LIVE: Better Pills @ the Low Beat, 12/26/14

January 27th, 2015, 2:00 pm by Greg
Better Pills

Better Pills

Photographs by Timothy Reidy

‘Twas the day after Christmas and all through the club…

The Low Beat was rockin’ with an all-too-rare performance by Brent Gorton’s Better Pills, along with Slowshine and Russel the Leaf

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Bill Champlin, What Was the First Record You Ever Bought?

January 27th, 2015, 1:00 pm by Greg
Bill Champlin

Bill Champlin

“Actually, I think that the first record that I bought was when I was in grade school, probably second grade. It was a Little Richard record, and the guy stills sings great. He’s a piece of work. His personality is so flamboyant that a lot of people don’t get past that, but the guy can really, really sing.”

Singer-keyboardist Bill Champlin joins his son Will Champlin (from Season Five of NBC-TV’s “The Voice”) and fellow alum of the band Chicago, drummer Danny Seraphine, to lead California Transit Authority in concert at Proctors in Schenectady at 8pm on Saturday (January 31). Tickets are $20-$50.

Real Good for FREE: The New Music & Cultural Symposium @ UAlbany

January 27th, 2015, 12:00 pm by Greg
Marianne Gythfeldt and Ray Furuta

Marianne Gythfeldt and Ray Furuta

The UAlbany Performing Arts Center will host the New Music and Culture Symposium from Thursday-Saturday (January 29-31). Organized by Max Lifchitz – composer, musician and long-time UAlbany faculty member – this SUNY-wide conference will celebrate and highlight the artistic accomplishments of SUNY-affiliated composers and musicians with a weekend of nine public concerts, four lecture/recitals, two panel discussions and a master class. All of the festival’s events are free and open to the public.

A total of 29 composers representing eight different SUNY schools from around New York State will showcase their works during the three-day event.

Highlights include performances by the Buffalo Ensemble, the Stony Brook Contemporary Players and the New York City based North/South Consonance Ensemble. Among the distinguished soloists slated to perform are soprano Martha Herr (an American singer residing in Brazil), baritone Joseph Han, Canadian violinist and Stony Brook grad Claudia Schaer, oboist Karen Hosmer, trumpeter Allyson Keyser, French horn player Ann Ellsworth, percussion virtuoso Tom Kolor and guitarists James Budinich and Zane Merritt.

And in addition to several premieres and recent works employing new technologies, the festival will also showcase new electronic instruments such as the Soundplane (performed by William Pfaff) and the Theremin Cello (performed by Jonathan Golove).

Here’s the schedule of concerts and other event for the New Music & Cultural Symposium:

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Eight Musicals – Including “Rent,” “Hairspray,” “The Producers,” “Xanadu” – Primed for Mac-Haydn Theatre [Berkshire on Stage]

January 27th, 2015, 10:00 am by Sara
The Mac is where you find big musicals in an intimate space.

The Mac is where you find big musicals in an intimate space.

Music, action, excitement and fun are all part of the freshly announced Mac-Haydn Theatre 2015 season. It’s a summer that includes eight musicals. Five of them – yes, FIVE – are brand new to MHT shows! The most requested show from several past seasons and two other favorites are also in the schedule, which includes six Tony Award winning musicals.

Music and musicals are what Mac-Haydn is all about, and this year the sounds will range from 1920’s crooning to 1960’s musical theater hit songs to contemporary sounds. Action: from tempestuous romance to tipsy plot twists to gang rivalries to integration to roller skating – yes, we said roller skating right on Mac-Haydn’s theatre-in-the-round stage. Excitement: just in case roller skating isn’t exciting enough, there will be plenty of dynamic dancing and tap numbers, plus non-stop laughs and delightful romance. Fun: add all of that together on an oversized pizza-platter shaped stage and you get a summer full of fun – and hair-raising adventure, too – at the Mac-Haydn Theatre in Chatham.

The Baker’s Wife – The season begins with sweet music on May 21 with The Baker’s Wife, a story that serves up a tasty mix of life’s necessities: bread, love and life. A baker and his young, lovely wife come to a village that has been without bread. The villagers question the pairing – surely she is too young for him, and so it proves as the wife is wooed away. Tender love overcomes tempestuous romance in the end, life becomes different and new for all. “Meadowlark” and “Proud Lady” highlight the beautiful score. The Baker’s Wife will be performs through May 31.

The Drowsy Chaperone – A wistful man’s favorite musical recording comes to life in the ‘play within a play’ The Drowsy Chaperone, which won Tony’s for Best Score and Best Book. ‘Drowsy’ in this case means ‘tipsy,’ as the chaperone describes in “As We Stumble Along.” She’s in charge of keeping the bride and groom-to-be apart until the wedding, but instead falls under the spell of a gigolo sent to stop the nuptials who thinks he’s seducing the bride. Meanwhile, the happy couple share a kiss – but the blindfolded groom thinks he’s kissing someone else. Add in gangsters disguised as pastry chefs, a Follies producer who wants to keep the bride in his show, a ditzy hopeful star, an aviatrix to perform the wedding(s) – well, you get the idea, it’s nothing but fun from start to finish, with tap dancing, roller skating, non-stop laughter – and “Love Is Always Lovely in the End.” New this year, The Drowsy Chaperone plays June 4-14.

Click to read the rest at Berkshire on Stage.

