LIVE: LarkFest @ Albany’s Lark Street, 9/20/14

October 7th, 2014, 4:00 pm by Greg


Photographs by Timothy Reidy

When the first LarkFest took over Albany’s Lark Street back in 1981, the concept was two-fold – showcase the considerable Local 518 musical talent and bring folks down to shop, eat and drink at Lark Street businesses. Heck, Lark Street wasn’t even closed to to traffic that first year.

Over the course of more than three decades, LarkFest grew to unmanageable proportions, and the bands came not from the neighborhood or even the city. Instead there were regional and then national bands grabbing the stages at Albany’s annual end-of-summer/back-to-school celebration.

It took a while, but this year’s LarkFest party marked the return of the original musical concept – an all-local line-up of bands. And it was a solid homegrown line-up, too – eight bands on two stages spanning a pretty fair range of musical genres with the Graham Tichy Trio, the Chris Dukes Band, the Chronicles, Conehead Buddha, Holly & Evan, Wild Adriatic, Titanics and Mirk.

Welcome back – Live. Local. LarkFest…

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LIVE: Graham Tichy @ LarkFest, 9/20/14

September 22nd, 2014, 3:00 pm by Greg

Graham Tichy (photo by Gene Sennes)

Photographs by Gene Sennes

Guitar master Graham Tichy and his trio kicked off the festivities in fine fashion on the Madison Avenue stage of Saturday’s big LarkFest celebration in Albany.

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LarkFest Through the Years

September 19th, 2014, 12:00 pm by Greg
The Young Reptiles ecstatic to be playing the first LarkFest (photo by Dave Suarez)

The Young Reptiles, ecstatic to be playing the first LarkFest (photo by Dave Suarez)

By Greg Haymes

LarkFest takes over Albany’s Lark Street from Washington to Madison avenues once again on Saturday for Nippertown’s largest free street festival. GO HERE for more info and the complete schedule of bands…

And with this year’s LarkFest celebration returning to the original mission of showcasing all-local music, we thought it was time for a look back at LarkFest through the years. While we managed to pull together quite a bit of back history, there are still a number of holes in the round-up, and the list is by no means complete. So we’re hoping that Nippertown readers can come to the rescue and fill in at least some of the blanks:

1981: The debut with a crowd of about 15,000 featuring the Units, the Young Reptiles, the A.D.’s, the Morons

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LIVE: Willie Nile @ LarkFest, 9/21/13

October 15th, 2013, 4:00 pm by Greg
Willie Nile (photo by Richard Brody)

Willie Nile (photo by Richard Brody)

Review and photographs by Richard Brody
Additional photographs by Bryan Lasky

The day-long musical fireworks on Lark Street needed a grand finale, and who better than Willie Nile and his superb band to supply that at LarkFest’s Madison Avenue stage? The crowd was pumped from the opening salvo: “This Is Our Time,” with lyrics, “Can you feel the power, can you feel the drive, can you feel the feeling that it’s good to be alive?” Support came steady from the tight rhythm section of Johnny Pisano on bass and Alex Alexander on drums and Matt Hogan’s slamming lead guitar; band and crowd became one, and the party kicked into an even higher gear.

The set featured a number of songs from Nile’s recent album, American Ride, including “Life On Bleecker Street” about his adopted NYC home and specifically the street on which his career began some 40 years ago. Willie being Willie, this was not a nostalgic trip back home, but rather a humorous and somewhat cynical view of hipsters, stars, wannabees and tourists who all see Bleecker Street as the destination.

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LIVE: Rodeo Barons in the Attic @ LarkFest, 9/21/13

October 7th, 2013, 3:00 pm by Greg
Rodeo Barons (photo by Timothy Reidy)

Rodeo Barons (photo by Timothy Reidy)

Photographs by Timothy Reidy and Bryan Lasky

Yes, it’s a special LarkFest 2013 two-fer – Rodeo Barons (who played on the Madison Avenue Stage) and Barons in the Attic (who played on the Washington Avenue Stage) – both at the same time…

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LIVE: The Charlie Watts Riots @ LarkFest, 9/21/13

October 3rd, 2013, 4:00 pm by Greg
Seth Powell (photo by Timothy Reidy)

Seth Powell (photo by Timothy Reidy)

Photographs by Timothy Reidy and Gene Sennes

The Last Conspirators weren’t the only band that took advantage of the huge crowds at LarkFest to celebrate the release of their new album. Suit-and-tie clad power-pop rockers the Charlie Watts Riots – featuring guitarist Seth Powell, bassist Mike Pauley and drummer Joe Putrock – pumped out a rollicking mid-afternoon set on the Washington Avenue stage, unleashing selections from their brand-new, long-awaited sophomore disc, A Break in the Weather.

But LarkFest was only half of CWR’s double-header celebration, as the power trio headed up the street to Valentine’s Music Hall later that same evening to headline the LarkFest after-party.

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LIVE: The Last Conspirators @ LarkFest, 9/21/13

September 27th, 2013, 12:00 pm by Greg
Tim Livingston of The Last Conspirators (photo by Gene Sennes)

Tim Livingston of The Last Conspirators (photo by Gene Sennes)

Photographs by Gene Sennes and Bryan Lasky

If you’re going to throw a CD release party, why not do it at Nippertown’s biggest free music festival, LarkFest? That’s exactly what the Last Conspirators did last Saturday (September 21), when they unleashed their new album, A Celebration of Fury. Featuring gravity-defying frontman Tim Livingston and powerhouse drummer Al Kash (both veterans of the very first LarkFest 32 years ago!), as well as razor-sharp guitarist Terry Plunkett and bassist Nick Bisanz, the band charged through a high-energy sonic assault, railing against corporate radio, mindless nostalgia and the powers that be. The themes may not be anything new, but the band played with the palpable passion of rebellion, adding a new-found metallic edge to their already potent brand of politico psych-punk.

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FLASHBACK: Remembering the First LarkFest

September 20th, 2013, 12:00 pm by Greg
Bands for LarkFest 1981

Photo taken at Lark Beat Records of band members from the Morons, the Units and the Young Reptiles (the A.D.’s were not available for the photo shoot) to promote the first LarkFest. Also, Scot Gray from the Lumpen Proles is in the photo for some reason.

Photograph by Judy Seibert Kash

It’s the biggest free outdoor bash in Nippertown, a curb-to-curb crush of arts and crafts, food and fun, music and merriment. Yes, it’s LarkFest, and on Saturday, it’s back for its 32nd annual appearance on Albany’s Lark Street.

That’s right, LarkFest is 32 years old…

Back in 1981, when LarkFest first hit the street, there was only one stage and four bands – the Units (before they changed their name to Fear of Strangers), the Young Reptiles, the A.D.’s and the Morons – showcasing the best of Albany’s burgeoning DIY rock scene.

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Cartoonist John CaldwellThe Cock'N'Bull RestaurantHolly & EvanJim Gaudet and the Railroad BoysCaffe LenaAdvertise on Nippertown!G.C. HaymesBerkshire On Stage