Posts Tagged ‘Kirsten Ferguson’

Parade o’ Shoes: Keith Streng of the Split Squad

Thursday, August 14th, 2014

Parade of Shoes: Keith Streng

One of the best dressed men in garage-rock history…

The man who always matches his shoes to his shirt…

And now a two-time Parade o’ Shoes honoree…

Keith Streng of the Fleshtones, playing with the Split Squad at the River Street Pub, Troy, 8/3/14

ALSO READ:
LIVE: The Split Squad @ River Street Pub, 8/3/14
Parade of Shoes: Keith Streng

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LIVE: The Split Squad @ River Street Pub, 8/3/14

Tuesday, August 12th, 2014
The Split Squad

The Split Squad

Review by Fred Rudofsky
Photographs by Kirsten Ferguson

Three men in horizontally striped shirts are referring to each other as “Jackson”; their instruments are buzzing with volumes atypical of a mellow mid-summer, mid-afternoon in the middle of Troy. It’s Sunday, it’s the Knyghts of Fuzz, and they are only just getting warmed up.

The River Street Pub has its AC set for polar, but the frenzied heat of the garage rock has been winning out since Ian Carlton (guitar), Frank Novko (bass) and Brian Goodman (drums) opened with the blues stomper “I’m Not Talking” and a full-tilt “Hide and Seek” that features all three on vocals. Goodman’s eyes bug out as he pounds the skins and sings his guts out during a cool cover of the Jefferson Airplane’s “3/5′s of a Mile in 10 Seconds” and the original composition “Genny.” Carlton’s a live wire on the Electric Prunes’ “Get Me to the World on Time,” singing and playing at a tempo that leaves him drenched in sweat and the growing crowd howling for more. Novko’s bass rumbles like a D & H freight train during his take on “Hey Sha Lo Ney”; Carlton breaks two strings in the process, “a first” he declares while retrieving his spare guitar.

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LIVE: Justin Timberlake @ the Times Union Center, 7/16/14

Tuesday, August 5th, 2014

JustinTimberlake2

Review and photographs by Kirsten Ferguson

Maybe it was seeing Justin Timberlake so soon after Paul McCartney, who had electrified the sold-out Times Union Center crowd 11 days earlier with three emotionally powerful hours of Beatles, Wings and solo songs.

But something about the first portion of Justin Timberlake’s sold-out show at the Times Union Center just felt flat, even though the devoted JT fans who filled the arena were primed to scream every time the pop heartthrob glanced out into the audience or busted a flashy dance move. Yes, it was an estrogen fest.

The show started with Timberlake and his army of musicians, singer and dancers rising up from underneath the stage — in front of JT markers that looked like gravestones — for the soulful first number, “Pusher Love Girl,” the opening track from the singer’s latest release, The 20/20 Experience.

Although he followed with “Rock Your Body” and “My Love” — two surefire club hits — they both felt surprisingly lethargic. A too-dark stage set maybe, or an arena show performed too many times without variation. Or maybe Timberlake’s slickness just felt less than genuine after having seen McCartney, who sang “The Long and Winding Road” with heart-choking emotion, as if he wrote it yesterday. Totally unfair comparison, I know.

The show did pick up right before the intermission, during the light-hearted “Summer Love” and the love ballad “Until the End of Time,” the latter featuring Timberlake at a white grand piano on the lip of the stage, as the arena lit up in a sea of cellphones.

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LIVE: Wussy @ the Low Beat, 7/24/14

Tuesday, July 29th, 2014
Wussy (photo by Ross Marvin)

Wussy (photo by Ross Marvin)

Review by Ross Marvin
Photographs by Ross Marvin, Al Goldberg and Kirsten Ferguson

As great as it was, the music was almost beside the point at the Wussy show on Thursday night at the Low Beat. Four members of the critically-beloved Cincinnati band were given tickets for marijuana possession before they could even get out of Ohio, and Johnny Law absconded with their entire stash. Not a great way to start a tour, though it sounds like it could make a pretty good Wussy song. Something about how driving a shitty tour van draws the attention of the cops, but Willie Nelson’s deluxe ride cruses right past the sirens, even though that bust would be a sure thing.

It was 11:30pm by the time Wussy got to Albany, and the crowd at the Low Beat ran out to their van to grab amps, guitar pedals and merch boxes to help expedite the set-up. One fan even lent her handwriting talents to the band, helping to copy the setlist. By 11:49pm, the band hit the stage, forgot about such petty things as a sound-check, took a shot of tequila in honor of National Tequila Day, and dug-in to one of the most incendiary performances that will grace Captial Region stages this year.