1/27/15: Today’s Tips: Tuesday

January 27th, 2015, 8:00 am by Greg

MUSIC: You Can Say That Again! @ UAlbany Performing Arts Center, Albany. UAlbany faculty member/pianist Bob Gluck, computer music pioneer Neil Rolnick and bassist Christopher Dean Sullivan team up for a genre-crossing concert melding jazz, electronic and classical… and everything in between. 7:30pm. $8; $4 students & seniors. UPDATE: Due to the snowstorm, this concert has been postponed to 5pm on Sunday, February 8. Tickets for today’s date will be honored for the February show.

MUSIC: Broncho @ BSP Lounge, Kingston. The Oklahoma garage-punk-popsters play a headline show in Kingston in support of their new album, Just Enough Hip To Be Woman. With Earl Boykins and Dreamers. 8:30pm. $10. UPDATE: This show has been postponed due to the storm. New date TBA…

MUSIC: Frontier Ruckus @ the Iron Horse Music Hall, Northampton. In support of their fourth album, Sitcom Afterlife. With the Novel Ideas. 7pm. $13. UPDATE: Due to the snow storm, this show has been cancelled.

THEATER: “How Water Behaves” @ Capital Repertory Theatre, Albany. The world premiere of Sherry Kramer’s zany comedy about the tangled web we weave when first we practice to deceive. Directed by Gordon Greenberg. 7:30pm. $20-$60.

COMEDY: Low Down Comedy Open Mic Night @ the Low Beat, Albany. Sign-up at 7:30pm; show at 8pm.

TALK: Judy Radul’s “The Contour of Attention” @ EMPAC at RPI, Troy. The artist presents her in-progress research, asking, “What is the meaning of camera motion, and what are the potentials of new technologies to help us reflect and intervene in these meanings? This inquiry into camera motion as the subtle carrier of the image is in the context of a daily life saturated with cameras and screens, each of us conscripted by our devices to document and disseminate but rarely to deliberate on their effects.” 7pm. FREE.

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

OPEN MIC: Open Mic with Cameron & Ryder @ Club Helsinki, Hudson. Sign-up at 6:30pm; show at 7pm. FREE. UPDATE: This week’s open mic night has been cancelled due to the snow storm.

A Few Minutes With… Dale Watson

January 26th, 2015, 4:00 pm by Greg


Interview and story by Don Wilcock

Dale Watson – appearing Wednesday night (January 28) at The Hangar in Troy – has an axe to grind about today’s so-called country music, what it is and what it isn’t. “Blake Shelton says nobody wants to listen to granddaddy’s music, that they’re just old farts and jackasses. He’s wrong,” says the silver-haired, tattooed Texas troubadour.

Watson is single-handedly bringing the Sun Studios, rockabilly and countrypolitan music
kicking and swinging into the 21st century with apologies to none of the black-hat pretty boys who are filling Nashville’s coffers these days. He has a two-decade discography of 20 albums that declared his intentions first time out of the box with a song called “Nashville Rash” on his 1995 Hightone CD Cheatin’ Heart Attack that railed against the mainstream country hits of artists like Blake Shelton and Kenny Chesney.

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EMPAC’s 2015 Season of Concerts, Films & Other Performances

January 26th, 2015, 3:00 pm by Greg

Open your eyes… and ears.

EMPAC – that futuristic ark of the avant garde that clings to the hillside of RPI’s Troy campus – is gearing up for another season of music, movies, dance, talks, and all other manner of indescribable cross-discipline performances.

The events explore dance created for film, the connection between art and astronomy, antique experimental animation, German electronic music and so much more.

Many of the events are free, and all of the others are relatively inexpensive. So take a chance. You might be delightfully, thought-provokingly surprised…

Here’s the 2015 winter/spring schedule for EMPAC at RPI:

TALK: Judy Radul’s “The Contour of Attention”
Tuesday (January 27), 7pm, FREE
The artist presents her in-progress research, asking, “What is the meaning of camera motion, and what are the potentials of new technologies to help us reflect and intervene in these meanings? This inquiry into camera motion as the subtle carrier of the image is in the context of a daily life saturated with cameras and screens, each of us conscripted by our devices to document and disseminate but rarely to deliberate on their effects.”

FILM: Dance Movies
Saturday (January 31), 7pm, FREE
A presentation of five dance films, commissioned or developed at EMPAC, including Seline Baumgartner’s “Nothing Else,” Orit Ben-Shitrit’s “Ward of the Feral Horses,” chameckilerner’s “ESKAZISER & Samba#2,” Dana Gingras’ “Chainreaction” and Marianne Kim’s “Lost & Found.”

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New Concert Announced for Tanglewood

January 26th, 2015, 2:00 pm by Greg

She was in the spotlight at Tanglewood just three years ago, and now it’s been announced that the multi-talented Bernadette Peters will be returning to the Lenox amphitheater for a concert at 2:30pm on Sunday, July 5. The Broadway and movie singer-actress will perform with the Boston Pops Orchestra conducted by Keith Lockhart.

Tickets are currently on sale, priced from $22 to $122.

ALSO NOTE: Tickets for the 2015 summer season at Tanglewood went on sale yesterday (Sunday, January 25), and to absolutely no one’s surprise, the annual holiday concert by James Taylor & His All-Star Band at 7pm on Saturday, July 4 is already officially sold out.

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