LIVE: The Baseball Project @ Club Helsinki, 7/23/14

July 28th, 2014, 4:00 pm by Greg

The Baseball Project @ Club Helsinki, 7/23/14

Review and photograph by Ross Marvin

By the time the Baseball Project roared into Hudson on Wednesday, they had played more than a double-header, appearing on “The Dan Patrick Show” and later on WAMC-FM (lunch was apparently quinoa burgers at Howard Glassman’s the Low Beat) before cruising south to Club Helsinki.

Despite the long day, the veteran rockers played with the spirit of newly signed bonus babies. Keyboardist Josh Kantor (who is also the official organist of the Boston Red Sox) threw the first pitch with some tasty ballpark sounds on his B3, and the band – Scott McCaughey (guitar/vocals), Steve Wynn (guitar/vocals), Mike Mills (bass/vocals) and Linda Pitmon (drums) – took the stage like the home team in the top of the first (OK, OK, enough of the baseball puns, but I could go all night).

For anyone who doesn’t know, this indie supergroup has released three albums of story songs about America’s pastime. From the obscure (Doc Ellis’ ejection for hitting three Cincinnati Reds in a row) to the infamous (A-Rod and Pete Rose), the band is a dream come true for those true blue-blooded Americans who love their baseball with a side dish of power pop.

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LIVE: Sarah McLachlan @ SPAC, 7/16/14

July 28th, 2014, 3:00 pm by Greg

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Photographs by Andrzej Pilarczyk

Cozy, cozy, cozy…

Singer-songstress Sarah McLachlan turned her pavilion-only concert at the Saratoga Performing Arts Center into an intimate house concert. Not quite sure how she did it, either. Perhaps it’s just that inherent Canadian charm. Her stage set featured some living-room furniture, and she invited fans to come up and sit on the sofa. She did a Q&A session, sometimes doing the Q-ing, and sometimes doing the A-ing.

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LIVE: Debo Band @ Freedom Square, 7/11/14

July 28th, 2014, 2:00 pm by Greg
(photo by Rudy Lu)

(photo by Rudy Lu)

Review and photographs by Rudy Lu
Additional photograph by Jon Flanders

Freedom Square in Troy was filled with the joyous, high energy sounds of Debo Band once again earlier this month. The band made their Freedom Square debut back in 2011, christening the new community gathering space in fine fashion. Back then there was no colorful mosaic wall that now serves as a backdrop for the stage.

The band was making the Troy tour stop between shows at the Montreal Jazz Festival and the Green River Festival, and this time around the brightly colored backdrop of the now finished Freedom Square Stage certainly added to the excitement of Debo’s performance. The band played exotic and infectious Ethiopian dance-pop music, featuring highly complex rhythms and jazz-like instrumental solos shaded with elements of funk and rock.

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THEATER: Brilliant Production of Sam Shepard’s “Fool for Love” at Williamstown Theatre Festival [Berkshire on Stage]

July 28th, 2014, 1:00 pm by Sara
Sam Rockwell, Nina Arianda (photo: T. Charles Erickson)

Sam Rockwell, Nina Arianda (photo: T. Charles Erickson)

Theater review by Gail M. Burns and Larry Murray

Gail M. Burns: Playwright Sam Shepard says that his own experience of being in love inspired the aptly titled Fool for Love, now on the Nikos Stage at the Williamstown Theatre Festival in Williamstown through Saturday (August 2). He wrote: “[Falling in love is] such a dumbfounding experience. In one way, you wouldn’t trade it for the world. In another way, it’s absolute hell.” In the play, May and Eddie (Nina Arianda and Sam Rockwell) are both trapped, dumbfounded, in their own mutual hell of love.

Larry Murray: Their relationship hit the rocks ages ago, yet something still binds them together. This passion is at the core of Shepard’s raw and emotion-drenched drama. Like watching a catastrophic storm destroy the foundations of our lives, we watch the two lovers cling to each other like life rafts even as they try to flee from the tumultuous waters of their own unpredictable relationship.

Gail: And we discover the brutal roots of their affair over the brisk, intermission-less 75 minutes of this production. Eddie and May are more than lovers, they are half-siblings whose mutual father kept two wives and families secret from each other until after his unwitting offspring had fallen in love in high school.

Larry: Fool for Love was written three decades ago, yet like so much of Shepard’s work, it still holds us in its thrall as the pair confront their passion for each other and the inevitable pain that May will feel when Eddie’s wanderlust kicks in again. The script is at times subtle with much to read between the lines, a masterpiece of understatement and allusion. But as with Sam Shepard plays, the words escalate into explosive action, the actors tearing at each other like mortal enemies. Everything happens in May’s seedy motel room while Eddie practices his lasso tricks, swigs beer and cleans his shotgun. When Eddie isn’t looking, she packs her suitcase in order to make a quick getaway. As a story, how do you feel this 1983 play has held up?

