11/19/14: Today’s Tips: Wednesday

November 19th, 2014, 8:00 am by Greg

MUSIC: Danny Whitecotton @ Albany Public Library, Albany. Singer-songwriter Whitecotton and M.R. Poulopoulos perform original songs inspired by the novels of Cormac McCarthy in the third installment of the “Reading Music” series of book discussion/concerts. 7pm. FREE.

MUSIC: The Stray Birds @ Caffe Lena, Saratoga Springs. The fab folk trio of Maya de Vitry (vocals, guitar, banjo, fiddle, piano), Oliver Craven (vocals, guitar, resonator, fiddle) and Charles Muench (vocals, bass, banjo) return to the Caffe to celebrate the release of their new album, Best Medicine on Yep Roc Records. With Jordie Lane. 7pm. $20.

TALK: “Stranbeest Evolution: A New Form of Life” @ EMPAC at RPI, Troy. Dutch artist and builder of the Stranbeest kinetic sculptures, Theo Jansen discusses his work and his fascinating creatures. 6pm. FREE.

MUSIC: Taina Asili & Gaetano Vaccaro @ the Spotty Dog, Hudson. Puerto Rican vocalist Taína Asili and Sicilian guitarist Gaetano Vaccaro teams up with New Orleans cellist Monica McIntyre to put a new spin on world music. 8pm. $5.

MUSIC: The Saint Rose Jazz Ensemble @ the Van Dyck, Schenectady. 7pm. FREE.

ARTIST TALK: Benjamin Entner @ the Sage Colleges’ Opalka Gallery, Albany. The artist creates works that are the result of conceptual play and material experimentation, actively engaging viewers to intimately react and interact through the use of humor, wonder and large physical presence. 7pm. FREE.

MUSIC: The Deadbeats @ the Low Beat, Albany. 10pm.

MUSIC: Les Délices @ Williams College’s Brooks-Rogers Recital Hall, Williamstown. The musical ensemble that features vocal and instrumental music from the French Baroque period played on period instruments – will perform “Myths & Allegories” featuring music from the time of King Louis XIV inspired by Homer’s “Odyssey.” 8pm. FREE.

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LIVE: Ray LaMontagne @ the Palace Theatre, 11/9/14

November 18th, 2014, 4:00 pm by Greg

Review by Greg Haymes

Ray LaMontagne’s sweet honey/whiskey voice is still intact, and at the Palace Theatre when he cut it loose during the acoustic “Trouble” and the nostalgic encore “Drive-In Movies” or brought it down to a hoarse, hushed whisper with “Sarah” or the Van Morrison-like show-closing soul ballad “You Are the Best Thing,” it was simply glorious.

But like his new album Supernova (produced by the Black Keys’ Dan Auerbach), his Palace concert focused primarily on gauzy pop psychedelia slathered with reverb, which didn’t necessarily make the best use of that marvelous voice. Backed by a hi-tech version of the old constantly swirling Fillmore East light shows, LaMontagne and his versatile four-piece band launched into the show with the back-to-back psychedelic slabs of the dreamy “Lavender” and slightly funkified “She’s the One,” before slipping into “For the Summer” and “Pick Up a Gun,” both revealing the influence of Buffalo Springfield-era Neil Young and Stephen Stills.

Led by dapper, handlebar-mustachioed bassist/musical director Zachariah Hickman (on loan from Josh Ritter’s usual touring ensemble), the band featured the brother-and-sister team of Barbara and Ethan Gruska (who also led the opening act, the Belle Brigade) and guitarist-keyboardist Dave Depper. They kept things churning along nicely, often sliding from one song to another, likely at the behest of the notoriously taciturn LaMontage, who offered only a few terse thank-yous, a heckler put-down (“To the guy who keeps yelling, ‘Play acoustic’ – go fuck yourself”) and band member introductions. At the end of the night, however, he did graciously thank the crowd for making “my first show in Albany so sweet.” Perhaps the psychedelics have eaten away the part of his memory bank that included his April, 2009 concert at The Egg.

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MASS MoCA Plans $55 Million Expansion to Double Size, Add Important New Works [Berkshire on Stage]

November 18th, 2014, 3:00 pm by Sara
Laurie Anderson

Laurie Anderson

MASS MoCA to Become the Largest Contemporary Art Museum in the World

By Larry Murray

At a major press event with Massachusetts Governor Duval Patrick and several of the artists who will be included in MASS MoCA’s Phase III development, the North Adams contemporary art museum revealed its plans to grow itself into the largest contemporary art museum in the United States. And in the world of all museums, MASS MoCA will become the second largest exhibition space in the country, after the Los Angeles County Museum of Art. [Source] Currently hosting 120,000 square feet of galleries, this project will add another 130,000 sf for a total of 250,000 sf of exhibition areas.

As word spread via both national newspapers and local blogs, it is time to let our readers in on the commotion, and why it is so important, both from the viewpoint of the arts community and that of the residents of North Adams.

