Best of 2014: Tim Livingston’s Top 10 Albums

December 16th, 2014, 1:00 pm by Greg

By Tim Livingston of WGXC-FM’s “Radio Warfare”

Almost all of my fave albums this year are new releases by old school rockers…

THE BOYS: Punk Rock Menopause
Joey Ramone named them as his favorite band and for obvious reasons, as between 1977-1980 the band released four LPs of punk-driven power-pop, rivaled by few at the time for pure melodic power. This year they returned with their first album as a band since the day, and it is a scorcher! Ringing guitars, booming drums & bass, punk swagger and grit, mixed with pure pop melodies, vocal harmonies and most importantly – great songs. This album picks up right where the Boys left off. Original members Honest John Plain, Casino Steel and Matt Dangerfield deliver the goods with newly minted pop classics like the rumbling “How Hot You Are,” the super-catchy “She’s the Reason” and the very Beatlesque “Baby Bye Bye,” all of which sit nicely alongside straight-up, old-school punk-rockers like “1976″ and “Punk Rock Girl.” The whole album is S-O-L-I-D, from the opening riff to the ending notes and is essential for fans of the band, or anyone missing the old-school sound… ALSO OF NOTE: Original Boys bassist Duncan “Kid” Reid (who was not involved in this project) and his solo band Duncan Reid & the Big Headsput out a cracking new power-pop keeper of his own this year, Difficult Second Album, which is well worth checking out.

THE NEW CHRISTS: Incantations
Radio Birdman frontman Rob Younger’s side-project since 1980 returns with a new album of dark, brooding garage rock that sits along the top with the Boys as No. 1 for me this year. A bit more complex and diverse than some of the band’s previous straight-up nuggets-style garage-rock/Detroit-worshiping efforts, this album, however, lacks no power. It’s just a more subtle fury, rather than a head-slamming guitar attack. Oh, there is still plenty of powerful six-string assaults to be had, but presented in a moodier, smoldering context. Sinister yet romantic, Younger has one of the best rock voices out there as his deep, dark pipes snake their way through 11 devastating songs such as the killer opener “Ghostlike,” the surf-guitar-inspired single “Waves Form,” the brilliant “A Window to See” and the goth-tinged “We Are Lovers,” which could have been an ’80s dance-club classic back in the day. A brilliant album from a band whose entire back-catalog is worth searching out.

Read the rest of this entry »

Advertisement

Rock & Roll Hall of Fame Inductees Announced

December 16th, 2014, 12:00 pm by Greg

The Class of 2015 has been announced by the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame.

Lou Reed, Green Day, Joan Jett & the Blackhearts, Stevie Ray Vaughan, Bill Withers and the Paul Butterfield Blues Band will all be inducted at the have all been inducted.

Additionally, Ringo Starr will receive the Award of Excellence, while ’50s R&B group the 5 Royales have been selected for the Early Influence Award.

Not inducted this year: The Smiths, Nine Inch Nails, Chic, N.W.A., Sting and Kraftwerk.

FIVE FIRSTS: Pete Curry of Los Straitjackets

December 16th, 2014, 10:00 am by Greg
Los Straitjackets

Los Straitjackets

NAME: Pete Curry
BAND AFFILIATION: Los Straitjackets
INSTRUMENT: bass

1. THE FIRST ALBUM I EVER BOUGHT WASThe BIG Sounds of the Drags!

Read the rest of this entry »

12/15/14: Today’s Tips: Tuesday

December 16th, 2014, 8:00 am by Greg

MUSIC: MiWi La Lupa @ the Half Moon, Hudson. An original member of Red Baraat, the singer-songwriter-multi-instrumentalist previews his upcoming album, New Way Home, due out next month. 9pm.

MUSIC: Buckcherry @ Upstate Concert Hall, Clifton Park. Frontman Josh Todd, guitarist Keith Nelson and the band carry on the LA hard-rock tradition… With Charm City Devils, Frank Palangi and One Day Waiting. 7:30pm. $23.

THEATER: “The Secret Garden” @ Capital Repertory Theatre, Albany. Frances Hodgson Burnett’s beloved book comes to life in the Tony Award-winning musical about an orphan girl who transforms a dead and wasted garden into a paradise where hearts can grow and miracles can happen. Directed by Maggie Mancinelli-Cahill. 7:30pm. $20-$55. Through Sunday, December 21.

READING/PERFORMANCE: Nitty Gritty Poetry Slam @ the Low Beat, Albany. It’s the annual Dead Poet Slam… 7pm sign-up; 7:30pm open mic; 8pm slam. $5; $3 students.

FILM: “Scrooged” @ the Palace Theatre, Albany. 7pm. The 1988 update on the classic Charles Dickens tale starring Bill Murray. 7pm. $5; $3 children.

FILM: “Red Lodge” @ Proctors, Schenectady. In director Richard Kramer’s indie Christmas film, Jordan (Joseph Kim) proposes to Dave (Richard Pierre-Lewis), his boyfriend of two years, expecting an enthusiastic YES! Instead he gets a “Can’t we just be in love?” Not the best response leading up to the days of Christmas when the couple is to spend Christmas with Jordan’s kooky Aunt Vanity. 7pm. $5.

