Posts Tagged ‘Stanley Johnson’

BEST OF 2013: Stanley Johnson’s Top 15 Most Memorable Entertainment Events of the Year

Friday, January 3rd, 2014
Lukas Nelson performing at Farm Aid

Lukas Nelson performing at Farm Aid

Reviews and photographs by Stanley Johnson

These are the shows that come to mind most since they happened. The list is not in any particular order:

Laurie Anderson @ EMPAC at RPI, Troy, November 20: A moving, funny lecture and demonstration about processing voice and sound, her voice perhaps the only indicator of her grief for the loss of her husband less than a month before. Even the audience appeared to respect not mentioning Lou Reed in the Q&A period. Her performance of the story/song “Birds” had me imagining I was flying with this flock above a groundless abyss.

JOhn Melloncamp, Willie Nelson, Pete Seeger, Dave Mathews and Neil Young  @ Farm Aid

JOhn Melloncamp, Willie Nelson, Pete Seeger, Dave Mathews and Neil Young @ Farm Aid

Farm Aid @ the Saratoga Performing Arts Center, Saratoga Springs, September 21: The best time I ever had at this venue. Highlights were the press conference, the photo tent and the volunteers who helped all the photographers. I loved being close for pictures of Willie, Neil, John, Dave and Pete Seeger.

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Phantogram Ranks No. 1 On Paste’s Top 10 EPs of 2013

Monday, December 16th, 2013
Sarah Barthel of Phantogram @ Pearlpalooza (photo by Stanley Johnson)

Sarah Barthel of Phantogram
(photo by Stanley Johnson)

The folks at Paste compiled a list of the Top 10 EPs of 2013, and Saratoga Springs’ electro-pop duo Phantogram snapped up first place honors.

Here’s the list and what they had to say about Phantogram’s self-titled EP:

10. Andrew Bird, I Want to See Pulaski at Night
9. Wild Nothing, Empty Estate
8. The Men, Campfire Songs
7. Parquet Courts, Tally All the Things That You Broke
6. Kurt Vile & the Violators, It’s a Big World Out There (And I Am Scared)
5. CHVRCHES, The Mother We Share
4. PHOX, Confetti
3. Destroyer, Five Spanish Songs
2. The Flaming Lips, Peace Sword
1. Phantogram, Phantogram
“Phantogram’s self-titled EP is concise—just four tracks—but it offers a taste of what’s to come on the band’s recently announced new full-length, which is due out Feb. 18. All four songs are expected to be on the forthcoming LP (titled Voices), and it’s a good thing, because they’re all great. Opener ‘Black Out Days’ features Sarah Barthel wailing over an absolutely killer beat, and Josh Carter handles lead vocals on the dialed-back-but-equally-stunning ‘Never Going Home,’ insisting that ‘if this is love, I’m never going home.’ Here’s hoping he sticks to his word—we can’t wait to catch the band on tour once Voices drops.”

LIVE: The Hellions of Troy @ Rollarama, 11/9/13

Wednesday, November 13th, 2013
Troy Hellions Haidee Hellhound (999) and Kitty Porn (9) block Jersey Shore's Principal Rooney (549)

Troy Hellions Haidee Hellhound (999) and Kitty Porn (9) block Jersey Shore’s Principal Rooney (549)

Photographs by Stanley Johnson

The Hellions of Troy rolled to a smashing 351 to 160 victory over the Jersey Shore Roller Girls All Stars at Rollarama in Schenectady on Saturday, November 9, wrapping up the season with a big win. Congrats, gals…

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Parade of Shoes

Friday, November 1st, 2013

Parade of Shoes, Troy River Street Festival Edition

Photograph by Stanley Johnson

Sharp footwear seen in the crowd at Troy’s River Street Festival in June, 2013…

LIVE: PearlPalooza @ North Pearl Street, 9/28/13 (Take Two)

Friday, October 4th, 2013
The local stage crowd (photo by Stanley Johnson)

The local stage crowd (photo by Stanley Johnson)

Photographs by Stanley Johnson and Timothy Reidy

Last weekend’s PearlPalooza bash firmly established the one-day free street fest as a serious contender to LarkFest. With the huge crowds that jammed North Pearl Street, it was almost impossible to imagine that the WEXT-sponsored fest started just three short years ago with a couple hundred people in Albany’s downtown listening to Rusted Root on the Fourth of July weekend.