Back in August, it was announced that the Massachusetts Museum of Contemporary Art (MASS MoCA) would be the recipient of $25.4 million in state money for expansion of their campus in North Adams. Called the Phase III development, the museum in turn would have to raise some $30 million in matching funds to access the grant. That match is now 45% complete, with $13.5 million in contributions and pledges already committed.

So just what does the planned $55 million dollar expansion include?

Click to read the rest at Berkshire on Stage.

The Egg Announces Two More New Concerts

November 18th, 2014, 2:00 pm by Greg

The Egg is Albany has added a pair of new shows to its February concert calendar.

Tickets for the new concerts are currently available to members of The Egg and will go on sale to the general public at 10am on Friday (November 21).

Here’s the info for the new concerts:

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LIVE: Lip Talk @ the Low Beat, 10/24/14

November 18th, 2014, 1:00 pm by Greg
Lip Talk

Lip Talk

Photographs by Timothy Reidy

Ah, evolution…

Former Saratoga Springs singer Sarah Pedinotti has traversed across a wide musical spectrum to get to where she is these days. She started off as a jazz singer, but eventually the Sarah Pedinotti Band began drifting further and further toward a raw but sophisticated brand of Americana. When they switched band names to Railbird, Pedinotti was focusing on a bridge that blended the blues with a more experimental brand of rock.

After relocating to Brooklyn, Pedinotti, guitarist Chris Kyle and the rest of the band absorbed edgier, more urban influences, and finally, in October, 2013, another name change was in order, as Railbird became Lip Talk with the release of their EP, Lucky. At the time, the band declared, “It feels great to have finally arrived at a name for this musical beast of ours. It’s a happy, moody, experimental pop beast, and it’s definitely steering the ship, not us…”

Last month – a year after they adopted their current band moniker – the music steered them back to Nippertown, and after opening sets by Hudson 12-string guitarist Alexander Turnquist and Brent Gorton’s Better Pills, Lip Talk made their first official Albany appearance at the Low Beat, showcasing their new, more angular, sharp-edged sound. As you might expect, there were a few folks in the crowd who mourned the loss of some of the band’s older material and their earlier, warmer sound. But as Alvy Singer declared in “Annie Hall,” “A relationship, I think, is like a shark. You know? It has to constantly move forward or it dies.” And the same can be said for a good band…

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Bits ‘n’ Pieces: Vicky Chow’s “Surface Image”; Hudson Music Series; Capital Area Music Awards…

November 18th, 2014, 12:00 pm by Greg

Recorded at EMPAC at RPI in Troy, Surface Image, the new hour-long composition for solo piano and 40-­channel 1-­bit electronics by pianist Vicky Chow and composer Tristan Perich, has been released on New Amsterdam Records. The album was produced by EMPAC’s Argeo Ascani and mixed by engineer Jeffrey Svatek. The album is currently available at iTunes and Amazon.

Hudson artist Chad Weckler is hoping to bring a series of 10 free concerts to Hudson next summer, but he needs your help. He’s applied for a $25,000 matching grant from Levitt Pavilions, and his proposal is one of 26 projects participating for a Levitt AMP [Your City] Grant Award. An online public voting process is now in progress through Sunday, November 30 to determine the Top 20 finalists, and you can go here to register your vote. Levitt Pavilions will then review the finalists, and 10 grants will be awarded in December.

And here’s a reminder that nominations for the second annual Capital Area Music Awards – which are now also known as the Cammys – are Sunday, November 30. The awards ceremony and showcase is slated to take place at The Linda in Albany on Sunday, January 25. If you’re a band or musician who would like to be considered for an award, get your submission in soon.

More Music from Dani Moz

November 18th, 2014, 11:00 am by Greg

Dani Moz – a Top 12 finalist on the sixth season of NBC-TV’s “The Voice” and an Albany native – is releasing her new EP today, When It Comes to Love.

Maria Brink & In This Moment Unveil “Black Widow”

November 18th, 2014, 10:00 am by Greg

Voluptuous metal vixen – and Schenectady native – Maria Brink and her band In This Moment are unleashing their new album, Black Widow, today (Tuesday, November 18).

It’s the band’s fifth album, and it marks their debut on Atlantic Records. Black Widow is available in an array of configurations, including a special colored vinyl edition exclusively available at Atlantic’s webstore.

The album features the first single “Sick Like Me” (with the above music video co-directed by Brink), “Sex Metal Barbie,” “Dirty Pretty,” “Sexual Hallucination,” “Bloody Creature Poster Girl” and eight more tracks.

Black Widow is definitely the darker part of me,” says frontwoman Brink. “This album is about finding the weakness inside and turning it into strength. It’s about being reborn, setting yourself free and realizing the balance in everything – the dark and the light. I think people will embrace its diversity and hearing different sides of us that they haven’t experienced yet.”

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