4/24/14: Today’s Tips: Thursday

April 24th, 2014, 8:00 am by Greg

MUSIC: What Cheer? Brigade @ Contemporary Artists Center at Woodside, Troy. Spring is finally here, and it’s time to dance, so bring on the 19-piece brass band from Providence, who blend together a rip-roaring hybrid of the music of Bollywood, the Balkans and New Orleans with samba, hip-hop and big band. 8pm. $5-10 suggested donation.

MUSIC: The Both @ Pearl Street, Northampton. Yeah, they’re the hottest new duo on the alt-pop scene – Aimee Mann and Ted Leo – teaming up for CD release party in support of their brand new self-titled debut on SuperEgo Records. With Nick Diamonds (from Islands). 8pm. $20.

MUSIC: Dopapod @ Putnam Den, Saratoga Springs. A genre-bending blend of funk, jazz, trance, soul, Afro-beat and prog rock. With Aqueous. 9:30pm. $15. GO HERE to win FREE tickets…

FILM: Knickerbocker Film Festival @ the Madison Theater, Albany. An evening of selected entries into the film festival, along with a Q&A session with the filmmakers. 7pm. $10.

MUSIC: David Nail @ the Upstate Concert Hall, Clifton Park. With Sam Hunt. 8pm. $20.

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LIVE: Michael Eck @ Steamer No. 10 Theatre, 4/19/14

April 23rd, 2014, 4:00 pm by Greg
Michael Eck

Michael Eck

Review by Greg Haymes
Photographs by Tom Lindsay

Ten years ago for his 40th birthday, singer-songwriter-musicman about town Michael Eck was honored with a surprise party at Valentine’s Music Hall in which a big batch of his musician pals and bandmates (past and present) took the stage to sing his songs back at him.

Last Saturday, Eck stepped out on the stage of the Steamer No. 10 Theatre in Albany and reclaimed the songs for his own with a combination concert/birthday celebration.

From rough and tumble spitfire (“The Gossip Train,” “Exit Wound”) to tender ballads (“Yellow Ribbons,” “The weight of the World”), Eck ran the musical and emotional gamut, as he served up two generous sets of original tunes culled from his rich, four-album solo catalog.

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Comin’ Soon: New Concert Announcements

April 23rd, 2014, 3:00 pm by Greg

Whoa! Where did this come from? Wiz Khalifa is slated to take the stage at the Washington Avenue Armory in Albany on Saturday (April 26). Showtime is 8pm, and advance tickets are $49.50.

Here’s another one that snuck up on us… The reigning International Bluegrass Music Association’s Entertainers of the Year, the Gibson Brothers, are playing a show at Lillian’s Restaurant in Saratoga Springs at 7pm on Sunday (April 27). Tickets are $25, available from Saratoga Guitar & Music Center.

IN CASE YOU MISSED IT: Brewery Ommegang in Cooperstown has announced two more new outdoor summer concerts on the same weekend – Conor Oberst with Dawes and the all-star Baseball Project, followed two days later by the Old Crow Medicine Show.

Veteran folk iconoclast Michael Hurley steps into the spotlight at the Half Moon in Hudson on Friday, May 23. He’ll be joined by Tara Jane O’Neil and Metal Mountains. Showtime is 8pm and tickets are $10.

IN CASE YOU MISSED IT: The folks at MASS MoCA in North Adams have announced the summer schedule of concerts and other events, including shows by Jason Isbell, Elysian Fields, Red Baraat, Lost Bayou Ramblers, Fredericks Brown, Netsayi, the Alloy Orchestra, EMEFE and the Grammy Award-winning vocal group Roomful of Teeth.

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LIVE: The Ed Palermo Big Band @ Proctors’ GE Theatre, 4/18/14

April 23rd, 2014, 2:00 pm by Greg
The Ed Palermo Big Band

The Ed Palermo Big Band

Review by Greg Haymes
Photographs by Rudy Lu


I can’t remember the last time that a concert left me so breathless. The 17-piece Ed Palermo Big Band rolled into Proctors’ GE Theatre in Schenectady last Friday night, making their Nippertown debut as the third and final concert of 2014 Party Horns NYC series. And what a party it was. They kicked off the night with sections of “Call Any Vegetable” and “Zomby Woof” (which was the connective tissue that ran through the entire concert) before stomping into “Willie the Pimp.”

And on and on they went, dashing through a sprawling 40-minute suite, taking a huge batch of the late great Frank Zappa’s already impossibly complex instrumental songs and melding them into a magnificent, mountainous medley. All without pausing to take a breath. Under the watch of the indefatigable Palermo and his hyper, two-fisted conducting, the band sliced and diced Zappa’s catalog into delirium, cutting and pasting Mothers of Invention gems into a seamless string of sizzling shards that seemed almost beyond comprehension.

Yes, it was a big band tribute to the irreverent iconoclast Frank Zappa. That’s what Palermo does, and he’s got four albums worth of stellar recordings – the latest, Oh No, Not Jazz, is a double CD, so that actually makes it five – to prove it. But there was none of the sophomoric, pee-pee-doo-doo stuff that Zappa sometimes indulged in. No, this band was focused on his vast catalog of rich, sophisticated instrumental compositions – and they performed them with an undeniable sense of playfulness and a genuine love for the material.

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MOVE Music Fest Sneak Peek: Stargroves

April 23rd, 2014, 1:00 pm by Greg

The MOVE Music Festival takes over downtown Albany beginning at 3pm on Saturday (April 26). Advance tickets are just $15, but with nearly 100 bands playing at 11 different locations during a 12-hour period, it’s obvious that you’re not going to be able to see and hear everything. So to help you out, each day this week Nippertown.com is featuring one of the festival’s performers. GO HERE for the complete schedule of who’s playing where and when. Check it out…

Stargroves play at McGeary’s Pub at 5pm.

MOVE Music Fest Sneak Peek: The So So Glos
MOVE Music Fest Sneak Peek: The Sea the Sea
MOVE Music Fest Sneak Peek: Bastinado

Real Good for FREE: UpBeat On the Roof at Skidmore’s Tang Museum

April 23rd, 2014, 12:00 pm by Greg

Yes, it snowed this week, but now the summer FREE concert series season is upon us. Really…

The first series out of the gate this summer is the UpBeat on the Roof concert series that returns once again to the roof of Skidmore College’s Tang Museum in Saratoga Springs. 10 shows from June through August – all of them free.

All of the concerts take place at 7pm on Fridays, and will move indoors to the museum in case of inclement weather.

Here’s the complete 2014 UpBeat On the Roof schedule:

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Hump Day Unusual Moment: Babs Asks the Musical Question, “Life On Mars?”

April 23rd, 2014, 11:00 am by Greg

Barbra does Bowie?!? Yes, indeed, Ms. Streisand wails through David Bowie’s “Life on Mars?” from her off-kilter 1974 album, ButterFly, produced by her then-boyfriend Jon Peters. Great album cover, though…

Who Were the Mystery Country Music Singers at Proctors Last Night?

April 23rd, 2014, 10:00 am by Greg

So who were the mystery country stars at Proctors in Schenectady last night (April 22)?

The show was titled “WGNA-FM’s Secret Star Acoustic Jam,” and it promised to feature three country music stars. WGNA-FM’s website explained it like this: “The stars are introduced one by one, each taking a moment to interact with the crowd, then performing one of their many hit songs. Once all three stars are on stage, they each take a turn performing their hits and interacting with you, the audience, in a very unique setting.”

The hitch? WGNA wouldn’t say just who it was who would be stepping into the spotlight, and ticket-buyers wouldn’t find out who they were, either, until they hit the stage…

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