The Spirit of Giving: Volunteer for Thanksgiving Day @ Equinox

November 18th, 2010, 3:29 pm by Sara


If you’ve lived in Nippertown for any length of time, you’ve no doubt heard about the massive and legendary Thanksgiving meal served up by Equinox, a community services agency located in Albany. Celebrating its 41st anniversary this year, the organization and its volunteers will serve Thanksgiving dinner to over 9,000 people who would otherwise be alone on Thanksgiving.

These days, all the meals are cooked up at the Empire State Plaza. 500 dinners are served to Albany residents at the First Presbyterian Church in Albany and the rest are delivered by volunteers to individuals who live within a 40 mile radius of downtown Albany.

At this point, they aren’t looking for people to prepare or serve meals, but they’re still looking for drivers to deliver the meals. If you’ve got a car and want to get away from your relatives for a bit, they could use your help. Important: you MUST register ahead of time by calling their Thanksgiving Hotline at 518-434-0131.

If you can’t volunteer for Thanksgiving, please consider that Equinox also need volunteers to do everything from mowing the lawn to tutoring kids with their homework to helping shelter residents move into their own apartments. And, of course, they accept cash donations as well.


Don’t Like It? You Got Nothing To Say!

November 26th, 2009, 8:54 am by Sara

Harrigan05Thanksgiving is a time when we pause and count our blessings among family and friends. Sadly, Thanksgiving is also the anniversary of the death of Billy Harrigan, the charismatic singer for Schenectady punk gods The Dronez.

Here’s an excerpt from what Greg said in his Times Union remembrance, eight years ago:

Harrigan was a true visionary. He knew that image was important in the world of rock ‘n’ roll, and he was the Capital Region’s King of Shock Rock. In his day, Harrigan out-Marilyn-Mansoned Marilyn Manson and out-Reznored Trent Reznor…The Dronez live shows are still the stuff of legend — both in the band’s original early-’80s incarnation and in their later ’92-’93 reunion shows. But more importantly, the Dronez always had the music and talent to back up their outrageous attitude.

And here’s a bit of what I wrote about my work with him in The New Shiny Things, two recordings from 1981 that were re-released a few years ago on Germany’s Anna Logue Records:

Although he was a local legend more for his stage antics, Billy was, hands down, the most talented vocalist and songwriter I’ve ever worked with. During improvisational jam sessions, he would open his mouth and lyrics would pour out, fully formed. This year, I listened to about 40 hours of Billy’s rehearsal tapes trying to find a third song for our Anna Logue Records reissue. What struck me most was Billy’s voice – his pitch, his range, his brilliant phrasing; even during marathon, beer-soaked rehearsals he never faltered.

I used to have a rather worn cassette tape of unreleased Dronez demos that I would use as an antidote to too much family time (I really do love my family, but three hours of biting my tongue and smiling sweetly can be a little….trying.) I vividly remember blasting those songs on the way home from more than one Thanksgiving dinner.

BillyHarrigan06So for you, today, an ample shot of punky metal to follow your Thanksgiving feast: We Are The Dronez.mp3 (snarf it up while you can, it won’t be here long.)

Come on, sing it with me:

“Billy got a job, decided to leave it.
Ernie got crazy, and he almost lost it.
Richard got sick, and puked all over it.
Russ got mad, and he almost destroyed it.
We are the Dronez, not puppets nor clones.
We are the Dronez. Don’t like it?
You got nothing to say!”

We miss you, Billy.

UPDATE: There are videos on Youtube.

Phishin’ in November?

September 24th, 2009, 3:39 pm by Greg

phishAlthough nobody seems willing to officially confirm (or deny), the rumors are flying fast ‘n’ furious that a fall Phish tour will bring Trey and boys back to the Times Union Center in Albany for shows on Friday and Saturday, November 27-28 during the Thanksgiving Day weekend.

Anybody know anything more?

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