LIVE: Jaimeo Brown’s Transcendence @ Sanctuary for Independent Media, 12/6/14

December 15th, 2014, 4:00 pm by Greg
Transcendence

Jaimeo Brown’s Transcendence

Review by J Hunter
Photographs by Rudy Lu, Andrzej Pilarczyk

Environment is important, and the environment for Jaimeo Brown’s appearance at the Sanctuary for Independent Media in Troy was certainly different from that blazing-hot June day at SPAC when his group Transcendence knocked everyone’s socks off at the Freihofer’s Saratoga Jazz Festival Gazebo stage. On the plus side, this show was inside the Sanctuary’s cozy confines, so there was no danger of losing any of the power these three tremendous young musicians are able to harness; on the minus, it was cold and wet and trying to snow, which usually tends to pick off the more weather-averse concert-goer. Whether it was the viral marketing that went with this show or just the memory of the wild ride Transcendence took us on that summer, the place was almost packed at showtime.

It was great to hear emcee/booker Susan Brink confirm my recollection about how entranced the crowd had been at the Gazebo. “The entire audience was as one,” she told us during her glowing introduction. After Brown, altoist Jaleel Shaw and guitarist-loopmaster Chris Sholar had come on stage, Brown split time between thanking us profusely for braving the weather and explaining about how this music “celebrates community,” and how at its root is the Gee’s Bend, Alabama community where the field recordings that inspired Brown were created. “This music is homegrown,” he added. “And you are part of our community now!”

Read the rest of this entry »

LIVE: Patrick Porter @ CAC Woodside, 11/18/14

December 15th, 2014, 3:00 pm by Greg

Video and photographs by Timothy Reidy

Concert…
Art exhibit…
Birthday party…

Multi-talented Patrick Porter rolled ‘em all into one November evening at the Contemporary Artists Center at Woodside in Troy…

Read the rest of this entry »

Other Voices: New Live Music Venue Poll

December 15th, 2014, 2:00 pm by Greg
The Google Street View of 69 North Pearl Street, Albany

The Google Street View of 69 North Pearl Street, Albany

Here’s an interesting post from Steve Barnes’ Table Hopping blog:

Chris Pratt, who co-owns multiple bars in Albany, including two on North Pearl Street, tells me he is interested in opening a music venue at 69 North Pearl St. The space is the former home of Buddha Tea House, which yesterday had its liquor license canceled by the State Liquor Authority to satisfy charges filed after three altercations at the club earlier this year.

While this is all extremely preliminary, Pratt says would like to gauge public interest in a music venue similar to Upstate Concert Hall (the former Northern Lights) in Clifton Park Helsinki, Hudson in Hudson and Vapor in Saratoga Springs. This would be a place to see live music or comedy, not a nightclub or restaurant, which Pratt hopes will make the city most receptive to the idea. Pratt says he has yet to hear back from Mayor Kathy Sheehan’s office about whether he should pursue it. (He previously wanted to open a music venue in Albany’s warehouse district but couldn’t get zoning approval; 69 North Pearl already has the necessary zoning, though a cabaret license would be needed.)

GO HERE to add your voice to a poll indicating how often you would patronize a new live music venue in downtown Albany…

Review: “It’s a Wonderful Life” Returns to Shakespeare & Company [Berkshire on Stage]

December 15th, 2014, 1:00 pm by Sara
It’s a Wonderful Life: The Radio Play runs from Dec. 5-28. (photo: Enrico Spada)

It’s a Wonderful Life: The Radio Play runs from Dec. 5-28. (photo: Enrico Spada)

Theater review and discussion by Gail M. Burns and Larry Murray (Reprinted from the December 12, 2013 review)

Larry Murray: What can be more fitting for the holidays than It’s a Wonderful Life: A Live Radio Play which is the story of idealistic George Bailey as he considers ending his life one fateful Christmas Eve. Do you agree that Shakespeare & Company in Lenox captured all the magic of Frank Capra’s classic 1946 holiday film It’s a Wonderful Life in this production?

Gail M. Burns: Darned if I know. I am one of the few adult Americans who has never seen the film all the way through. This iteration, adapted by Joe Landry from the screenplay by Francis Goodrich, Albert Hackett, Frank Capra, and Jo Swerling, reimagines the story as performed by five stalwart radio actors on a snowy Christmas Eve when the sound effects guy gets stuck in the blizzard and can’t get to the studio. We, the studio audience for the broadcast, get the fun of watching them cope with the emergency and perform all the music and sound effects as well as the well-worn story of George Bailey.

Larry: Landry didn’t miss a single plot point of the film, and the five actors created the dozens of characters with just their voices. It was astonishing to hear Ryan Winkles change his voice instantly from Clarence the angel (second class) to Bert the cop. He played a dozen roles, as did favorite Jonathan Croy and the amazing Jennie M. Jadow. These chameleons changed accent, tone and cadence from one character to the next like racers taking the hairpin turn on the Mohawk Trail.

Gail: David Joseph and Sarah Jeanette Taylor anchor the story as George Bailey and the woman he marries, Mary Hatch. They also provide much of the charming music, with Taylor on piano and Joseph as the lead vocalist. The whole show, but especially the music, was charming in its simplicity and beauty, with many songs sung virtually a cappella. Joseph plinks out a few notes on the xylophone and Winkles bravely tackles a trombone riff, but Jadow on violin and Taylor on piano provide the melodic lines.

Click to read the rest at Berkshire on Stage.

Holly & EvanCaffe LenaCartoonist John CaldwellAdvertise on Nippertown!Albany PoetsLeave Regular Radio BehindArtist Charles HaymesHudson SoundsKeep Albany BoringBerkshire On StageThe LindaThe Law Office of Paul Rapp