Parade of Shoes: Bowtie

December 18th, 2012, 3:00 pm by Sara
Bowtie, of the Ramblin' Jug Stompers, at the Starting Gate in Saratoga Springs, 12/8/12. Photo by Kirsten Ferguson.

Bowtie, of Ramblin Jug Stompers, at the Starting Gate in Saratoga Springs, 12/8/12. (Photo by Kirsten Ferguson)

Hmmmm, kinda boring, don’t you think? (Dude, I think she just got you back.)


Best of 2011: Bowtie’s Top 11 Rants

December 30th, 2011, 2:00 pm by Greg

11. “Baby, It’s Cold Outside” is the sexiest Christmas song ever (not sure what the
competition is, though…)


9. Despite the sheer excellence of the Firlefanz Puppet Theater, puppet shows will never become a dominant form of entertainment.

8. Lady Gaga is really good at what she does. Perhaps Mother Maybelle Carter was the Lady Gaga of her time?

7. Traffic circles… they’re just wrong.

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LIVE: Pokey LaFarge & the South City Three @ Caffe Lena, 10/23/11

October 31st, 2011, 4:00 pm by Greg
Pokey LaFarge

Pokey LaFarge

Pokey LaFarge is a very personable young man with a retro suit and hair, who sings old swing/jazz songs, as well as new songs that sound more or less like old swing/jazz songs.

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LIVE: Dave Attell @ The Egg, 5/22/11

May 23rd, 2011, 12:00 pm by Greg

Dave Attell’s Comedy Central TV show “Insomniac” drew a large audience attracted to his late night-into-early morning, alcohol-fueled, irreverent ramblings through various American cities talking to strippers, bartenders, street cleaners, bakers and all manner of interesting characters who worked while the rest of us slept. A great show!

A crowd of youngish couples and single men filled three-quarters of the Hart Theater to see that Dave Attell… and they kinda did. It would have been better if he worked as hard to please as he did on his TV show.

As though flipping through a mental Rolodex of jokes, his attention jumped from topic to topic and back: acid, gay marriage, Osama Bin Laden, gas prices, politics, Albany, teen pregnancy shows, midgets, smoking, drinking, vibrators, masturbation, the end of the world, pornography, Canada, sex toys, transvestites, vegans, dolphins, etc….

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LIVE: David Sedaris @ Proctors, 4/9/11

April 11th, 2011, 1:00 pm by Greg

David Sedaris has a great gig, although he doesn’t think he has a job – he just writes stuff to please himself… and a small army of loyal readers who filled Proctors’ main theater to catch the Schenectady stop on his current 34-city tour. Listed under Proctors’ comedy events, Sedaris is more accurately a humorist. Neatly dressed, he worked from behind a podium while reading from three works (some in progress), excerpts from his diary and a little Q&A at the end.

His first reading was from an earlier work, “The Squirrel and the Chipmunk.” He got a round of applause just by announcing the title – this guy is a rock star of the literati. Who says nobody reads anymore? This story, actually more of an R-rated fable, concerns a short romance between a squirrel and a chipmunk, their lack of things to talk about, awkward silences, familial disapproval and confusion about what jazz is. The squirrel says he likes jazz and the chipmunk, to be agreeable but having no idea what it is, says she likes it too and then worries what she just agreed to. Sedaris milks the comic possibilities of this misunderstanding, including the possibility that jazz refers to a totally non-missionary sexual practice. The analogies to our human foibles were quite clear but didn’t hurt too bad as we were too distracted by the entertaining wrapping.

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LIVE: Kathleen Madigan @ the Mahaiwe Performing Arts Center, 4/3/11

April 5th, 2011, 1:00 pm by Greg

She may only be 5’1”, but pray you do not find yourself in the sights of Kathleen Madigan. For 80 minutes on Sunday evening, she comfortably commanded the stage and with her wit and sarcasm shredded anything and everything she found worthy of her interest.

Starting with a hilarious recounting of her recent USO tour of Iraq and Afghanistan, she had a lot of opinions about our involvement there, but they weren’t necessarily related to any particular political convictions. Should we be in Iraq? “The base in Baghdad has a Taco Bell; I think we can declare victory.” Should we be in Afganistan? “The women dress like bee keepers; the men think it’s the year 11. No wonder the Russians ran away.” How much money it would take to fix Afghanistan? “How much money would it take to fix the moon?”

Her midwestern family of nine was a running theme throughout her act. They are a close knit group, after all who couldn’t love a father who “instructed us on how to commit suicide so the insurance company would pay the claim. Whatever you do, don’t write a note.” Her stockbroker brother is always giving her advice on how to save her money, which she lamely attempts to follow, but is too easily sabotaged by “a late night, a bottle of wine and an eBay password.”

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LIVE: Jayme Stone @ the Sanctuary for Independent Media, 3/19/11

March 23rd, 2011, 3:00 pm by Greg
Jayme Stone, Case Driessen andRoss Martin

Jayme Stone, Casey Driessen and Ross Martin

While it is the case that a band that is playing bluegrass music will include a guitar, fiddle, banjo and bass, it is a logical fallacy to assume the converse, i.e. that a band with that instrumental line-up is limited to playing bluegrass. Thus it is with Jayme Stone and his all star band, who made their Nippertown debut at the Sanctuary for Independent Media in Troy last Saturday night. They played a long, 14-song set that consisted mainly of Jayme’s original instrumentals or original derivations of folk songs and themes from around the world.

The opening song was a derivation of a Bulgarian folk dance in 7/8 time, followed by a derivation of a Moorish sword fighting song. These were not simple hummable melodies to be sure! The arrangements were complex but hit a groove and rode it with banjo, fiddle and guitar each having a chance to stepout before melding back into the swirling whole. Their highly interpretive take on the traditional song “Cumberland Gap” benefited from his introduction as it was Saturday-New York Times-crossword-puzzle hard to find the original melody, and hoedown foot-tapping was out of the question!

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The Trials and Tribulations of the Banjo Player

January 17th, 2011, 10:37 am by Greg

From Bowtie, the Ramblin Jug Stompers’ banjo player:

“OK – I know it is very annoying when people send you YouTube video links and say you gotta watch this and that, but I promise this is the most improbable representation of a banjo player but, in all honesty, is a true depiction of how we banjo players overcome impossible adversity and always get the girl in the end (void where prohibited by law).

Just go here…

And, yes, I too have jammed with Lee Van Cleef. He plays a mean hammer dulcimer.”

Ramblin Jug Stompers celebrate their fifth anniversary at 7pm tonight at McGeary’s in Albany. Admission is free.

Caffe LenaJim Gaudet and the Railroad BoysCartoonist John CaldwellThe Cock'N'Bull RestaurantHolly & EvanAdvertise on Nippertown!Mohawk Hudson Humane SocietyCapital District Habitat For Humanity