FEST: O+ Festival in Kingston, 10/9-11/15

October 5th, 2015, 12:00 pm by Greg
The Bongos

The Bongos

Featuring more than 60 musical acts and 25 visual artists, the sixth annual O+ Festival will be taking place this weekend at a number of different locations throughout Kingston. It’s a unique festival of art, music and wellness, wherein artists barter their contributions directly for medical, dental and other health services from art-loving health care providers.

The festival kicks off with a parade featuring the Hungry March Band from the Seven21 Media Center at 6pm Friday (October 9). Among the many other activities throughout the weekend are a late-night literary SALO+N and CO+LLAGE Cafe; unlimited EXPLO+RE classes in yoga, dance, meditation and sound healing; a Wellness EXPO+ and Conference (featuring topics of particular interest to Hudson Valley residents and/or the creative community); and bike rides for all skill levels.

Among the headlining performers at the fest are Nicole Atkins, Screaming Females, Corey Glover (of Living Colour), Widowspeak, And the Kids, a reunion of the Bongos and such returning acts as Nicole Atkins (performing solo) and the Local 518’s own the Parlor.

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LIVE: The Feelies @ BSP Lounge, 4/24/15

April 29th, 2015, 4:00 pm by Greg
Glenn Mercer and Stan Demeski

Glenn Mercer and Stan Demeski

Review by Ross Marvin
Photographs by Kirsten Ferguson

There’s this stereotype of music nerds that we horde away our favorite music, arrogantly holding the knowledge of secret unknown bands over the unenlightened, the ignorant, the square. I’ll confess to the fact that I probably am a rock snob, but I’m not a selfish snob. One of my great joys is sharing the music I love with as many people as possible. And while the art of the mix tape may be beyond its half-life here in 2015, introducing my friends to a fantastic live band like the Feelies is always an exercise in altruistic pleasure.

This time, my old college roommates met me at the BSP Lounge in Kingston, driving up from Brooklyn for the sold-out show. Neither of them had heard of the Feelies, and when they asked me what to expect, I simply told them to trust me — it would be the best $20 show they would see all year.

They looked at me cross-eyed when the band took the stage. There was lead guitarist Glenn Mercer with his long skinny face and Dylan shades; rhythm guitarist Bill Million in his pleated khakis; bassist Brenda Sauter with her muted “thank you” at the microphone; and percussionists Stanley Demeski and Dave Weckerman, looking more like they were heading to the university chemistry lab than the stage. It was hard for my buddies to figure out what they were in for. They started downing the $3 PBR cans at an alarming rate. I’d dragged these guys to some pretty strange scenes before, nights where I take in strange avant-garde sounds while they awkwardly count minutes until the after-party and self-medicate until they get there.

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LIVE: Kate Pierson @ BSP Lounge, 2/24/15

March 16th, 2015, 4:00 pm by Greg

Photographs and video by Tim Reidy

Kate Pierson made her recording debut back in 1978 on the B-52s’ debut indie single of “Rock Lobster.” The fun-loving band has racked up a number of hits since those new-wave days, but they’ve only recorded one album – 2008’s Funplex – in more than two decades. Which makes it something of a surprise that Pierson hasn’t gone the solo route until now.

Finally last month, Pierson released her long-overdue debut solo album, Guitars and Microphones, which features several songs co-written with publicity-shy “it” girl, Sia. And in support of her new disc, she hit the road for tour stops that included the City Winery in NYC (joined by Deborah Harry), “Late Night With Seth Meyers” and a sold-out stop at Kingston’s BSP Lounge, where Shokan-based experimental acoustic duo Skeye opened the show.

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Festival Fever: O+ Festival in Kingston, 10/10-12/14

October 7th, 2014, 10:00 am by Greg
Bella's Bartok

Bella’s Bartok

Featuring more than 40 musical acts and 20 visual artists, the fifth annual O+ Festival will be taking place this weekend at a number of different locations throughout Kingston. It’s a unique festival of art, music and wellness, wherein artists barter their contributions directly for medical, dental and other health services from art-loving health care providers.

