Five Firsts: Jeff Thacher of Rockapella

October 28th, 2014, 10:00 am by Greg
Jeff Thacher

Jeff Thacher

NAME: Jeff Thacher
INSTRUMENT: Vocal percussion, the in-band full-time version of beatboxing


2. THE FIRST CONCERT THAT I EVER SAW WAS … Depends on your perspective. With parents: The Osmonds (late ’70s). By myself: Howard Jones (ca. 1984)

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Kiss & Make Up?: The Palace Theatre Announces New Concert

October 28th, 2014, 10:00 am by Greg

“After the Lovin’”…
“Please Release Me”…
“Quando, Quando, Quando”…

Apparently, the Palace Theatre and ’60s romantic crooner Engelbert Humperdinck have ironed out their differences – or at least come to some sort of an agreement – after the Palace filed a $70,000 lawsuit against the ’60s romantic crooner back in May.

But now the Palace has announced that Humperdinck is slated to step into the spotlight at the downtown Albany theater for a concert at 3pm on Sunday, April 19.

Back in June, 2011, Humperdinck cancelled his scheduled Palace show the day before the concert. And in the Palace’s lawsuit, they claimed that Humperdinck’s agent refused to return the $20,000 deposit that they had made for the concert. Palace officials were looking to be reimbursed for the deposit, as well as advertising expenses, transportation funding, ticket sales and attorney fees.

Tickets for the newly re-scheduled Humperdinck concert at the Palace are scheduled to go on sale at 10am on Saturday (November 1), priced at $36, $46, $56 & $76.

10/28/14: Today’s Tips: Tuesday

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

MUSIC: A Music Showcase @ The Egg, Albany. A delightfully diverse mix of jazz, folk and contemporary classical and Latin music featuring the Villalobos Brothers, Arturo O’Farrill, Dan Zanes, SYBARITE5 and Michael Blake. 7:30pm. FREE.

THEATER: “Evil Dead: The Musical” @ Proctors, Schenectady. Starvox Entertainment’s production of the hilarious/horror stage musical based on Sam Rami’s cult film. 7:30pm. $20-$75; $85 for the “splatter zone” seats.

MUSIC: Lettuce @ Upstate Concert Hall, Clifton Park. Let the funk begin… With Exmag. 9pm. $23.

READING: Najla Said @ UAlbany Performing Arts Center’s Recital Hall, Albany. The memoirist-actor-playwright reads from her new memoir “Looking for Palestine: Growing Up Confused in an Arab-American Family,” opens with the line, “I am a Palestinian-Lebanese-American Christian woman, but I grew up as a Jew in New York City.” 8pm. FREE. Also a free seminar at 4:15pm at UAlbany Science Library’s Standish Room.

OPEN MIC: Open Mic with Cameron & Ryder @ Club Helsinki, Hudson. 6:30pm sign-up; 7pm show. FREE.

PARTICIPATORY MUSIC: “Left of the Dial” @ the Low Beat, Albany. It’s time once again for another night of Punk Rock Karaoke… with a live band. Join in the fun. 7pm.

TALK: Karen Barad @ EMPAC at RPI, Troy. With her talk “Histories of Now: Time Diffractions, Virtuality, and Material Imaginings,” the physicist-feminist theorist discuss her recent work on time and her reflections on the entanglement of time and materiality. 7pm. FREE.

LIVE: Empire Jazz Orchestra with Claire Daly, Sharel Cassity & Ada Rovatti @ Colonial Theatre, 10/18/14

October 27th, 2014, 4:00 pm by Greg
The Empire Jazz Orchestra with leader Bill Meckley

The Empire Jazz Orchestra with leader Bill Meckley

Review by J Hunter
Photographs by Rudy Lu

When I heard that the Pittsfield CityJazz Festival was celebrating its 10th anniversary, I suddenly remembered that I had covered the anchor concert for the inaugural Pittsfield CityJazz Festival in 2005. Dr. Billy Taylor was the headliner, and it will be a deathbed memory that I got to shake the iconic pianist/educator’s hand backstage and tell him, “Thank you for… well, for everything!” Fast-forward to today, where PCJazz has developed a very nice niche for itself: Bringing headlining acts to the area, while showcasing the musical and educational spirit of the community.

Let’s talk about that last bit first. A Wall Street Journal Online article recently discussed statistical evidence that music education can have a direct impact on scholastic achievement. If that’s the case, the Berkshires are going to turn out some smart, smart kids. The opening act(s) at the Colonial Theatre were billed under the umbrella name “Berkshires Jazz Youth Ensemble,” but in fact, they were two distinct groups: The Herberg Middle School Band (which is a feeder group for the Pittsfield H.S. band), and the Rock On Workshop Jazz Ensemble. Both groups performed admirably: Highlights included Herberg’s straight-down-Broadway take on Booker T. & the MGs’ “Green Onions,” and Rock On’s righteous work-up of Freddie Hubbard’s “Red Clay.” Guitarist Ethan Wesley’s amp failed him during Herberg’s two-song set, but his technical issues were resolved so he could tear it up during Rock On’s appearance, capping Ella Sears’ bluesy treatment of George Gershwin’s “Summertime” with the opening lick to “Stairway to Heaven.”

