RIP: The Starlite Music Theatre (aka Colonie Coliseum), 1958-2012

November 16th, 2012, 10:23 am by Greg
The Starlight in 2010 (photo by Sebastien Barre)

The derelict Starlite Music Theatre in 2010 (Photo by Sebastien Barre)

Story by Greg Haymes
Photograph by Sebastien Barre

Milton Berle
The Dave Clark Five
Johnny Cash
Mike Tyson
Bob Hope
Diana Ross
George Carlin
Sammy Davis, Jr.

and, yes, even Megadeth

Once upon a time just off Route 9 north of Latham Circle, there was an entertainment destination that brought hundreds of the show business world’s best-known singers, dancers, musicians and comedians to the Capital Region every summer for four decades.

Although officially it went by many names over the years – the Colonie Musical Theater, the Colonie Summer Theater, the Colonie Coliseum and, finally, Starlite Music Theatre – a lot of the locals simply called it “The Tent.” But on Thursday (November 15), demolition crews and bulldozers rolled in and knocked it all down. The Starlite Music Theatre is no more.

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LIVE: Future Islands @ Valentine’s Music Hall, 5/5/12

May 9th, 2012, 2:30 pm by Sara

Sebastien sent in some photos from the Future Islands show last Saturday at Valentine’s Music Hall in Albany, noting that it was a pretty intense affair:

Future Islands @ Valentine's Music Hall

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Phantogram Collaborates with the Flaming Lips

April 10th, 2012, 1:00 pm by Greg
Phantogram (photo by Sebastien Barre)

Phantogram (photo by Sebastien Barre)

Phantogram has been on quite an impressive roll lately, and it looks like they’re about to take it up a couple of notches with their latest endeavor – collaborating with the Flaming Lips.

Saratoga’s fave electro-pop couple spent last New Year’s Eve in Oklahoma City, sharing the stage with Wayne Coyne & Co. at the Lips’ annual New Year’s Freak Out bash. And obviously Sarah Barthel and Josh Carter made quite an impression…

The Lips’ new album – the double-vinyl “The Flaming Lips and Heady Fwends,” slated for release on Saturday, April 21 (Record Store Day) – is apparently chockful of collaborations (Ke$ha? Coldplay? Bon Iver?), although the full list of musical partners has yet to be officially revealed.

But according to an interview with Coyne on Pitchfork, the collaboration with Phantogram is a shoe-in to make it onto the album.

In the interview, Coyne describes the collaboration, “It’s a real fuckin’ somber, strange song about lusting for success and the things that you want in your life.”

Read the whole Pitchfork interview here…

Best of 2011: Sebastien Barre’s Best of the Year

December 16th, 2011, 1:00 pm by Greg
TV on the Radio's Kyp Malone performing at Skidmore in October

TV on the Radio's Kyp Malone performing at Skidmore College in October

TV on the Radio at Skidmore College, Saratoga Springs.
Four Tet + Jon Hopkins at EMPAC at RPI, Troy

“The Strange World of Albrecht Dürer” at the Clark Art Institute, Williamstown
“Spaces: Photographs by Candida Höfer and Thomas Struth” at the Clark Art Institute, Williamstown
“Alumni Invitational 3” at Skidmore College’s Tang Museum, Saratoga Springs
“Petah Coyne: Everything That Rises Must Converge” at MASS MoCA, North Adams

Living Walls at various locations, Albany

Phantom Limb’s “69 S.” at EMPAC at RPI, Troy

By Sebastien Barre, photographer and Nippertown contributor

Fred Rudofsky’s Top 10 Theater Concerts
Paste Magazine’s Top 20 New Bands
J. Eric Smith’s Top Album
Rolling Stone’s Top 10 Albums
Brian Patneaude’s Top 5 CDs
American Film Institute’s Top 10 Movies
Stanley Johnson’s Top 10 Concerts
Richard Brody’s Top Books

LIVE: Troy Victorian Stroll, 12/4/11

December 6th, 2011, 4:30 pm by Greg
Santa looooves the saxaphone (photo by Sebastien Barre)

A relatively warm December day was just the right addition to make the 29th annual Troy Victorian Stroll even more populated than usual. People came to show off their once-a-year vintage costumes or for the music, holiday shopping, art or people watching. And they got it. I was there for a few reasons myself, but mainly for the promise of watching some favorite local bands performing hours before their usual 10pm start time.

I stopped into the HSBC Bank to see Johnny Rabb & the Tichy Boys, and it was a beautiful thing to hear Professor John Tichy singing an old Commander Cody number from his pre-RPI days; his equally talented son Graham with his sweet licks and rockin’ fire; and Mr. Rabb, whose voice and energy belie the 30 years he’s been out there doing his thing. Added to the mix was one of the top drummers for 100 miles, Pete Vumbaco, whose local credits would take too much space to list, and Todd Bradley on bass from the fine Hi-Risers, having just played Friday night at the wonderful Rocky Velvet reunion at the comfortably filled Pauly’s Hotel.

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Review Round-up: Phantogram’s New “Nightlife” Racks Up Raves

November 3rd, 2011, 1:00 pm by Greg
Phantogram (photo by Sebastien Barre)

Phantogram (photo by Sebastien Barre)

Phantogram’s new “mini-album” “Nightlife” was officially unleashed by Barsuk Records on Tuesday, and the reviews are pouring in. The blogosphere is all a’buzz about the new music from Saratoga’s own Sarah Barthel and Josh Carter, so we thought we’d share a short round-up of excerpts from the recent round of reviews:

PITCHFORK: “…music refreshingly disinterested in pulling punches… Phantogram sounds more like a bonafide rock band and less like the flimsy pop act they could’ve dissolved into.”

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Parade of Shoes: Genevieve Schatz

November 2nd, 2011, 2:00 pm by Sara
Company ofT hieves @ PearlPalooza, 9/24/11

Genevieve Schatz of Company of Thieves @ PearlPalooza, 9/24/11

Photo by Sebastien.

LIVE: Company of Thieves @ PearlPalooza, 9/24/11

September 26th, 2011, 1:00 pm by Greg
Company of Thieves @ PearlPalooza (photo by Sebastien Barre)

Hot on the heels of LarkFest (see review & photos here), Albany’s second big rock ‘n’ street festival took over Albany’s North Pearl Street curb-to-curb on Saturday for an all-day bash featuring 11 bands on two stages.

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Holly & EvanThe Cock'N'Bull RestaurantCaffe LenaCartoonist John CaldwellJim Gaudet and the Railroad BoysAdvertise on Nippertown!Artist Charles HaymesG.C. Haymes