cry for fans, venues and the bands themselves. Don’t wait for the media to “discover” you. Get out there and aggressively promote your music or the music you love.

Feel free to chime in with your own opinions. That’s what Nippertown is here for. Let’s hear ya…

Other Voices, Other Rooms…

Friday, April 17th, 2015

From Hudson Valley Magazine: Just in time for Record Store Day on Saturday (April 18), Jackie Eisenberg rounds up a list of record shops throughout the Hudson Valley. Not complete, by any means, but a good place to start hunting…

From CRUMBS Blog: Andy Gregory has once again compiled the 2015 Q1 Local Music Report, a list of Local 518 recordings and videos released during the first quarter of the year.

From The New York Times: Dom Flemons – American songster and co-founder of the Carolina Chocolate Drops – weighs in on musical copyright reform in the wake of the Marvin Gaye/”Blurred Lines” verdict.

From the Rogovoy Report: Seth Rogovoy reviews Nellie McKay’s concert at Club Helsinki in Hudson on Sunday, April 5.

From Cuepoint: Vocals? Who needs vocals? Here’s a very cool round-up of every Top 10 instrumental hit of the past 50 years.

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