Two stages. Nine bands. One big party…

The stage at the corner of Pine Street hosted the Local 518 bands, and while it would have been better to mix the homegrown bands in with the national acts on both stages, the crowd at the local stage seemed just as enthusiastic as the one in front of the main stage.

From Titanics, who kicked off the stage at 1pm, to Eastbound Jesus, who closed up the stage with a rousing, hot-wired, rock’n’ roll hoedown, the bands were in top-notch form, proving that the Local 518 music scene has got a bunch of serious talent ready for bigger regional and national spotlights. And the crowds responded. Encores were demanded and granted; Wild Adriatic dipped into some Led Zeppelin. Stellar Young fans exhibited serious devotion to their fave band, waving giant cut-out heads of the bandmembers from the audience. And Eastbound Jesus once again had folks do-si-do-ing on the sidewalks and foot-stompin’ on the asphalt.

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LIVE: Farm Aid @ SPAC, 9/21/13

Wednesday, September 25th, 2013
Pete-Seeger (photo by Martin Benjamin)

Pete Seeger (center) with John Mellencamp, Willie Nelson, Dave Matthews and Neil Young (photo by Martin Benjamin)

Review by Greg Haymes
Photographs by Martin Benjamin, Donna Fitzgerald, Stanley Johnson

It wasn’t the musical highlight of last Saturday’s Farm Aid celebration/festival/fundraiser at the Saratoga Performing Arts Center, but it was certainly the emotional heart of the day. Introduced by John Mellencamp, surprise guest Pete Seeger ambled out on stage with his longneck banjo in hand.

“Friends, at age 94 I don’t have much voice left, but here’s a song I think you know. And, if you sing it, why, we’ll make a good sound,” he said, picking his banjo and launching into a sing-along rendition of “If I Had a Hammer.” Then he invited the rest of the Farm Aid headliners/board of directors – Mellencamp, Neil Young, Willie Nelson and Dave Matthews – out onstage to help him to lead the crowd through Woody Guthrie’s classic, “This Land Is Your Land.” Seeger closed out the song by adding a new and timely verse that ended with the lyric, “New York was meant to be frack-free.”

The 94-year-old Seeger’s voice was little more than a cracked whisper, and he had to refer to his notes to be sure that he got all of the superstars names right when he introduced them, but it was nonetheless a magical moment.

Led by Jen O’Connor and Eric Krans, Nippertown’s own the Parlor kicked off Farm Aid at 12noon with a high-spirited set on the Homegrown Stage, as they launched into nuggets like “Tear Down the Coastline” and “The Snake in the Woodpile” (with Krans seemingly channeling the late Jeff Buckley) before bringing out B3nson Family members Adam and Alex Muro and Lou Apicello to add some horn-fueled fire to the psychedelic swirl of the Beatles’ “Tomorrow Never Knows.”

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LIVE: The New Music Festival @ Empire State Plaza, 9/713

Tuesday, September 17th, 2013
Mayer Hawthorne (photo by Stanley Johnson)

Mayer Hawthorne (photo by Stanley Johnson)

Photographs by Stanley Johnson
Additional photographs by Richard Brody

Granted, the name “New Music Festival” sounds more than a bit generic, but it’s certainly a better moniker for the end-of-summer bash than the previous “Local Legends Live.” Especially considering that this year only two of the five bands on the bill – twang-timin’ guitarslinger Graham Tichy and the garage-rockin’ Mysteios – hail from the Local 518.

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LIVE: The Chronicles @ Riverlink Park, 8/24/13

Wednesday, August 28th, 2013
Jeff Nania and Bryan Brundige

Jeff Nania and Bryan Brundige

Review by Stanley Johnson

The Chronicles brought an excellent mix of jazz, blues, funk, rock and more to the Riverlink Park on a beautiful Saturday evening along the banks of the Mohawk River.

The seven-member group performed a number of tracks from their debut album, The Chronicles, as well as selections from their upcoming October release, Spanning the Gap, produced by Soulive’s Alan Evans.

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