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LIVE: SAW Barn Bash @ Salem Art Works, 6/7/14

Wednesday, July 2nd, 2014
Mark di Suvero: For Euler, 1997

Mark di Suvero: For Euler, 1997

Story and photographs by Kirsten Ferguson

The restoration of an old barn into an impressive new gallery and performance space was cause for celebration at Salem Arts Works’ recent barn bash. SAW founder Anthony Cafritz – whose vision has turned the formerly fallow dairy farm in Salem, New York, into a 119-acre sculpture park, gallery, artist residence and teaching space – was on hand to lead tours to the top of Cary Hill Sculpture Park, where a stunning vista looks out past several massive orange Mark di Suvero pieces to the Green Mountains of neighboring Vermont. SAW is currently at work repurposing over four miles of former logging trails into public hiking and biking trails (with an artistic view).

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LIVE: Fishbone @ Putnam Den, 6/21/14

Friday, June 27th, 2014
Fishbone

Fishbone

Review and photographs by Kirsten Ferguson

Chatting with a fan at the bar before last Saturday’s Fishbone show at Putnam Den, laid-back Fishbone bassist John Norwood Fisher showed off a cellphone pic of the large crowd the band faced the day before at a Quebec music festival. Following the Saratoga gig, he mentioned the band had to get up unusually early to head toward Buffalo for a concert with Primus in Gratwick Park.

By comparison, the crowd at Putnam Den was modest by the time Fishbone finally went on near midnight, but the long-running band didn’t let that dampen their effort. In fact, frontman Angelo Moore had to stop to towel off several times as the sweat dripping from his face got in the way of his manic saxophone playing. It would be hard to find a frontman as hard-working and eternally energetic as Moore. The guy does it all: blows a mean saxophone, warps sound waves with a theremin, recites spoken word in between songs, surfs the crowd and generally hops around the stage like a crazed man.

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LIVE: Bruce Springsteen & the E Street Band @ the Times Union Center, 5/13/14

Thursday, May 15th, 2014
(photo by Martin Benjamin)

(photo by Martin Benjamin)

Review by Greg Haymes
Photographs by Martin Benjamin

Additional photographs by Kirsten Ferguson

“Are you ready to be transformed, Albany?,” Bruce Springsteen shouted in full preacher mode. He had just led his sprawling, 16-piece E Street Band through a rousing rendition of the party-in-the-face-of-despair anthem “Mary’s Place,” an hour into his nearly three-hour concert at the Times Union Center on Tuesday night.

It wasn’t a rhetorical question…

Of course, by then most of the fans at the sold-out concert had already experienced a transformative moment or two. Maybe it was when he simply shouted, “Guitar!,” in the middle of the opening INXS cover “Don’t Change,” and Nils Lofgren and Tom Morello both stepped forward to join Springsteen as a choreographed, front-line guitar army. Maybe it was at the end of “No Surrender” when Springsteen turned his back on the audience and raised his guitar up high over his head, shaking a ferocious blast of feedback from it. Maybe it was “Badlands,” the first full-blown, Church of Rock & Roll sing-along of the night. Of course, it wasn’t the last…

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LIVE: Amy Rigby & Wreckless Eric @ the River Street Beat Shop, 4/19/14

Friday, April 25th, 2014
Amy Rigby and Wreckless Eric

Amy Rigby and Wreckless Eric

Photographs by Kirsten Ferguson

Last Saturday (April 19) was Record Store Day, and Jimmy Barrett and the rest of the fine folks at the River Street Beat Shop in Troy did it up right, hosting a free, indoor/outdoor doubleheader concert, in addition to offering a big batch of Record Store Day exclusive merch – including the “Bubbles in the Think Tank” colored-vinyl EP and cool seven-inchers by Velvet Underground and Jimi Hendrix from the fine folks at Coxsackie’s Sundazed Music.

The live music was flowing, too, with Nippertown garage-rockers the Mysteios kicking off the afternoon’s festivities with a sneak peek at their upcoming new CD, Planet Action, during an outdoor performance on the sidewalk in front of the store. The celebration moved inside for a fine set by the fab couple Amy Rigby & Wreckless Eric that included Rigby’s rockin’ “Dancing With Joey Ramone” and, of course, Eric’s vintage Stiff Records classic, “Whole Wide World.”

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