It’s Dusty Springfield Day

April 16th, 2010, 10:03 am by Greg

Today is the 71st anniversary of the birth of Dusty Springfield, who died in 1999. Here at Nippertown, a little bit of Dusty just isn’t enough, so we’re serving up a trio of tunes in her memory:

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Happy 69th Birthday, Don Van Vliet!

January 15th, 2010, 10:30 am by Greg

Happy Birthday, Marianne Faithfull

December 29th, 2009, 9:45 am by Greg

Marianne Faithfull celebrates her 63rd birthday today, and we celebrate with a pair of her tunes that span her career: The Rolling Stones‘ “As Tears Go By” from 1965, and Brian Eno‘s “How Many Worlds” from 2009.

The Present-Day Composer Refuses to Die…

December 21st, 2009, 11:04 am by Greg

Today marks the 69th anniversary of the birth of one of the greatest American composers of the rock era – Frank Vincent Zappa.

From “Who Are the Brain Police?” to “Peaches en Regalia” to “Black Napkins” and beyond, Zappa’s music consistantly pushed the envelope, and even now – 16 years after his death – Zappa continues to be a major influence on the contemporary rock scene.

Here’s a clip from the 22-year-old (pre-Mothers) Zappa’s television debut on “The Steve Allen Show” in 1963, playing a duet for two bicycles, pre-recorded electronic tape and show band:

And don’t forget: Zappa tribute band Project/Object is scheduled to rock Revolution Hall in Troy on Saturday, January 9, joined by Mothers alum Ray White and Ike Willis.

Song of the Week: Gene Clark’s “Silver Raven”

November 17th, 2009, 9:55 am by Greg

Yes, Gene Clark was a founding member of the Byrds. But he made a whole lot of fabulous music after he flew the Byrds’ coop, too.

Clark died in 1991 at the age of 46. Had he lived, today would have been his 65th birthday, so we’re celebrating the life and music of Gene Clark today:

Odds & Ends @ the End of the Week

October 30th, 2009, 4:13 pm by Greg

The fine folks from Art for Animals have organized the art exhibition “The Dog Show: When the Model Barks,” which opens at the Spencertown Academy Arts Center on Sunday (November 1). The exhibit features artwork from more than three dozen established artists, including Sylvia Placey, Laurie Anderson, Richard Serra, Kiki Smith and, of course, William Wegman.

Other works on display at the exhibit were created earlier this year by middle school students from Taconic Hills Central Schools. The models and subjects of their paintings were a quartet of registered therapy dogs: an American pit bull terrier, a basset hound, a French bulldog and a Weimaraner.

The student works will be sold via silent auction during the opening reception for the exhibit from 3-5pm on Sunday (November 1). And yes, the models will be present at the reception, so you might want to bring along a pocketful of dog treats.


Albany Comic Con 4 takes over the Wolf Road Holiday Inn in Colonie from 10am-4pm on Sunday (November 1), stretching out the Halloween holiday for at least one extra day. Of course, the convention will feature lots of dealers of comic books, toys, non-sports cards and various other collectibles, but it will also feature panel discussions, a costume contest and a Magic the Gathering tournament. Among the many comics artists and writer who will be on hand are Paul Abram, Bill Anderson, Dennis Calero, Fred Hembeck, Todd Dezago, Ramona Fradon and John Hebert.

johnnyCashPumpkinNeed some inspiration before you begin carving away at that big orange orb that’s staring at you from your kitchen table? Here are a few Jack-O-Lantern Hall of Fame-worthy efforts by Schenectady’s great Picasso of Pumpkins, Walt Mahoski.

Don’t forget to turn your clocks back an hour on Saturday night! An extra hour of Halloween! An extra hour of sleep! An extra hour of … whatever!

grace_slickFeed your head: Today is Grace Slick‘s birthday. She’s 70 years old.

Former Nippertown resident Richard Lainhart is performing live with his Buchla 200e/Haken Continuum system at electro-music 2009. The bad news it’s all taking place in Bloomingdale, New Jersey. The good news is that you can tune into the live electro-music radio stream here.

Award-winning poet George Drew will settle in at Caffe Lena in Saratoga Springs at 3pm on Sunday for a reading in celebration of his new book of poetry, “American Cool,” published by Tamarack Editions. The Mississippi-born Drew will be joined by two other Capital Region poets, Nancy White and Barbara Louise Ungar.

Here’s a sample from “American Cool”:


I have spent the afternoon with Elvis,
me sitting in a canvas chair on the porch
of a cabin, him shaking his hips so hard
leaves on the red oak flutter like scarves.

Growing tired of him and his unruly hips
I stroll up the road, but it’s not easy
to escape the Elvis that Elvis has become.
A car goes by, a blur of engine and guitar.

Silence returns and it’s nearly unbearable.
It’s the horrible dead air between a last
note with all the fizz of a flat Coke
and Sam Philips’ showy explosive groan.

The elders lied. Silence is not art deco,
not Beale Street on a sizzling Memphis night.
Silence is monotone, it’s a song unsung.
Silence is an audience that never comes.

Copyright © 2009 by George Drew

Harvey Heads!

October 29th, 2009, 12:28 pm by Greg

Harvey Pekar – Mr. “American Splendor” and one of our favorite masters of the mundane – celebrated his 70th birthday earlier this month, and we here at feel just awful that we let it slip by unannounced.

Fortunately, the fine folks at Smith magazine didn’t allow that same faux pas to befall them. They put out the call to a posse of artists, asking for Pekar portraits.

They had hoped to amass 70 of ’em – naturally enough. Instead, they received more than 100, and Smith posted ’em all on their Pekar Project site.

Happy belated birthday, Harvey!

And thanks to Broadway Blotto for the tip.

Song of the Week: Is Your Love Strong Enough

September 25th, 2009, 9:37 am by Sara

Tomorrow is Bryan Ferry’s birthday; let’s celebrate…

Caffe LenaCartoonist John CaldwellHolly & EvanJim Gaudet and the Railroad BoysThe Cock'N'Bull RestaurantAdvertise on Nippertown!Mohawk Hudson Humane SocietyRamblin Jug Stompers