Archive for the ‘LIVE’ Category

LIVE: Funsgiving @ the Low Beat / Pauly’s Hotel, 11/21/14

Friday, December 19th, 2014
Rival Galaxies

Rival Galaxies

Video and photographs by Timothy Reidy

Thanksgiving, Hanukkah, Christmas, New Year’s Eve – all fine reasons to celebrate. But let’s not forget Funsgiving.

Last month, the fine folks from B3nson Records launched the festive holiday season with their annual Funsgiving celebration – the first since the untimely demise of Valentine’s Music Hall, where Funsgiving was born seven years ago.

Instead, this year’s party spilled out into the streets, as fans strolled back and forth from the Low Beat to Pauly’s Hotel, each of the neighboring venues alternating performances by the likes of Leaks/Mirrors, Hammer Hawk, Bear Grass, Neighborhood of Make Believe, Secret Release, the Parlor and Rival Galaxies.

It was, in short, more fun than one nightclub could hold…

SECOND OPINIONS:
Kim Neaton’s review at Upstate Live

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LIVE: Sara Milonovich & Jim Gaudet @ The Linda, 12/5/14

Friday, December 19th, 2014
Jim Gaudet and Sara Milonovich

Jim Gaudet and Sara Milonovich

Photographs by Andrzej Pilarczyk

When singer-songwriter-guitarist Jim Gaudet and fab fiddler Sara Milonovich teamed up for an evening at WAMC-FM’s The Linda earlier this month, it was indeed “A Blue(Grassy) Christmas,” as advertised.

But it wasn’t strictly holiday fare. They were joined by Greg Anderson (of Milonovich’s band Daisycutter) and mandolinist Sten Isachsen (of Gaudet’s band the Railroad Boys) for plenty of fine down-home pickin’ and singin’.

At once relaxed and energetic, the homespun show also showcased Gaudet’s wry wit and considerable storytelling prowess.

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BEST OF 2014: J Hunter’s Top 10 Concerts (And More)

Thursday, December 18th, 2014
Netsayi

Netsayi @ MASS MoCA’s Courtyard Café, 7/19/14

Story and photograph by J Hunter

I actually cut down on my concert diet this year; that means I only went to 36 shows as opposed to 45 or 50! Therefore, all the usual jokes aside, your experience may really vary from mine. Nevertheless, the artists I did see definitely deserve some recognition, and I’m sure the people who shared these experiences will agree with me – mainly because they were applauding as loud as I was at the time.

As usual, I have a couple of bowling trophies to hand out before we do the thing…

THE LOCAL HERO AWARD (Venue Division) goes to… MASS MoCA
I mean, come on! Between the Hunter Center, Club B-10, and the newly minted Courtyard Café (let alone the space they give to FreshGrass), I think our neighbor to the east covered pretty much every musical genre there is, and may have invented a few new ones along the way. MASS MoCA’s musical curators think just as far outside the box as the museum’s artistic curators, which almost guarantees a new experience with every show; that said, they mastered the lesson EMPAC needs to learn that “experimental” and “fun” are not mutually exclusive terms or states-of-mind. Here’s to the hosts of Solid Sound 2015! WHOO HOO!

THE GOLDEN BOOMERANG AWARD goes to… SHAREL CASSITY
This primo NYC-based altoist hadn’t been seen in Greater Nippertown for several years before she made two knockout appearances in 2014 with two of our best local outfits. First she got on Michael Benedict & Bopitude’s front line with Chris Pasin and Brian Patneaude and blew the doors off the Daily Grind in Troy; then she appeared alongside fellow sax mavens Claire Daly and Ada Rovatti in a fire-breathing appearance with the Empire Jazz Orchestra at the Colonial Theatre as the anchor concert for the Pittsfield City Jazz Festival. Come back soon, Sharel – and next time, we want to see your band, with your music!

Okay, as Chris Hardwick once said, “That means it’s time to get down with the clown! IT’S ‘FOR THE WIN!’”

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LIVE: Rick Springfield @ The Egg, 11/21/14

Wednesday, December 17th, 2014

rickspringfield2

Review by Greg Haymes
Photographs by Andrzej Pilarczyk

“You know I feel so dirty when they start talking cute
I wanna tell her that I love her, but the point is probably moot”

– from “Jessie’s Girl” by Rick Springfield

No question about it, Rick Springfield’s “Jessie’s Girl” is a great pop song, an iconic audio artifact of the ’80s and the only No. 1 hit in rock history to feature the word “moot” in its lyrics.

