Pop Quiz Answer: Cover Boys on Metroland’s Local Music Issue 12 Years Ago?

November 6th, 2009, 1:30 pm by Greg

Nope, nobody got this one right.

It was the Clay People, who were celebrating their freshly inked record contract with SlipDisc Records. Metroland music writer Mike Goudreau penned the story, and Leif Zurmuhlen (who had just published his book, “The Right Side of Forty”) provided the “Abbey Road”-like walking-across-the-street cover photo.

What else was going on in the local music issue back then?

J. Eric Smith was writing about multi-instrumentalist Annie Wenz and Style Martly. The live review section included Tom Flynn on Fishbone at Bogie’s and Ann Morrow on the Mighty Mighty Bosstones at Siena College. And sadly, it was longtime music (and more) writer Mike Goudreau’s final week at Metroland.

Performers at Metroland’s Feedback charity bash at Valentine’s included Lughead, Subduing Mara, Treaty, the Lawn Sausages, Rocky Velvet, Rosanne Raneri, Meg Hutchinson, Michael Eck, Kim Palladino, Bryan Thomas, MotherJudge, the Explosives, and Frank McLoughlin.

And to put it in a broader cultural context:

Strawberries had a sale on the “Star Wars Trilogy.” A box set of three VHS tapes for $29.95.

“Boogie Nights” was the hot new movie in theaters.

Photographers Martin Benjamin and Donna Fitzgerald were featured in the two-person art exhibition “Made in Italy” at LuLu Cafe.

Northern Lights was still Park West.

Other now long-defunct nightclubs of the day included the Scoreboard, Doc McCutchen’s, Castaway, Pauly’s Hotel, the Big House Brewing Company, QE2, Aiko’s, Caffe Dolce, Eamonn’s Loudon House, Saratoga Winners, Rolls Touring Co., the Yorkstone Pub, Mother Earth’s Cafe, La La’s, Opus Cafe – all now missing-in-action.


1997/2009: Then & Now

July 16th, 2009, 2:18 pm by Greg

While cleaning up – or at least making an attempt – over the weekend, I came across a somewhat yellowed stash of the Times Union Preview sections from July, 1997.

Thumbing through the pages, it was oh-so-interesting to see how much has changed around here in a dozen years. And how much hasn’t changed a bit.

THEN: Over Fourth of July weekend, Arlo Guthrie was at SPAC, hosting the Furthur Festival with the Black Crowes, Bob Weir’s Ratdog, Mickey Hart’s Planet Drum, moe., Bruce Hornsby and more.
NOW: Over Fourth of July weekend, Arlo Guthrie was at the Guthrie Center in Great Barrington, Mass. hosting his annual Summer Revival.

THEN: Other Fourth of July bashes featured Lyle Lovett at Tanglewood and the Guess Who (a Canadian band!) at the Empire State Plaza.
NOW: The Fourth definitely took on jazzier overtones with Diana Krall at Tanglewood and Al Jarreau at the the Price Chopper festivities at the Plaza.

THEN: Sawyer Brown headlined WGNA’s Countryfest at the Saratoga Equine Sports Center.
NOW: Montgomery Gentry headlined WGNA’s Countryfest at the Altamont Fairgrounds.

THEN: Capital Repertory Company launched its first-ever summer season with “Always, Patsy Cline.”
NOW: “Patsy” has returned to Cap Rep several times since then, but this summer it’s all about “Shear Madness.”

THEN: Nicholas Cage was starring in two movies – “Con Air” and “Face/Off.”
NOW: It’s been a delightfully free Cage-free summer at the theaters so far. He isn’t planning “National Treasure III,” is he?

THEN: The free two-day Fleet Blues Fest filled the Empire State Plaza with the sounds of Junior Wells, Rory Block, Elvin Bishop, Kenny Neal, Lucky Peterson, GE Smith, Debby Davies and lots more.
NOW: Over the years, the Fleet Blues dwindled down to just one day and then disappeared altogether.

THEN: The free Washington Park Concert Series hosted performances by the Blind Boys of Alabama, Rosanne Cash, Solas and Rockapella.
NOW: The free Monday Night Concerts in the Park series has been cancelled.

THEN: The Starlite Music Theatre welcomed the likes of Weird Al Yankovic, Huey Lewis & the News and Pat Benatar.
NOW: The Starlite closed years ago, and now it’s in a very sorry state of decay.

THEN: The Berkshire Performing Arts Theater at the National Music Center hosted concerts by Shawn Colvin, Duncan Sheik and David Byrne.
NOW: BPAT has been closed for years now.

THEN: The Winterhawk Bluegrass Festival featured an all-star line-up – including Alison Krauss & Union Station, Doc Watson, Tony Rice, Tim O’Brien, Jerry Douglas, Peter Rowan and Richard Greene – at the Rothvoss Farm in Ancramdale.
NOW: The Winterhawk Bluegrass Festival hasn’t been around in several years now.

THEN: Saratoga Winners welcomed Corrosion of Conformity; Roomful of Blues rocked Duke’s After Dark in Saratoga; Marky Ramone pummeled QE2; the Amy Abdou Band played the Waterfront Cafe in Troy; Conehead Buddha was jammin’ at Aiko’s in Sartoga; Joe McPhee was blowing at Mother Earth’s Cafe; Jill Hughes and the Funky White Boys were gettin’ down at the Metro in Saratoga.
NOW: All of those Capital Region live music venues are long gone.

Hanging Out at Albany Rural Cemetery

July 13th, 2009, 1:47 pm by Sara

Albany Rural Cemetery is an impressive and intriguing destination anytime, but especially in the summer if you’re looking for a quiet, shady spot away from the crowds. With 500 acres of park-like grounds, it’s perfect for hiking, bicycling or just sitting and reading. They even have inexpensive tours on a variety of historical subjects. Pack a picnic and be sure to bring your camera.


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Signs of the City

June 12th, 2009, 11:55 am by Sara


20 Years Ago – Albany New Music Expo

June 11th, 2009, 6:06 pm by Sara


This is the top half of a poster for the Albany New Music Expo run by Char Shortsleeve, Dan Griffin and Jim Caringi, November 8-9, 1989.

Cute dog.

Bogie’s is back?!?

June 3rd, 2009, 10:24 am by Greg


297 Ontario St., Albany.

The site of way too many nights of great music – certainly more than I can possibly remember.

Bogie’s was there before Blotto recorded our first vinyl, and it was still there so many years later when Blotto released our first CD.

Now, after a loooooooooong hiatus, Bogies (the apostrophe is apparently optional) is back again . Yes, with the fine folks of Black & Blue Productions at the helm, Bogies celebrates its official grand re-opening with a crank-it-up-to-11 bash on Friday, June 5.

Sleaze-rock kingpins the Erotics headline the festivities with plenty of sonic support from the likes of Horror Business, Hijinx, Society High and Pistol Shot Gypsy. It all gets underway at 8pm, and admission is $10.

I still vividly recall the Units at Bogie’s funking up a version of “Ease on Down the Road” from “The Wiz” during the Labor Day weekend of 1979.

And Albie from the Black Fuel has a whole mess o’ fond memories of the old Bogie’s.

What are your fave Bogie’s shows of ye olden days?

Jim Gaudet and the Railroad BoysCaffe LenaThe Cock'N'Bull RestaurantHolly & EvanCartoonist John CaldwellAdvertise on Nippertown!Ramblin Jug StompersAustralian Cattle Dog Rescue Association