Click to read the rest at Berkshire on Stage.

Win FREE Tickets to Manchester Orchestra at Upstate Concert Hall on Thursday

July 28th, 2014, 12:00 pm by Greg

Led by singer-guitarist Andy Hull, the Atlanta-based indie rockers Manchester Orchestra are headed into the Upstate Concert Hall in Clifton Park on Thursday (July 31). The band is currently on the road in support of their fourth album, Cope, released earlier this year.

The concert kicks off at 8pm with support acts the Mowgli’s and Brick + Mortar. Tickets are $17.50 in advance; $21 at the door.

BUT WAIT… We’re giving away a pair of FREE tickets to Thursday night’s show at the Upstate Concert Hall. To enter the contest, just post a comment below. Please leave your email address, too. We won’t publish it, but we’ll use it to contact you if you win. Deadline to enter in 11am on Thursday (July 31), and the winner will be selected at random and notified on Thursday afternoon. Good luck!

A Tapping and Tall-Tale Telling Tommy Tune Will Light Up Barrington Stage Tonight [Berkshire on Stage]

July 28th, 2014, 11:00 am by Sara
A wonderful, pensive moment with Tommy Tune, captured by photographer Stephen Sorokoff.

A wonderful, pensive moment with Tommy Tune, captured by photographer Stephen Sorokoff.

Broadway’s tallest tapper takes to Barrington Stage Co.’s Boyd-Quinson Mainstage in Pittsfield — dancing, singing and tale-telling through 50 years of big-time showmanship. The show features Tommy Tune and his musical director Michael Biagi. It’s the kick off for the 2014 Summer Concert Series with Tony Award-winner Tommy Tune in Taps, Tunes, and Tall Tales tonight (Monday, July 28) at 8pm.

Tune is a nine-time Tony Award winner for his work on Seesaw, A Day in Hollywood/A Night in the Ukraine, Nine, My One and Only, Grand Hotel and The Will Rogers Follies. In addition, he has been awarded eight Drama Desk Awards, three Astaire Awards and the Society of Directors and Choreographers’ George Abbott Award for Lifetime Achievement. He was honored with the Helen Hayes Tribute in 2011.

Click to read the rest at Berkshire on Stage.

Five Firsts: Garry Novikoff

July 28th, 2014, 10:00 am by Greg
Garry Novikoff

Garry Novikoff

NAME: Garry Novikoff
INSTRUMENT: Piano, Guitar, Voice, Kazoo

1. THE FIRST ALBUM I EVER BOUGHT WAS … The first album I ever bought with my own money was Don McLean’s American Pie. The song that made me buy it, however, was not the title track. I had heard “Vincent” on the radio, and it broke my heart. I was six and a half years old, so the story of Van Gogh’s life had to be explained to me. The idea that someone could tell a story like that in a song made a huge impression on me.

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7/28/14: Today’s Tips: Monday

July 28th, 2014, 8:00 am by Greg

MUSIC: Ramblin Jug Stompers @ Dana Park, Albany. 7pm. FREE. GO HERE for more info and a complete schedule… NOTE: Rainsite for the concert is the Lionheart Pub. UPDATE: This free concert has been moved indoors to the Lionheart Pub.

MUSIC: Haas Kowert Tice @ Club Helsinki, Hudson. A supergroup of acoustic roots-music talent featuring members of Punch Brothers and Crooked Still, showcases their unique blend of bluegrass, folk, chamber-grass and classical. 8pm. $20.

OPERA: “Ariadne in Naxos” @ Glimmerglass Opera, Cooperstown. Richard Strauss’ opera-within-an-opera features both lighthearted comedy and heroic grand opera, as two different performing troupes compete for the attention of a wealthy patron. Conducted by Kathleen Kelly and directed by Francesca Zambello. 1:30pm. $26, $55, $78, $95 & $115; $10, $15, $20 & $25 youth 18 & under.

CABARET: The Skivvies @ Williamstown Theatre Festival, Williamstown. The musical comedy duo of Lauren Molina and Nick Cearley will be joined by special guests Christopher Hanke and Matt Doyle for an evening of stripped-down mash-ups of pop songs and show tunes… in their underwear. 7:30pm.

MUSIC: Bang On a Can @ MASS MoCA’s Hunter Center, North Adams. The world premieres of nine new compositions by Bang On a Can festival fellows. 4:30pm.

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