As an ’80s hitmaker, rocker Rick Springfield specialized in arena-ready nuggets of well-crafted power-pop. But in his solo “Stripped Down” concert at The Egg’s Hart Theatre recently much of the power was drained from his pop gems.

He’s an exceptionally ingratiating performer, and that came through loud and clear during his 100-minute show, a kind of cross between MTV’s “Unplugged” and VH1′s “Storyteller.” But without the muscle of a band behind him, too many of the songs never really took off. Seated on a stool at centerstage surrounded by a phalanx of guitars, Springfield launched his show with the opening volley of “I Get Excited” and “An Affair of the Heart,” strumming his acoustic guitar with abandon. And right from the start, it was clear that this wasn’t really a solo show – without coaxing, the crowd sang along with him in full voice.

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LIVE: Altamont Victorian Holiday Celebration, 12/14/14

Wednesday, December 17th, 2014
The Festival of trees. Folks get to vote on their favorite tree.

The Festival of Trees. Folks get to vote on their favorite tree.

Photographs by Michael Seinberg

‘Tis the season … that seems to bring out the Victorian in all of us – from Saratoga Spring to Troy. And to Altamont, which held its annual holiday celebration last weekend…

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LIVE: Hot Tuna @ The Egg, 12/7/14

Tuesday, December 16th, 2014
Jorma Kaukonen

Jorma Kaukonen

Review by Richard Brody
Photographs by Andrzej Pilarczyk

The shouts of “Jorma!” that came from the near-capacity crowd were an indication that there were few, if any, first time Hot Tuna fans in The Egg’s Hart Theatre. Accompanying Jorma Kaukonen and co-founding bass man Jack Casady was frequent Tuna member mandolinist Barry Mitterhoff, as well as a trio of the band’s Woodstock family – drummer Justin Guip, vocalist Teresa Williams and her husband/string master Larry Campbell on fiddle, pedal steel and guitar.

The band kicked off the show with one of their staples, Kaukonen’s “True Religion,” that was highlighted by Mitterhoff’s sweet mandolin solo and Campbell’s shimmering slide guitar that brought the song to its conclusion.

Hot Tuna has always been about the country blues that howl about the sins of Saturday night and the gospel-flavored songs that ask for forgiveness in church on Sunday morning. Casady strutted, pogoed and drove the band on Muddy Waters’ “I Can’t Be Satisfied.” His bass anchored and pushed both Kaukonen’s vocals and the guitar solos from Kaukonen and Campbell. As fine a guitarist as Kaukonen is, his voice would not fit in a church choir. Enter Williams, who brought the “amen” to Reverend Gary Davis’ “Children of Zion” that included great supporting solos from Mitterhoff’s mandolin, Kaukonen’s guitar and Campbell’s slide. They stayed in church for the next number, a roof-raising rendition of “Wade in the Water” that was once again led by Williams’ powerhouse vocals.

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FIVE FIRSTS: Pete Curry of Los Straitjackets

Tuesday, December 16th, 2014
Los Straitjackets

Los Straitjackets

NAME: Pete Curry
BAND AFFILIATION: Los Straitjackets
INSTRUMENT: bass

1. THE FIRST ALBUM I EVER BOUGHT WASThe BIG Sounds of the Drags!

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LIVE: Jaimeo Brown’s Transcendence @ Sanctuary for Independent Media, 12/6/14

Monday, December 15th, 2014
Transcendence

Jaimeo Brown’s Transcendence

Review by J Hunter
Photographs by Rudy Lu, Andrzej Pilarczyk

Environment is important, and the environment for Jaimeo Brown’s appearance at the Sanctuary for Independent Media in Troy was certainly different from that blazing-hot June day at SPAC when his group Transcendence knocked everyone’s socks off at the Freihofer’s Saratoga Jazz Festival Gazebo stage. On the plus side, this show was inside the Sanctuary’s cozy confines, so there was no danger of losing any of the power these three tremendous young musicians are able to harness; on the minus, it was cold and wet and trying to snow, which usually tends to pick off the more weather-averse concert-goer. Whether it was the viral marketing that went with this show or just the memory of the wild ride Transcendence took us on that summer, the place was almost packed at showtime.

It was great to hear emcee/booker Susan Brink confirm my recollection about how entranced the crowd had been at the Gazebo. “The entire audience was as one,” she told us during her glowing introduction. After Brown, altoist Jaleel Shaw and guitarist-loopmaster Chris Sholar had come on stage, Brown split time between thanking us profusely for braving the weather and explaining about how this music “celebrates community,” and how at its root is the Gee’s Bend, Alabama community where the field recordings that inspired Brown were created. “This music is homegrown,” he added. “And you are part of our community now!”

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