Archive for the ‘News’ Category

RIP: Mark Wilken, 1959-2016

Thursday, January 14th, 2016
(photo: Jeff Mattice)

Mark Wilken (photo: Jeff Mattice)

By Greg Haymes
Photographs by Jeff Mattice, Nicholl Bautochka

Mark Wilken died on Monday afternoon (January 11) following a lengthy battle with cancer. He was 57 years old. Wilken’s bass playing was the foundation of numerous Greater Nippertown bands. He was a founding member of ’70s-’80s garage rock greats the A.D.’s and later went on to join the popular Local 518 band, Mambo-X.

After moving to Schoharie Valley with his wife Yvonne Bautochka in 1999, they ran the Hotel Austin, a Central Bridge venue dedicated to hosting live music. And Wilken continued to play in bands, most notably with Crash Course.

But Wilken may ultimately be best known for his generosity in providing dozens of young bands the opportunity to record their music inexpensively (and often for free) at his home studio on Park Avenue in Albany. The music was often released as seven-inch vinyl singles on his own record label, Blue Lunch Records. Wilken often helped out in the studio by playing bass, producing or co-producing, engineering, helping with songwriting and even contributing cover design. A short (and quite incomplete) list of bands on the Blue Lunch roster includes releases by the Dugans, El Extreme, Glasnost, Sleep of Reason, Tilted Edge, Birds of Prey, the Good Sons, Fat Albatross, Mudflapp, Eve Had an Apple, Working Class Stiffs, Push, Frontier Salesman and numerous other bands.



Pamela Tatge Takes Over as Leader of Jacob’s Pillow [Berkshire on Stage]

Wednesday, January 13th, 2016
Pamela Tatge will lead Jacob’s Pillow into the future.

Pamela Tatge will lead Jacob’s Pillow into the future.

Pamela Tatge will lead Jacob’s Pillow into the future…

Jacob’s Pillow Dance Festival in Becket has announced that esteemed arts leader Pamela Tatge will join the organization as Executive Director in April, succeeding Ella Baff, who served as the leader of Jacob’s Pillow from 1998 to 2015.

Following a record-breaking 2015 season, Jacob’s Pillow, a National Historic Landmark, National Medal of Arts recipient and home to America’s longest running dance festival, launched a national search for its next leader. For the past 16 years, Tatge has served as the Director of the Center for the Arts at Wesleyan University in Middletown, CT, overseeing robust programming and acclaimed artistic initiatives for dance, music, theater and the visual arts.

At Jacob’s Pillow, Tatge will set the artistic vision and strategic goals for all aspects of the organization, including festival programming, education, preservation, audience engagement, residency programming and artist support, long-term planning, collaborative programming, fundraising, marketing and more.

Click to read the rest at Berkshire on Stage.

RIP: David Bowie, 1947-2016

Monday, January 11th, 2016
David Bowie, Sound + Vision Tour, SPAC

David Bowie, Sound + Vision Tour, SPAC, Saratoga Springs, 7/7/90 (photo: Martin Benjamin)

Photographs by Martin Benjamin

He was a fiercely creative cultural icon whose influence extended far beyond the realm of popular music to include film, fashion, art and theater. David Bowie died on Sunday (January 10), following a private 18-month battle with cancer. Just two days earlier, he celebrated his 69th birthday with the release of his new album, Blackstar. His new theatrical musical, Lazarus, is also running off-Broadway through Tuesday, January 19.


CANCELLED: Wizards of Winter @ The Egg

Monday, December 21st, 2015

Wizards of Winter – a Trans-Siberian Orchestra-like band downsized from arenas to theaters – were slated to make their Greater Nippertown concert debut at The Egg in Albany at 8pm on Saturday (December 26), but that concert has now been cancelled.

Refunds are available to ticket holders at the place of purchase.

Rock & Roll Hall of Fame inductees Announced

Thursday, December 17th, 2015


Photograph by Andrzej Pilarczyk

The 2016 inductees to the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame have been announced, and the new class skews heavily toward classic rock, including Cheap Trick, Deep Purple, Chicago and Steve Miller.

Undoubtedly given a boost by the recent biopic “Straight Outta Compton,” pioneering rappers N.W.A. will also be inducted at the New York City ceremony on Friday, April 8.

So who didn’t get in? The other nominees who will have to wait another year for another chance are the Cars, Chic, Janet Jackson, the J.B.’s, Chaka Khan, Los Lobos, Nine Inch Nails, the Smiths, the Spinners and Yes.

Rock & Roll Hall of Fame 2016 Nominees Announced

Thursday, October 8th, 2015

The Rock & Roll Hall of Fame has announced the nominees for the Class of 2016, and it includes 15 bands and solo musicians – ranging from Deep Purple to the Smiths.

A few observations:

The list includes eight first-time nominees: Chicago, Cheap Trick, the Cars, Chaka Khan, the J.B.’s, Janet Jackson, Los Lobos and Steve Miller.

N.W.A. has been nominated for the fourth time. Will the success of the hit movie “Straight Outta Compton” help them finally get inducted?

Disco pioneers Chic earned their record tenth nomination – the most nominations without being inducted.

Ground-breaking prog-rockers Yes have been eligible for enshrinement since 1994, but this is only their second nomination.

Inductees are selected by the ballots of more than 800 artists, historians and music industry insiders. And for the fourth year, the Hall is asking the fans to join in the voting process. You can GO HERE to vote for the TOP FIVE nominees you think should be inducted into the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame. The fan votes will comprise a fans’ ballot that will be tallied along with the other ballots to choose the 2016 inductees. Fan voting closes on Wednesday, December 9.

The inductees will be announced in December and inducted into the Hall at a ceremony in New York City in April.

Here’s the complete list of nominees for the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame’s 2016 class:


CANCELLED: Shania Twain @ Albany’s Times Union Center

Tuesday, October 6th, 2015

Originally slated for Wednesday (October 7), Shania Twain’s concert with Gavin DeGraw at Albany’s Times Union Center has been cancelled due to illness. Due to her touring itinerary, the concert will not be re-scheduled.

Twain’s Rock This Country tour has also been cancelled for tonight (Tuesday, October 6), originally scheduled for the Verizon Wireless Arena in Manchester, New Hampshire.

Twain’s doctors have apparently advised her to rest for several days after she was diagnosed with a respiratory infection, and she is currently scheduled to resume her tour on Friday (October 9) at the Videotron Centre in Quebec City.

Ticket refunds for Wednesday’s Times Union Center concert are currently available at the place of purchase…

If you’re a Shania fan, of course, you’re bummed, but probably not as disappointed as Janne Pettersen, who posted on Facebook: “Hope you get better soon Shania. … but we are so dissapointed…. We came all the way from Norway Just for this concert in Albany NY. ….”

Comedy Show Cancelled at the Palace Theatre

Wednesday, August 19th, 2015

The Palace Theatre originally announced the show back in June, but now the performance by stand-up comedian-actor Mike Epps that was originally scheduled for Saturday, September 26 has been cancelled.

Ticketholders should contact the Palace Theatre box office regarding refunds.

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