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LIVE: Steel House @ the Falcon, 9/9/14

September 19th, 2014, 3:00 pm by Greg
Steel House

Steel House

Review and photographs by Rudy Lu

We are most fortunate that upstate New York jazz clubs and concert halls have been used as laboratories and proving grounds for world-class jazz musicians wanting to try out new compositions and bands in front of live audiences. In the ’90s, Chick Corea used the Van Dyck to work on new compositions with Origin. Joshua Redman used the Troy Savings Bank Music Hall as his retreat and rehearsal space to develop the arrangements for his album of mostly covers Timeless Tales.

Such was the case again last week when the new band Steel House debuted all new compositions. While Albany rocked to the triple-drum threat of King Crimson, listeners at the Falcon in tiny Marlboro were treated to the gentle playing of a new all-star jazz trio.

The band is composed of:

Ed Simon (piano, keyboards): who I have seen at The Egg with the SF Jazz Ensemble and has recently released a solo cd
Scott Colley (bass): who most recently has seen in Nippertown playing in Gary Burton’s New Quartet
Brian Blade (drums): best known for his association with Joni Mitchell as well as leading his Fellowship Band

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Festival Fever: Kingston’s Wall Street Jazz Festival on Saturday

August 28th, 2014, 3:00 pm by Greg

The annual Wall Street Jazz Festival is slated to return to the corner of Wall and North Front streets in Kingston on Saturday (August 30), and if you want to know what makes this jazz fest different than any other in Greater Nippertown, just take a look at the list of bandleaders – they’re all women.

And, of course, the festival is free, too.

In case of bad weather, the fest will move indoors to the BSP Lounge (which will also be hosting the fest after-party with music by the Pleasers at 10pm; $5 admission).

Here’s the line-up of performers for the 11th annual Wall Street Jazz Fest:

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A Salute to Our Local Jazz Heroes

April 24th, 2014, 11:00 am by Greg

2014 Jazz Heroes Awards

April is Jazz Appreciation Month. And before it comes to a close, the Jazz Journalists Association will bestow two dozen Jazz Hero Awards to deserving individuals all across the country who have been “activists, advocates, altruists, aiders and abettors of jazz.” Three of them are right here in Nippertown.

Tom Pierce – former vice president of A Place for Jazz and AlbanyJazz.com contributor – will receive his award during the Schenectady Musical Union Gala on Sunday afternoon (April 27) at Robb Alley at Proctors in Schenectady. The event will also feature performances by three Local 518 jazz groups – the Jim Wilson Quintet (3pm), the Rob Lindquist Quartet (4pm) and Colleen Pratt & Friends (5pm). Admission is free.

Meanwhile, Peggy Stern and John Bilotti – the artistic director and executive producer, respectively of Kingston’s annual free Wall Street Jazz Festival – will be honored with their awards at the Anvil Gallery in Kingston at 7pm on Tuesday (April 29). Admission is free, and the reception will include complimentary Thelonious Ale, wine and snacks.

Congrats to the honorees!

LIVE: Widowspeak @ BSP Lounge, 2/15/14

March 6th, 2014, 11:00 am by Greg


Photographs and videos by Timothy Reidy

OK, we’re officially declaring today to be Timothy Reidy Day, in honor of the photographer, sports fan, Metroland columnist (read his “Ton Lokal” column in today’s issue), artist, regular Nippertown contributor and uber music fan. The tireless Mr. Reidy is always on the go around town, and throughout the day today at Nippertown.com, we’re offering a sampling of his musical marathon during the past couple of weeks…

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Cartoonist John CaldwellCaffe LenaHolly & EvanThe Cock'N'Bull RestaurantJim Gaudet and the Railroad BoysAdvertise on Nippertown!The LindaHudson SoundsAlbany PoetsDennis Herbert Art