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The 2014 FreshGrass Award Winners

October 27th, 2014, 2:00 pm by Greg

Photograph by Kirsten Ferguson

At last month’s FreshGrass festival at MASS MoCA in North Adams, the FreshGrass Award was expanded to include not only a competition for Best Band, but also in the categories of Best Duo and Best Banjo Player.

The winners received cash, prizes, a recording session at Compass Records’ Nashville studio and a spot onstage at FreshGrass 2015.

Here’s the round-up of the 2014 FreshGrass Award winners:

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Headliners Announced for A Taste of Country Festival 2015 @ Hunter Mountain

October 27th, 2014, 12:00 pm by Greg

A Taste of Country Festival is returning to the Hunter Mountain Ski Resort in Hunter once again next summer.

The third annual fest is slated to take place Friday-Sunday, June 12-14, and although it’s still more than six months away, the fest has already announced a pair of big-name headliners – Tim McGraw and Keith Urban.

Three-day, all-fest tickets are currently available for $145; $180 with camping.

Phantogram Joins the Flaming Lips in Album Tribute to “Sgt. Pepper”

October 27th, 2014, 10:00 am by Greg

With a Little Help From My Fwends

On Tuesday (October 28), the Flaming Lips are releasing their Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band tribute album. It’s titled With a Little Help From My Fwends, and oh what a bunch of fwends are helping them out, including the Local 518′s own Phantogram.

You can listen to the album now at NPR’s First Listen

Proceeds from the benefit album will go to the Bella Foundation, an Oklahoma City nonprofit organization that aids low-income, elderly and terminally ill pet owners with their veterinary bills.

The Lips themselves appear on six of the songs (including classics like “With a Little Help From My Friends,” “Lucy in the Sky With Diamonds” and “A Day in the Life”) and the Lips’ new side-project, Electric Wurms, perform “Fixing a Hole.”

A delightfully diverse array of special guest artists are featured on the album, including J. Mascis, My Morning Jacket, Tegan & Sara, Foxygen, Dr. Dog and, yes, Miley Cyrus, who sings on two tracks.

Meanwhile, Phantogram teams up with Julianna Barwick and Spaceface to contribute their ethereal electro-pop waltz rendition of “She’s Leaving Home.”

Here’s the complete track listing for With a Little Help From My Fwends:

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10/27/14: Today’s Tips: Monday

October 27th, 2014, 8:00 am by Greg

MUSIC: The Pork Dukes @ the Low Beat, Albany. Formed in 1976, British band the Pork Dukes were more outrageous than the Sex Pistols. They released their first single “Bend & Flush” in the summer of 1977, and the risque content and cover of the single helped it sell over 20,000 copies. The late UK DJ John Peel remarked that “the Pork Dukes would have hits with their infuriating catchy singles, were they not so manifestly unbroadcastable!” With British punks Rotten, as well as Local 518ers Bourbon Scum and Neutron Rats. 7pm.

TALK/READING: Bill T. Jones @ The Egg, Albany. The legendary choreographer Bill T. Jones sits down with WAMC-FM’s Joe Donahue to discuss and read from his new book “Story-Time: The Life of an Idea” – a memoir filled with telling vignettes-about his childhood as part of a large, poor, Southern family that migrated to upstate New York; about his struggles to find a place for himself in a white-dominated dance world; and about his encounters with notable artists and musicians and his emergence as one of the icons of the modern dance world. Followed by a Q&A and book signing. 7pm. FREE.

DANCE: A Dance Showcase @ The Egg, Albany. Performances of modern dance by the Bill T. Jones/Arnie Zane Dance Company; tap by Dorrance Dance; and contemporary dance by Loco7 Puppet Theatre. 8:30pm. FREE.

MUSIC: Colony House @ the Hollow Bar + Kitchen, Albany. Tennessee indie rock trio. With Knox Hamilton. 8pm. $15.

MUSIC: The Klemperer Trio @ Skidmore College’s Zankel Music Center, Saratoga Springs. Erika Klemperer (violin), Ronald Crutcher (violoncello) and Gordon Back (piano) are a chamber ensemble of exceptional musicianship, with a repertoire spanning musical styles from classical to contemporary. 8pm. $8; $5 seniors; free for students and children.

THEATER ON FILM: “Skylight” @ Spectrum 8 Theatres, Albany. Bill Nighy and Carey Mulligan star in the production of David Hare’s play, directed by Stephen Daldry. 7pm. $15; $12 ages 12 and under.

FILM: “A Clockwork Orange” @ the Palace Theatre, Albany. Stanley Kubrick’s 1971 classic serves up a bit of the old ultra-violence, my little droogies. 7pm. $5.

FILM: “The Birth of a Nation” @ Proctors, Schenectady. D.W. Griffith’s Civil War classic remains one of the most controversial films ever made… a landmark achievement that continues to fascinate and enrage audiences. With live organ accompaniment composed and played by Avery Tunningley. 3 & 7pm. $5.

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